Discussing and analyzing superhero movies has undoubtedly become part of the overall experience. With the sheer amount of comic book movies being released/in development and the ease of anyone being able to express their opinion via social media, fans have never had such an opportunity to let the world know what and how they feel. There really is no break, opinions and new perspectives are being expressed daily. What’s interesting is that in the past, most discussion involved movies that had already been released. These days, a lot more of the chatter is about what may happen in the future, which characters may show up, what off-screen decisions may mean for the future. Whatever it is, fans are continuously looking forward to and talking about what happens next.
DC films have provided plenty of opportunity and conversation fodder to feed this very hungry fan-speculation machine. Mixed critical reception, some financial under-performance, off-screen drama have provided fertile ground for theories to abound. There has not been a DC film for approximately eight months, which is an eternity in today’s age. However, with Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 84 all coming out within a year-and-a-half, and both a Joker and Birds of Prey movie seeming to be a go-for-launch, fan theories have really picked up. Let’s take a look at the most prevalent ones and what fans think about the future of DC films.
The Flashpoint story-line is one of the bigger arcs in DC comic books in recent history. What’s interesting to note is that fans think this story may be adapted into a movie, not because of its importance in terms of comic books, but because it gives Warner Bros. a chance to reboot its mixed-reception DC movie universe.
The most recent rumors are that this may not be the initial story for the next Flash movie, with Warner Bros. now opting for a more solo-focused Flash feature. Still, many fans do believe that sometime down the line, Flashpoint will be a reality.
NIGHTWING & BATGIRL
One thing we have yet to see in the DCEU is the “Bat-Family.” Rumors of a Batgirl movie have been ongoing for a couple of years with Joss Whedon set to direct prior to his announced departure. A Nightwing movie has also been rumored and even has a director attached, but nothing concrete has been announced.
With so much news swirling around these characters, and the recently announced Birds of Prey movie, many fans believe that with the “Bat-Universe” expanding, it is only a matter of time before some of Batman’s sidekicks show up to stand alongside the Dark Knight.
WONDER WOMAN/NUCLEAR WAR
With the next Wonder Woman movie being set in the 1980’s, and her penchant for getting involved in world conflicts, fans are theorizing that the nuclear standoff between the United States and the former Soviet Union will be the focal point of Wonder Woman 84. Of course, there never was an actual nuclear exchange between the two superpowers in real life, but will the movie alter that?
Some fans believe she will play a role in preventing a nuclear war, while others are of the opinion that an actual war will take place with Diana caught in the middle of it. Many think that this political chapter of the 1980s is just too large to ignore for the film and taking into account the personality of Wonder Woman.
NO MORE JUSTICE LEAGUE
There is no doubt that 2017’s Justice League under-performed both financially and critically. Not only that, but what was once supposed to be a two-part film was cut to one prior to release. This, combined with the uncertainty regarding actors as to whether or not they will return, has led some fans to think that the Justice League as a concept (and as a group) will not be revisited any time soon.
Adding to this belief is the fact that no announced DC movies have characters crossing over. Even though there was a post-credits scene in Justice League which hinted that the group would be needed again, a part of DC fandom thinks that is no longer a reality.
MAN OF STEEL II
One of the oddities of the current state of DC films is the status of Superman. There has been very little news about a new Superman movie; the actors involved don’t seem to know what the future holds; no director is attached, just very little information overall. Many think a Man Of Steel II will happen eventually, but as time goes on, the theory that Superman will be absent for a while is gathering steam.
Superman has been seen in three movies in the past 12 years, and was also seen on Supergirl recently. And if some of the fans are correct, this may be what Superman fans will have to be content with for the foreseeable future.
With the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman 84 and the recently announced Birds Of Prey, female characters are definitely taking center stage in the DC film universe. Missing from any sort of formal announcement is one of DC’s most prominent female characters — Catwoman. There are different fan perspectives on how she will be introduced, but one viewpoint that is increasingly gaining traction is that she will be shown as a hero.
A couple of aspects are driving this belief. First, in the comics Catwoman has helped the Birds of Prey significantly. Second, there is a much publicized wedding story-line with Batman that just wrapped up the comics, and the view is that this is a signal to position the character as an ally of Batman’s in the minds of the general public.
SECRET VILLAINS IN WONDER WOMAN 84
The sequel to the mega-hit Wonder Woman is very highly anticipated and each bit of news about the film has garnered a lot of attention. So far, the only confirmed villain is Cheetah, who has been a major villain for decades. However, some have noticed some signs which they believe mean more villains may be showing up in the movie.
The news that Steve Trevor will be in the film has led some to believe that he is just a vision being created by magical villain, perhaps Circe. Also, the casting of Narcos star Pedro Pascal is being speculated as a precursor to him playing another villain, not unlike how Ares was revealed in Wonder Woman.
One aspect that has intrigued some and confused others is the large amount of rumors swirling around The Joker and potential movies involving him. A Joker origin movie has been confirmed, but with a different actor in the role. This has led some fans to believe that there will be two Jokers now in the DCEU — with Jared Leto playing a Joker who was formerly Robin!
The evidence for this theory is based upon the fact that a Robin costume was seen in Batman v Superman with Joker markings on it, and with two actors portraying the same character concurrently, it has reinforced the belief that the Leto Joker is not the real one.
Of all the theories, this one seems to be more a “fan wish” than the others. Still, there are some compelling reasons to at least entertain this possibility. For one, there are some major characters in the Arrowverse; Supergirl, Flash, Batwoman (soon), and even Superman showed up. The multiverse aspect can be used to explain why some characters are duplicates.
The other underlying reason may be that the line between film and TV is blurring, with increased TV budgets and streaming services. TV is not seen as “small” as compared to cinema as it once was. It still would be an incredibly ambitious project, but how many people thought that Superman, Flash, and Batwoman would be in the same TV universe a few years ago?
The new Joker film is expected to launch a new banner of DC films; which some have reported will be called “DC Dark.” Thus far, not much is known about this brand or even whether or not it is connected to the main DC films. One rumor conjured up by fans is that this will serve as a gateway to independent Elseworld films, where the movies can tell radical (and popular) Elseworld tales without the worry of connecting to DC film continuity.
It would definitely be an interesting and unique approach, and the possibilities are endless in terms of what kinds of stores can be told. It remains to be seen what comes of this, but it’ll be intriguing to see how it progresses.
The view of some fans that a Batman Beyond film will be made goes all the way back to the animated Batman Beyond series. However, some recent events have fans believing that this possibility is more likely now than ever before. The Nolan trilogy and Batman interacting with other DC superheroes in the DCEU has seen Batman in different scenarios, and the belief is that Bruce Wayne as Batman has reached a saturation point.
An older Bruce Wayne training a new Batman would certainly be something fresh, and with Ben Affleck rumored to be done, it can be an easy way to introduce a new Batman — and some fans think Michael Keaton returning as Bruce Wayne would be a perfect fit.
SUPERMAN IN SHAZAM
Will Superman be the inspiration for Billy Batson (Shazam) in the upcoming movie? A certain number of fans sure seem to think so. A new image from the film shows several Superman items (including a Time magazine cover showing Superman). And some believe that one of the little kids talking to Superman at the start of Justice League was indeed Billy Batson.
These two characters have already appeared together in the 2010 short animated feature, Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam. Whether we see them together again remains to be seen, but it would not be too surprising and would be a way to show the inspiring side of Superman.
Ever since the Knightmare scene in Batman v Superman, which shows a very angry and vengeful Superman, many fans have thought that this was the first set-up to an eventual Injustice film. Add to this the popularity of the Injustice comic and video game series, and one can see why this theory would be prevalent.
Considerable doubt does remain, however. Justice League saw a shift to a more hopeful and optimistic Superman, so would another change in tone to a despotic Superman be done so soon? With Zack Snyder having less of a role in shaping DC films, this potential movie seems less likely than before, but DC film announcements have surprised before.
BLACK ADAM IN SHAZAM
A Black Adam movie has been rumored to be imminent for a few years now, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson playing the character. When instead Shazam! was announced for a 2019 release, many fans assumed that the villain would be in it, considering the history of the villain and the high-profile status of The Rock.
Even though Black Adam has not been formally announced as being in the film, some fans still believe he will be, even if it’s just a small cameo. The Rock has denied it (although he wouldn’t say he is in it even if it was true), but fans still think that with Shazam being a not as well known character, the movie will need some buzz and news of a surprise appearance after release would accomplish that.
HAL JORDAN/JOHN STEWART
After the disastrous performance of 2011’s Green Lantern, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of the character. Everything from a supposed appearance in Justice League to a Green Lantern/Flash team-up movie has at one point been rumored. Nothing has come true thus far, but the latest news has fans believing that they will get not just one Green Lantern but (at least) two.
With Geoff Johns set to write for the film, the belief is that it won’t just be Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, considering Johns’ work on the comic and the need to be different from the much-maligned 2011 film.
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