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Unread 2018-07-12, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default DC: 2019

Every DC Movie Supposedly Filming in 2019

DC Films has a huge number of movies potentially starting production in 2019 - and there seems no way they can all be released in the same short window. After months of uncertainty, it's definitely good news to see more DC movies getting off the ground, but with multiple creatives teasing 2019 start dates, the slate is getting pretty packed.
The studio will have to make some difficult choices. Prioritizing the Birds of Prey movie, for example, likely means that Gotham City Sirens, Suicide Squad 2 and the Harley Quinn/Joker movie will all have to be pushed back. Margot Robbie can't really shoot scenes for all four films at once, after all. Meanwhile, other ideas have been in Development Hell for quite a while.

Related: All 26 Upcoming & In-Development DC Films
Part of the problem is that Warner Bros. doesn't really seem interested in letting viewers in on their long-term plans. The first full DCEU slate was actually originally announced in an offhand manner during a call with investors in 2014. Ever since then, the DCEU has really operated on the basis of rumors, with an occasional press release thrown in for good measure. As a result, it's hard to really know what movies are being prioritized by the studio, let alone what general direction the DCEU is expected to take.


This is easily illustrated by running through the sheer number of films that are expected to be in production in 2019. The first of these, oddly enough, isn't likely to be part of the DCEU at all; rather, it's likely to be Todd Phillips's Joker origin story, an "Elseworlds"-esque tale featuring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular villain. According to the latest reports, this low-budget film is set to start production in September this year, and it may actually be eyeing a 2019 release date.

Next up is Birds of Prey, which will reportedly begin filming in January next year. Star Margot Robbie has confirmed that this will be an R-rated movie with a remarkably low budget for a superhero film. There have been rumors that director Cathy Yan's film will include characters like Black Canary and Huntress., but so far little is known about the movie. It's possible more details will be revealed at the Warner Bros. panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It seems likely that, due to Robbie's availability, DC's focus on Birds of Prey will push Gavin O'Connor's Suicide Squad 2, which is also reported to begin production sometime in 2019.
And then we have The Batman, with the latest rumors suggesting production has been pushed back again to 2019 - at the earliest. Writer/director Matt Reeves has taken his time developing the movie after negotiating creative control, and it's unclear whether it will even be part of the DCEU at all. There have been some reports that Matt Reeves's script calls for a younger actor to play the part. Given that film's troubled production history, it wouldn't be a surprise to see further delays.

Related: What's Going On With Ben Affleck's Batman?
The status of Black Adam and The Flash are fairly unclear. According to Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson, "If things come together in the way we anticipate them coming together, [Black Adam] feels like a 2019 movie, in production. The Flash director John Francis Daley has teased a 2020 release date for his film, too, "if all goes well."


Remarkably, those are only the movies that have explicitly had 2019 confirmed or mentioned as a possible start date. Other DC Films projects could easily slip into the schedule too. Take Green Lantern Corps; Geoff Johns recently stepped down from an executive role and is now working on the script for this film. Johns is one of the DC's best comic writers, and the decision to allocate Johns to the project was taken by many as a sign Warner Bros. want to fast-track it. The studio had previously assigned Green Lantern Corps a 2020 release date, and there's been little discussion of a change, so it may well be that they still intend to honor it.

In May, there were rumors Man of Steel 2 is also a priority for Warner Bros., and is slated for a 2020 release. There's been no movement on this film for years, though, in spite of the fact star Henry Cavill is in favor. It may be that the studio simply toyed with the idea for a little while, before putting the Superman sequel on the back-burner again. Meanwhile, the troubled Justice League Dark is apparently still in the works, while Warner Bros. has reportedly had meetings with directors for a Deathstroke movie. To cap it all off, the studio is also considering a Joker spinoff film starring Jared Leto.


It's important to stress that Warner Bros. does appear to have changed strategy with the DC Extended Universe. The current approach seems to be to sign off on a mix of tentpole superhero movies and lower-budget, potentially R-rated films. Presumably, the studio is taking a tip from 21st Century Fox, whose X-Men franchise has been revitalized by the success of films like Logan and Deadpool. If that is the case, we could actually see DC Films expand their slate quite dramatically, and with minimal expense. Both Todd Phillips's Joker origin story and the Birds of Prey film are likely to take this approach (the former isn't even sharing continuity with the rest of the DCEU). Naturally, that kind of approach simply wouldn't work for the likes of The Flash and Green Lantern. Still, by diversifying their slate, Warner Bros. would actually be able to make more films. What's more, the diversity of releases - some spectacular tentpole superhero set-pieces, others R-rated genre productions - would hopefully prevent audiences getting tired of superhero movies.

There are two major issues, though. The first is scheduling. Many of these films involve the same characters, meaning prioritizing production on one movie will tie-up the actor and inevitably delays others. That's likely to be a major problem for Jared Leto and Margot Robbie. Secondly, it's going to be difficult to maintain continuity. Let's say, for example, that Harley Quinn undergoes a major character change in Birds of Prey; that could potentially cause rewrites in Suicide Squad 2. In a shared cinematic universe, every film has the potential to subtly reshape the narrative of the rest. That may well be one reason DC Films is considering "Elseworlds"-esque films like the Joker origin movie. That way they stand alone, and won't be affected by further changes in the slate.

It is also possible that some of these films are slated for a 2021 release. If production of a movie began in Quarter 4 of 2019, it probably wouldn't have left the editing room by the end of 2020. Even counting all these factors, though, it really does seem as though Warner Bros. has too many ideas in the works for a relatively short period. It's worth remembering that rival Marvel Studios tend to release three movies a year; at this rate, from 2019 to 2021, Warner Bros. could potentially top them by releasing four. The most likely scenario is that the final production schedule, and certainly the release schedule, will be a little more spaced out.

The best thing for Warner Bros. to do, of course, would be to actually make an official announcement; to explain what their upcoming slate now looks like, and what direction the DCEU is going to take. San Diego Comic-Con may well offer a perfect opportunity to do this.
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