DC Extended Universe
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DC Extended Universe

DC Extended Universe
DC Comics logo.svg
The official branding logo of all
DC Comics media
Based onCharacters published
by DC Comics
StarringSee below
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
CountryUnited States
BudgetTotal (5 films):
$1.099 billion
Box officeTotal (5 films):
$3.768 billion

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU)[a] is a term used to refer to an American media franchise and shared universe that is centered on a series of superhero films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and based on characters that appear in American comic books by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books and the television programs, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. The films have been in production since 2011 and in that time Warner Bros. has distributed five films. The series has grossed over $3.7 billion at the global box office, currently making it the fourteenth highest-grossing film franchise.

The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large, often ensemble, casts. Several actors, including Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, and Ray Fisher, have appeared in numerous films of the franchise, with continued appearances in sequels planned. In May 2016, DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg were appointed to co-run the DC Films division and oversee creative decisions, production and story-arcs in order to create a cohesive overarching plot within the films. In January 2018, Walter Hamada was appointed the president of DC Films, replacing Berg.

The first film in the DCEU was Man of Steel (2013) followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), and Justice League (2017). Future films with scheduled release dates include: Aquaman in 2018, Shazam! in 2019 and Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020. A multitude of other projects are in various stages of development.


Geoff Johns, who has held a variety of positions involved with DC Films and the DC Extended Universe since 2016

In 2002, Wolfgang Petersen was set to direct a Batman vs. Superman film from a script by Akiva Goldsman.[11] Warner Bros. canceled development to focus on individual Superman and Batman projects after J. J. Abrams submitted another draft for Superman: Flyby.[12][13] In February 2007, Warner Bros. hired husband and wife duo Michele and Kieran Mulroney to write a script for a Justice League film.[14]Christian Bale, who starred as Batman in Batman Begins (2005), was not approached to reprise the role,[15] nor was Brandon Routh, who starred as Superman in Superman Returns (2006).[16]George Miller was hired to direct the film,[17] reportedly titled Justice League Mortal,[18] with Armie Hammer cast as Batman, D. J. Cotrona as Superman, Adam Brody as Flash, Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Common as Green Lantern, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter and Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord.[19] The project was put on indefinite hold in January 2008, after failing to secure tax breaks for filming in Australia, as well as the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike preventing progress on the script.[20]

In 2013, a reboot of the Superman franchise, Man of Steel, was set to lay the groundwork for future DC films.[21] The film contained references to other characters in the DC Universe, so if it were a success, it could launch a shared universe.[22][23] Days before Man of Steels release in June, it was reported that director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer would be returning for a sequel, which was being fast-tracked by Warner Bros.[24] In July, at San Diego Comic-Con, it was revealed that the sequel would include Batman in a main role, thus establishing the shared universe.[25][26] In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced a slate of ten DC films.[27]

While the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) includes television productions, the DC's new crossover film series is a shared continuity for films. Several television series featuring DC characters and storylines have their own shared continuity, frequently referred to as the Arrowverse.[28] DC's chief creative officer Geoff Johns explained DC's difference in approach to Marvel Studios and their cinematic universe, saying, "We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe, but they all co-exist. For us, creatively, it's about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you really want to let the visions shine through ... It's just a different approach."[29] In June 2015, Warner Bros. president of creative development Greg Silverman expanded on DC's approach to their cinematic universe, saying, "We ... take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You'll see the difference when you see ... the things that we are working on."[30]

In May 2016, following criticism of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. established a DC Films division with Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg as its heads,[31] which oversees production to form a cohesive creative direction for the franchise.[32][33] DC Films will not be fully autonomous, with Johns reporting to DC president Diane Nelson and Berg reporting to Silverman.[32]Charles Roven was also moved from his day-by-day producer role on future DC films, which he had served since 2005's Batman Begins, to an administrative executive producer role.[34] In December, Silverman was ousted from his role in Warner Bros., and Toby Emmerich was promoted to president and chief content officer, in his place.[35] By January 2017, Johns and Berg reported to Emmerich.[36] Following the financial and critical success of Wonder Woman in June 2017, Johns stated that moving forward the films will focus on the heart, humor, hope, heroics, and optimism of the characters.[37] DC also decided to begin deemphasizing the shared nature of their films, with Diane Nelson stating, "Our intention, certainly, moving forward is using the continuity to help make sure nothing is diverging in a way that doesn't make sense, but there's no insistence upon an overall story line or interconnectivity in that universe... Moving forward, you'll see the DC movie universe being a universe, but one that comes from the heart of the filmmaker who's creating them."[38] As a result of Justice League's underperformance at the box office, Berg left his position by January 2018 and became a production partner with Roy Lee.[39][40]

In January 2018, Walter Hamada was appointed the President of DC Films and the new co-runner of the DCEU, replacing Berg.[40] The following month, Chantal Nong was hired as Vice President of the film studio, additionally overseeing the production of the franchise.[41] The pair were hired to oversee the future of the franchise with Johns, as the key production team managers. However, in June of the same year, Johns stepped down from his role as co-head of DC Films and co-runner of the DCEU. He will remain with the studio as co-chairman, while starting his own studio where he will take on a greater hands-on role with film media as a producer and screenwriter. His production company, Mad Ghost Productions, will produce future films in the franchise, as well as comic book and television media.[42]


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s)
Man of Steel June 14, 2013 (2013-06-14) Zack Snyder David S. Goyer David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan Charles Roven, Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Deborah Snyder
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
March 25, 2016 (2016-03-25) Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder
Suicide Squad August 5, 2016 (2016-08-05) David Ayer Charles Roven and Richard Suckle
Wonder Woman June 2, 2017 (2017-06-02) Patty Jenkins Allan Heinberg Zack Snyder, Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder and Richard Suckle
Justice League November 17, 2017 (2017-11-17) Zack Snyder Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon Chris Terrio and Zack Snyder Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg and Geoff Johns
Zack Snyder: the director of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; co-story writer and director of Justice League; and co-story writer of Wonder Woman

Man of Steel (2013)

Kal-El / Clark Kent, who arrived on Earth years ago as an infant from Krypton, struggles with why he was sent to Earth. Raised by his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark adopts the persona "Superman", and learns if his abilities are meant to maintain peace or conquer the world.[43]

During story discussions for The Dark Knight Rises, David S. Goyer told Christopher Nolan his idea regarding how to present Superman in a modern context.[44] Impressed with Goyer's concept, Nolan pitched the idea to the studio,[45] who hired Nolan to produce and Goyer to write based on the financial and critical success of The Dark Knight.[46][47]Zack Snyder was hired in October 2010 to direct the film.[48] In January 2011, Henry Cavill was cast as Clark Kent / Superman.[49] Other cast members included Amy Adams as Lois Lane,[50]Michael Shannon as the villain General Zod,[51]Diane Lane as Martha Kent,[52]Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent,[53]Russell Crowe as Jor-El,[54] and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White.[55]Principal photography began on August 1, 2011.[56]Man of Steel released in North America on June 14, 2013.[57]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Gotham City-based vigilante Batman travels to Metropolis to preemptively combat Superman, fearing what would happen if the latter is kept unchecked, while another threat endangers humankind.[58]

In June 2013, it was reported that Snyder and Goyer would be returning for a sequel to Man of Steel, which was being fast-tracked by Warner Bros.[24] Nolan was involved in an advisory role as executive producer.[59] In July, at the San Diego Comic-Con, Warner Bros. announced that Superman and Batman would meet for the first time in a cinematic format in the film, which would be the follow-up to Man of Steel and a reboot of the Batman film series.[25][26] According to Snyder, the film took inspiration from the comic The Dark Knight Returns.[60] Cavill, Adams, Lane, and Fishburne reprised their roles.[61] In August, Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman.[62] In December, Gal Gadot was cast as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, marking the character's first appearance in a live-action theatrical film.[63] Later in the month, Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite Goyer's script.[64] In January 2014, the film was delayed from its July 17, 2015, release date to May 6, 2016, to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story".[65] Later that month, Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joined the cast as Lex Luthor and Alfred Pennyworth, respectively.[66] In May 2014, the film's title was revealed to be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[67] Initial filming occurred on October 19, 2013, at East Los Angeles College,[68] before full principal photography began on May 21, 2014, in Detroit.[69] Production also took place in Illinois, New Mexico, Africa and the South Pacific.[69][70] After another date change, the film was released in North America on March 25, 2016.[71]

The film is set 18 months after the events of Man of Steel.[72]Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice introduced Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash,[73]Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman,[61]Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg,[74] and Joe Morton as Dr. Silas Stone.[75] The film also introduced Steppenwolf, who served as the main antagonist in Justice League, through a brief scene. The scene was not included in the film's theatrical release, but instead was revealed online by Warner Bros. on March 28,[76] before being included in the Ultimate Edition home video release.[77]

David Ayer: the writer and director of Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad (2016)

After the death of Superman, a secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and rescue the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for clemency.[78]

In February 2009, prior to the development of the DCEU, Warner Bros. was developing a Suicide Squad film, with Dan Lin producing and Justin Marks writing the script.[79] In October 2014, Suicide Squad was announced by Warner Bros., with David Ayer confirmed as director.[27] In December, it was revealed that Ayer would also be writing the screenplay.[80] The main cast included Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag.[81]Tom Hardy was originally cast as Rick Flag, but dropped out due to scheduling issues with his film The Revenant.[82] Principal photography commenced April 13, 2015,[83] and took place in and around Toronto.[84] Filming concluded August 28, 2015.[85]Suicide Squad was released in North America on August 5, 2016.[86]

The film is set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[87] Affleck as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash made appearances in the film.[87] In a mid-credits scene, Waller meets Wayne in a restaurant and hands him a dossier containing information on future members of the Justice League.[88]

Patty Jenkins: the director of Wonder Woman; and co-writer and director of Wonder Woman 1984

Wonder Woman (2017)

Diana of Themyscira, an Amazon warrior who also is the demigoddess daughter of the god Zeus, uses her talents and abilities in order to help humanity during World War I.

Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot was cast as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in December 2013 and signed a three-picture deal which included a solo film.[63][89] In October 2014, Wonder Woman was announced by Warner Bros.[27] In November, Michelle MacLaren was confirmed to direct the film from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs.[90][91] In April 2015, MacLaren left the project due to creative differences.[92] Later that month, Patty Jenkins was announced as the new director of the film.[93] In July, Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor.[94] Other cast members include Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope, Danny Huston as Erich Ludendorff, Elena Anaya as Doctor Poison, and David Thewlis as Ares.[95][96] Filming began in November 2015, and was shot in the United Kingdom, France and Italy.[97]Wonder Woman was released in North America on June 2, 2017.[86]

Justice League (2017)

Motivated by Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team of metahumans to face a new catastrophic threat.[98]

In June 2013, it was reported that Goyer would be writing Justice League as part of a three-film deal he signed for Man of Steel.[24] In April 2014, it was announced that Snyder would return as director.[99] The film was announced in October as Justice League Part One.[27] In March 2016, it was confirmed that Chris Terrio had written the script, who said that the film would not be as tonally dark as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[100] In June, Geoff Johns announced that the title had been changed to simply Justice League.[101] Affleck, Cavill, Gadot, Momoa, Miller, Fisher, Irons, Lane, Adams, Eisenberg, Nielsen, Wright, and Morton reprised their respective roles from previous films.[102][103][104]Ciarán Hinds provides the voice and performance capture for the villain Steppenwolf.[105] Beginning on April 11, 2016, filming took place at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, in England, as well as locations around London and in Iceland.[106] Filming concluded in October 2016.[107] In May 2017, Snyder stepped down from his duties on the film due to his daughter's death; Joss Whedon filled his position on post-production, with additional scenes being written and directed by him.[108] Though Whedon was not officially credited for his role as post-production director, he completed enough additional work for a screenwriting credit on the film.[109]Justice League was released worldwide on November 17, 2017.[106]

Justice League introduced various characters, including J. K. Simmons as James Gordon,[110]Amber Heard as Mera,[111] and Billy Crudup as Henry Allen;[112] both Kiersey Clemons as Iris West and Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko were to be introduced but their scenes were ultimately cut from the film.[113][114]Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke was also introduced in a post-credits scene, teasing an alliance between him and Lex Luthor.[115]

Additional materials

The "Communion" scene in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice teases the events in Justice League, showing the villain Steppenwolf and the three Mother Boxes.

In order to expand and build the universe the films are set in, some additional material has been released, such as additional scenes or bonus material included in the home releases of the films. The purpose of said material is also to set up and tease the overarching narrative that future installments of the franchise will adhere to. In the case of additional scenes, on March 28, 2016, Warner Bros. released to the public via its YouTube channel, a scene not shown in theaters from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, titled "Communion", which teased the events that would be depicted in Justice League; the scene was later integrated in the Ultimate Edition home release of the film. Similarly, in the Blu-ray disc home release of Wonder Woman, an epilogue is included in the form of a short titled "Etta's Mission", which details a final incident that transpired after the events of the film. Etta teases the existence of a Mother Box, which is crucial to the storyline of Justice League.[116] Also, in the Blu-ray home release of Justice League, two additional scenes not shown in the theatrical cut are included, which further flesh-out the return of Superman and him joining the League.

Furthermore, the various special featurettes and documentaries included in the Blu-ray home releases of the films feature concept arts and designs, as well as background information that greatly expands the shared universe; giving detailed insight into the fictional history, technology, worlds and cultures that appear in the films.

Although not all the films in the franchise resort to this practice, some of them make use of post-credits scenes to further develop character relationships and establish the plot elements that will influence future installments, such as Suicide Squad and Justice League.


Film U.S. release date Director(s) Screenwriter(s) Story by Producer(s) Status
Aquaman December 21, 2018 (2018-12-21) James Wan David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick and Will Beall Geoff Johns, James Wan and Will Beall Peter Safran and Rob Cowan Completed
Shazam! April 5, 2019 (2019-04-05) David F. Sandberg Henry Gayden Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke Peter Safran Post-production
Birds of Prey February 7, 2020 (2020-02-07) Cathy Yan Christina Hodson Margot Robbie, Sue Kroll and Bryan Unkeless Pre-production
Wonder Woman 1984 June 5, 2020 (2020-06-05) Patty Jenkins Patty Jenkins & Geoff Johns and David Callaham Patty Jenkins and Geoff Johns Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Patty Jenkins, Stephen Jones and Gal Gadot Filming
The Flash TBA Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris Brancato, Joby Harold and Dan Mazeau Seth Grahame-Smith, Rick Famuyiwa, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, Chris Brancato and Marc Guggenheim Geoff Johns, Richard Suckle, Jon Berg, Zack Snyder, Alex Gartner, Dan Mazer, Deborah Snyder, Denise Di Novi, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller In Development
The Batman TBA Matt Reeves Ben Affleck, Geoff Johns and Matt Reeves
James Wan: the co-story writer and director of Aquaman

Aquaman (2018)

Following the events of Justice League, Arthur Curry / Aquaman must fight to retain the Atlantean throne from opposing threats.

In June 2014, Jason Momoa was cast as Arthur Curry / Aquaman.[61] By August, Will Beall and Kurt Johnstad were writing competing scripts for the character's solo film.[117]Aquaman was announced in October.[27] In June 2015, James Wan was hired as director, as well as to oversee the screenplay by Johnstad.[118] The film's plot takes place after the events of Justice League.[119] In November 2015, David Leslie Johnson was hired to write a new script.[120] In July 2016, Beall returned to write the script, based on a story treatment by Wan and Geoff Johns.[121] In December, Patrick Wilson was cast as Orm / Ocean Master, the half-brother of Aquaman and the main antagonist of the film.[122][123] In January 2017, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II was cast in the role of villain Black Manta.[124] In March, Nicole Kidman confirmed that she will play Queen Atlanna, Aquaman's mother.[125] In April, Dolph Lundgren was cast as the villain King Nereus.[126] In June, Deadline Hollywood reported that Johnson had returned to the project to work on a rewrite of Beall's script with Wan and producer Peter Safran.[127] Heard will reprise her role as Mera from Justice League.[128] Other cast members include Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko,[129]Temuera Morrison as Aquaman's father Tom Curry,[128] and Ludi Lin as Murk, an ally of Aquaman.[130] Principal photography began on May 2, 2017, in Queensland, Australia,[128] and wrapped on October 21, 2017.[131]Aquaman is scheduled to be released in North America on December 21, 2018.[132]

David F. Sandberg: the director of Shazam!

Shazam! (2019)

By shouting "Shazam", a 14-year-old foster child, Billy Batson, can turn into an adult superhero, courtesy of an ancient wizard. He attempts to master his powers and defeat the evil forces controlled by Doctor Sivana.[133]

In August 2014, Dwayne Johnson announced his attachment to a project about the superhero Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel.[134] In September, Johnson was revealed to be portraying the antihero Black Adam, Shazam's nemesis in the film, with Darren Lemke set to write the script.[135] In October, Warner Bros. announced Shazam as a film in its upcoming slate.[27] By January 2017, Henry Gayden was working on the script.[136] In July, David F. Sandberg was confirmed as director of the film.[137] It was also confirmed that month that, despite the initial announcement, Dwayne Johnson would not appear as Black Adam in Shazam!, but will instead star in a solo film.[138] Pre-production began with the casting process for Shazam's child-age alter ego Billy Batson in August.[139] By October, Zachary Levi was cast as Shazam. In November, Grace Fulton joined the cast as Shazam's foster sister, Mary Bromfield.[140] Fulton is reteaming with the director after Annabelle: Creation.[141] The film's primary villain will be Doctor Sivana, with actor Mark Strong cast in the role.[142][143] Later that month, Asher Angel was cast as Billy Batson.[144] In December, Jack Dylan Grazer was cast as Frederick "Freddy" Freeman, Batson's foster brother and best friend. Later that month, Jovan Armand, Ian Chen, and Faithe Herman were cast as Batson's foster siblings Pedro Peña, Eugene Choi, and Darla Dudley respectively,[145][146][147] while Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans will portray Billy's foster parents.[148][149] By January 2018, Ron Cephas Jones was in negotiations to portray the wizard, Shazam, who gives Billy his powers,[150] but was replaced by Djimon Hounsou due to scheduling conflicts.[151]

The film began principal photography in Toronto on January 29, 2018, and wrapped on May 11, 2018,[152][153][154] with most of the filming taking place at Pinewood Toronto Studios, among other locations around the city.[155]Shazam! will be released in North America on April 5, 2019.[156]

Birds of Prey (2020)

By November 2016, Birds of Prey, based on the female superhero team of the same name, was in development with Christina Hodson signed on as screenwriter.[157] By April 2018, Warner Bros. selected Cathy Yan as director, with Margot Robbie, Sue Kroll, and Bryan Unkless serving as producers for the project. Robbie will reprise her role from Suicide Squad. The film is expected to be the first theatrical R-rated installment in the franchise and will have a smaller budget than most of the other films.[158] The team roster will include Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, and Ella Jay Basco as Harley Quinn, Helena Bertinelli / Huntress, Dinah Laurel Lance / Black Canary, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain respectively.[159][160][161]Roman Sionis / Black Mask will serve as the film's primary antagonist with Ewan McGregor portraying the character.[162][163] The film began pre-production in late July 2018,[164] with principle photography scheduled to commence on January 15, 2019 in Los Angeles under the working title Fox Force Five.[165][166][167] Warner Bros. had a slated film scheduled to be released on February 14, 2020. Birds of Prey will move the date forward one week, releasing on February 7, 2020.[168]

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

By June 2017, Geoff Johns and Patty Jenkins had begun work on the story treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel.[169] By July, Johns announced that he is working on the script for the film.[170] That same month, the sequel was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con.[171] Gadot will reprise her role as Wonder Woman.[171] By September, Jenkins signed a deal to return as director,[172] and brought on David Callaham to pen the script with her and Johns. The film takes place in the 1980s during the Cold War.[173][174][175] Jenkins said the film, like its predecessor, will be a love story, but with a new love interest.[176] Pre-production had begun by early December 2017, with filming scheduled to start in June 2018, under the working title Magic Hour.[177][178] By March 2018, Kristen Wiig was cast to portray the film's primary antagonist, Barbara Ann Minerva / Cheetah.[179][180] That same month, Pedro Pascal was also cast in a key role.[181]

Production began on June 13, 2018 around the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia.[182] Other filming locations include the Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the United Kingdom and the islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura in Spain.[183][184][185][186]Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled to be released in North America on June 5, 2020.[187]

The Flash (TBA)

By July 2013, Greg Berlanti was developing a film that centered around Barry Allen / The Flash.[188] In October 2014, The Flash was announced with a scheduled 2018 release date.[27][73] The initial script was drafted by Berlanti, Chris Brancato, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim.[189] In April 2015, a story treatment was written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller based on the previous draft, with the intent being that the duo would also direct the film.[190] Over the next two years, Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa, had individually dropped out of the project due to creative differences with the studio.[191][192] In January 2017, Joby Harold was hired to do a page-one rewrite of the script, which previously had drafts written by Grahame-Smith and Famuyiwa.[193] In July 2017, the title for the film was changed to Flashpoint,[171] based on the comic book story arc of the same name.[194]

In March 2018, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were hired to direct.[195][196] Zack Snyder, Alex Gartner, Geoff Johns, Dan Mazer, Richard Suckle, Deborah Snyder, Phil Lord, Chris Miller, Jon Berg, and Denise Di Novi will serve as producers on the project. Dan Mazeau was brought on as co-writer,[197] followed by Grahame-Smith and Brancato as additional screenwriters.[198] Daley and Goldstein had initially announced the release of The Flash to be sometime during 2020,[199] though production was delayed from April 2019 to later in the same year to allow for additional work on the script. Principle photography will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, and follow with Leavensden Hertfordshire, England.[200] The tone of the film will be similar to Back to the Future.[201][202][203][204]

The Batman (TBA)

Matt Reeves: the screenwriter, co-story writer, director and co-producer of The Batman

In October 2014, a Batman standalone film was announced by Warner Bros.[27] By 2016, Ben Affleck was set to star in, produce, direct, and write the project. Geoff Johns was hired as co-writer.[205][206][207] The film was on track to begin shooting in 2017,[208] until Affleck stepped down as director in January 2017, in order to more efficiently focus on starring as the eponymous role.[209] In February 2017, Warner Bros. announced the title as The Batman and revealed that Matt Reeves would direct and co-produce the film.[210] By July of that year, Reeves confirmed that the script was being rewritten.[211] The story has reportedly been reworked to focus on Batman earlier on in his career as a vigilante.[212] The film will be character-driven and stylistically noir, and will explore Batman's experiences as the world's greatest detective. Reeves stated that the film will feature this aspect of the character to a greater extent than previous Batman films.[213] In August 2018, Reeves announced that the script is near its final draft, and that principal photography is planned to begin early 2019.[214] Affleck remains attached to the project and will serve as producer alongside Johns.[215][216] In September 2018, Reeves completed his draft of the script and submitted it to Warner Bros. for approval.[217]

Other films in development

Warner Bros. and DC Films have a variety of DCEU films in varying stages of development.

  • In September 2009, Warner Bros. announced that a film centered around Lobo was in development. The film underwent direction by Guy Ritchie, followed by Brad Peyton at different stages in the project's progression.[218][219] Originally intended to star Dwayne Johnson as the main character,[220][221] after various iterations, Jason Fuchs was hired as screenwriter.[222] By February 2018, it was announced that Warner Bros. is courting Michael Bay to direct the film. Fuchs is rewriting the script, as Bay advised some changes so that the budget can be considerably lowered.[223]
  • In January 2013, Guillermo del Toro confirmed that he was working on a film based on the Justice League Dark team.[224] Del Toro submitted a script in November 2014,[225] but was no longer attached to the project by June 2015.[226] In August 2016, Doug Liman was hired to direct the film, with Scott Rudin producing and Michael Gilio writing the script.[227] In May 2017, Liman dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.[228] In July 2017, the film was titled Justice League Dark.[171] In August 2017, Gerard Johnstone was hired to also work on the script.[229]
  • In April 2014, Ray Fisher was cast as Victor Stone / Cyborg.[74] The following October, Warner Bros. announced Cyborg.[27] Joe Morton will reprise his role as Dr. Silas Stone.[230] In November 2017, Fisher stated the film will focus specifically on Cyborg,[231][232] and that the cast and production team will be diverse.[233] In August 2018, Morton stated that he believed cut Justice League scenes involving Cyborg were going to be reworked into Cyborg. Morton stated that he believed the project will begin production in 2020, while other sources continue to report that Cyborg is scheduled to be released on April 3 of that same year. In October 2018, Fisher stated that he wants Zack Snyder to direct the solo movie.[234][27]
  • In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced a Green Lantern film.[27] The title was revealed as Green Lantern Corps in July 2015 at San Diego Comic-Con.[235] In January 2017, David S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes were hired to co-write the screenplay, based on a story draft by Goyer and Geoff Johns, with Goyer also serving as producer. The film was described by the studio as "Lethal Weapon in space" and will feature Hal Jordan and John Stewart as the main protagonists.[236][237] In January 2018, Goyer reaffirmed that the film was still in development despite Warner Bros.'s leadership shakeup.[238] By June 2018, Geoff Johns was hired to rewrite the film's script in addition to his producing. The story is influenced by his New 52 comics on the Green Lantern Corps.[239] In October of the same year, Christopher McQuarrie confirmed that he has had discussions with the studio regarding directing the film.[240]Green Lantern Corps is scheduled to be released in North America on July 24, 2020.[27]
  • In October 2014, Justice League Part Two was announced, with Snyder returning as director.[27] In June 2016, it was revealed that Justice League would be a standalone story, leaving the sequel untitled.[241] Originally scheduled to be released on June 14, 2019,[86] the film was reportedly pushed back to an unspecified date to make room for The Batman.[242] By October 2017, J. K. Simmons stated that work on the script was in-progress.[243] In December of the same year, Variety reported that there were "no immediate plans" for Snyder to direct the sequel.[244]
  • Starting in October 2014, a sequel to Man of Steel was in development.[27] In November 2016, Amy Adams stated that work had begun on the screenplay.[245] By September 2017, Matthew Vaughn confirmed he had met with the studio to direct the film.[246] In June 2018, Cavill revealed that he is preparing to reprise the role.[247]
  • By September 2015, a team-up film with Michael Jon Carter / Booster Gold and Theodore "Ted" Kord / Blue Beetle was being developed by Greg Berlanti. Zak Penn worked on a script during the project's early stages.[248] By May 2016, after varying iterations of the project, Zack Stentz was hired to write a new script for the film which will focus primarily on Booster Gold.[249]
  • In March 2016, Suicide Squad 2 was announced to be in development.[250] The following year, Adam Cozad was hired to write the script, with additional contributions provided by Zak Penn.[251][252] By September 2017, Gavin O'Connor was hired as director, as well as co-screenwriter with Anthony Tambakis, David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick.[253][254][255] The final draft of the script was completed in October 2018, though O'Connor left the project due to scheduling conflicts. Production was placed on hold as Warner Bros. believed the script was too similar to Birds of Prey.[256][257][258][259]Charles Roven, Michael De Luca, Geoff Johns, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Richard Suckle, Dan Lin and Andy Horwitz will produce the film, while James Gunn will write a new script with intentions of also serving as director.[260][261][262][263]
  • Gotham City Sirens, based on the team of the same name,[264] was announced to be in development starting in December 2016. David Ayer signed on as director/co-producer from a script by Geneva Robertson-Dworet.[264] The team will consist of Harley Quinn, Selina Kyle / Catwoman, and Pamela Isley / Poison Ivy.[265] Margot Robbie will reprise her role from Suicide Squad and take the role of an executive producer, while Geoff Johns and Jon Berg will serve as producers on the project.[266] Production was originally scheduled to begin in mid-2017, but following the restructuring of DC Films leadership the film's development was placed on hold in favor of Birds of Prey.[267][268] In August 2017, Leto was confirmed to reprise his role as the Joker.[269] Despite a busy production schedule on other films,[270] Ayer has continued to be involved with the development of the project, meeting with the team's creator Paul Dini in August 2018.[271][272]
  • By December 2016, The Hollywood Reporter noted that a film centered around Floyd Lawton / Deadshot was in development.[264] By September 2018, Will Smith confirmed that he would reprise his role from Suicide Squad, and reported that the studio is still developing the story.[]
  • In February 2017, a film centered on Dick Grayson / Nightwing was in development, with Chris McKay and Bill Dubuque signed on as director and screenwriter, respectively.[273] The film will focus on Grayson's origins, as well as his later vigilante career. In February 2018, McKay stated the script was nearing its final draft.[274]
  • After years of previously being attached to other DC projects, Dwayne Johnson was cast in September 2014 to portray Teth-Adam / Black Adam in the DC Films shared universe.[275][276] Initially set to be introduced in Shazam!, by January 2017 the production studios involved divided the narrative of William "Billy" Batson / Shazam and Black Adam in order to focus on the latter's superhero origin, and downfall into villainy.[136] Johnson, who will also serve as a producer on the film, has stated the two characters will cross paths in another movie.[277] By October 2017, Adam Sztykiel was hired as the screenwriter.[278] The plot will follow the character as he fights for freedom from slavery, to protect his people as an anti-hero in ancient Kahndaq.[279] Co-producer Hiram Garcia stated the film will be gritty and violent, similar to Black Adam's solo adventures in the comics.[280] In April 2017, Dwayne Johnson announced that the script involves appearances from other DC Comics superheroes.[281][282] Production will begin with principal photography slated for late-2019.[283][284][285]
  • By March 2017, Joss Whedon was hired to write, direct and produce a film centered around Barbara Gordon / Batgirl.[286] Whedon was to begin production on the film in 2018,[287] but stepped down in February 2018.[288] In April 2018, after impressing the studio with her work on Birds of Prey, Hodson was hired as screenwriter for Batgirl.[289] Warner Bros. is actively looking for a female director to replace Whedon.[290]
  • In July 2017, an untitled film centered around Harley Quinn and the Joker was announced to be in development, with a working title of Harley Quinn vs The Joker, which was scheduled to begin production after Suicide Squad 2.[291][292] Filmmaking duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa will co-write/direct/produce the project.[293] In September 2018, Ficarra and Requa announced the script was completed and submitted to Warner Bros. stating that production will start after Birds of Prey is completed. The story will explore the toxic relationship of the characters, combining the tones of the Ficarra and Requa's previous collaborative work on Bad Santa and This Is Us.[294]
  • In October 2017, a film centered around Slade Wilson / Deathstroke was announced, following a story pitch to the studio by Gareth Evans. The studio has had discussions with the filmmaker to write/direct the film, though by the following year he has reportedly not yet been contractually attached to the project.[295][296]
  • In March 2018 a film about superhero team the New Gods, composed of an alien race introduced in Justice League, was in development with Ava DuVernay signed on as director. Kario Salem wrote a story treatment with DuVernay, while Warner Bros. searches for a screenwriter.[297][298]
  • By June 2018, Variety reported that a film centered around the Joker is in development. Leto will serve as an executive producer in addition to reprising his role as the Joker. Warner Bros. intends for the film to "pave the way" for all other Suicide Squad-related projects. Leto will also be involved with hiring the film's production crew.[299]
  • In August 2018, a film centered around Kara Zor-El / Supergirl, was announced to be in development with Oren Uziel penning the script.[300][301] Warner Bros. is seeking a female director, with Reed Morano--who has expressed interest in the project--being its top choice.[302][303][304][305]

Recurring principal cast and characters

Character Released films Upcoming films
Man of Steel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Suicide Squad Wonder Woman Justice League Aquaman Shazam! Birds of Prey Cyborg Wonder Woman
Green Lantern Corps The Flash
2013 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Barry Allen
The Flash
  Ezra MillerC   Ezra Miller   Ezra Miller
Antiope   Robin Wright Robin WrightC   Robin Wright[306]  
Arthur Curry
  Jason MomoaC Jason MomoaA   Jason Momoa Jason Momoa  
Otis DhanjiY
Kaan GuldurY
Atlan   Julian Lewis JonesC Graham McTavish  
Hippolyta   Connie Nielsen   Connie Nielsen[306]  
Kal-El / Clark Kent
Henry Cavill Henry Cavill   Henry Cavill  
Dylan SprayberryY
Cooper TimberlineY
Uncredited infantY
Jonathan Kent Kevin Costner Kevin CostnerC   Kevin CostnerP  
Martha Kent Diane Lane   Diane Lane  
Lois Lane Amy Adams   Amy Adams  
Lex Luthor   Jesse Eisenberg   Jesse EisenbergC  
Mera   Amber Heard  
Alfred Pennyworth   Jeremy Irons   Jeremy Irons  
Diana Prince
Wonder Woman
  Gal Gadot   Gal Gadot Gal Gadot   Gal Gadot  
Emily CareyY
Lilly AspelY
Harleen Quinzel
Harley Quinn
  Margot Robbie   Margot Robbie  
Steppenwolf   CGIES   Ciarán Hinds  
Silas Stone   Joe MortonC   Joe Morton   Joe Morton  
Victor Stone
  Ray FisherC   Ray Fisher   Ray Fisher   Ray Fisher
Steve Trevor   Chris PineP[307]   Chris Pine   Chris Pine  
Bruce Wayne
  Ben Affleck Ben AffleckUC   Ben Affleck  
Brandon SpinkY
Perry White Laurence Fishburne  
Zeus   CGIES Sergi Constance  
Zod Michael Shannon Michael ShannonCS  


Box office performance

Film U.S. release date Box office gross All-time Ranking Budget
U.S. and Canada Other territories Worldwide U.S. and Canada Worldwide
Man of Steel June 14, 2013 $291,045,518 $377,000,000 $668,045,518 82 110 $225 million [308]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice March 25, 2016 $330,360,194 $543,274,725 $873,634,919 53 54 $250 million [309]
Suicide Squad August 5, 2016 $325,100,054 $421,746,840 $746,846,894 56 88 $175 million [310]
Wonder Woman June 2, 2017 $412,563,408 $409,283,604 $821,847,012 21 66 $149 million [311]
Justice League November 17, 2017 $229,024,295 $429,900,000 $658,924,295 140 114 $300 million [312]
Total $ $ $ 11[313] 12 $1,099 billion [314]

Critical response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic CinemaScore
Man of Steel 56% (315 reviews)[315] 55 (47 critics)[316] A-[317]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 27% (390 reviews)[318] 44 (51 critics)[319] B[317]
Suicide Squad 27% (346 reviews)[320] 40 (53 critics)[321] B+[317]
Wonder Woman 93% (406 reviews)[322] 76 (50 critics)[323] A[317]
Justice League 40% (342 reviews)[324] 45 (52 critics)[325] B+[317]
Average 48% 52 B+


Film soundtracks

Title U.S. release date Length Label
Man of Steel June 11, 2013 (2013-06-11)
  • 87:49
  • 118:18 (Deluxe Edition)[326]
WaterTower Music
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice March 18, 2016 (2016-03-18)
  • 71:35
  • 90:27 (Deluxe Edition)
Suicide Squad: The Album August 5, 2016 (2016-08-05) 50:57 Atlantic
Suicide Squad (Original Motion Picture Score)
  • 72:33
  • 93:38 (Digital Edition)
WaterTower Music
Wonder Woman June 2, 2017 (2017-06-02) 78:38
Justice League November 10, 2017 (2017-11-10) 101:22


Title U.S. release date Length Artist(s) Label Film
"Heathens" June 16, 2016 (2016-06-16) 3:15 Twenty One Pilots Atlantic
Warner Bros. Records
Suicide Squad
"Sucker for Pain" June 24, 2016 (2016-06-24) 4:03 Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Imagine Dragons, Logic and Ty Dolla $ign featuring X Ambassadors
"Purple Lamborghini" July 22, 2016 (2016-07-22) 3:35 Skrillex and Rick Ro$$
"Gangsta" August 1, 2016 (2016-08-01) 2:57 Kehlani
"To Be Human" May 25, 2017 (2017-05-25) 4:01 Sia featuring Labrinth WaterTower Music Wonder Woman
"Come Together" September 8, 2017 (2017-09-08) 3:13 Gary Clark Jr. and Junkie XL Justice League
"Everybody Knows" November 10, 2017 (2017-11-10) 4:26 Sigrid

Additional crew and production details

Film Crew/Detail
Composer(s) Cinematographer Editor(s) Production
Running time
Man of Steel Hans Zimmer Amir Mokri David Brenner DC Entertainment
Legendary Pictures
2h 23min
Batman v Superman:
Dawn of Justice
Hans Zimmer & Junkie XL Larry Fong DC Entertainment
Cruel and Unusual Films
RatPac Entertainment
Atlas Entertainment
2h 31min
Ultimate Edition:
3h 2min
Suicide Squad Steven Price Roman Vasyanov John Gilroy
Trailer Park Film, Inc.[327][328]
DC Entertainment
RatPac Entertainment
Atlas Entertainment
2h 3min
Extended Cut:
2h 14min
Wonder Woman Rupert Gregson-Williams Matthew Jensen Martin Walsh DC Entertainment
RatPac Entertainment
Cruel and Unusual Films
Tencent Pictures
Wanda Pictures
Atlas Entertainment
2h 21min
Justice League Danny Elfman Fabian Wagner David Brenner
Richard Pearson
Martin Walsh
DC Entertainment
RatPac Entertainment
Cruel and Unusual Films
Atlas Entertainment
2hr 1min
Aquaman Rupert Gregson-Williams Don Burgess Kirk M. Morri DC Entertainment
Warner Bros. Pictures
Cruel and Unusual Films
Mad Ghost Productions
The Safran Company
2h 23min
Shazam! Benjamin Wallfisch Maxime Alexandre Michel Aller DC Entertainment
New Line Cinema
The Safran Company
Mad Ghost Productions
Birds of Prey TBA Matthew Libatique TBA DC Entertainment
LuckyChap Entertainment
Kroll & Co. Entertainment
Clubhouse Pictures
Wonder Woman 1984 Hans Zimmer[329] Matthew Jensen Richard Pearson DC Entertainment
Cruel and Unusual Films
Mad Ghost Productions
Atlas Entertainment

Other media


Title Publication date(s) Writer(s) Note Ref
Man of Steel: The Early Years: Junior Novel April 30, 2013 Frank Whitman Tie-in children's book to Man of Steel [330]
Man of Steel: The Official Movie Novelization June 18, 2013 Greg Cox Novelization of the film [331]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - Cross Fire February 16, 2016 Michael Kogge Tie-in prequel novel to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. [332]
Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization August 5, 2016 Marv Wolfman Novelization of the film [333]
Wonder Woman: The Junior Novel May 30, 2017 Steve Korte [334]
Wonder Woman: The Official Movie Novelization June 6, 2017 Nancy Holder [335]
Aquaman: Arthur's Guide to Atlantis November 6, 2018 Alexandra West Guide book [336]
Aquaman: Undertow November 6, 2018 Steve Behling Tie-in prequel novel to Aquaman [336]


Title Issue(s) Publication date(s) Writer(s) Artist(s) Notes Ref.
Man of Steel Prequel 1 May 18, 2013 Sterling Gates Jerry Ordway Promotional digital comic from Walmart [337]
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
5 January 28, 2016 Christos Gage Joe Bennet Promotional digital prequel comics from Dr Pepper [338]
General Mills Presents
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
4 February 28, 2016 Jeff Parker, Christos Gage, Marguerite Bennett, and Joshua Williamson R. B. Silva, Federico Dallochio, Marcus To, and Eduardo Pansica Promotional prequel mini-comics that appeared in select General Mills cereal [339]
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Upstairs/Downstairs
1 February 29, 2016 Christos Gage Joe Bennet Promotional prequel digital comic from Doritos and Walmart [340]
Suicide Squad: Suicide Blonde 1 June 2, 2016 Tony Bedard Tom Derenick, Juan Albarran, Hi-Fi, Lori Jackson Promotional prequel comic from Splat Hair Dye [341]
Mercedes-Benz Presents
Justice League
6 October 20, 2017 - November 15, 2017 Adam Schlagman Jason Badower Promotional digital comic from Mercedes-Benz [342]

Video games

Title Release date(s) Publisher(s) Notes Ref.
Man of Steel June 14, 2013 Warner Bros. International Enterprises Tie-in video games to Man of Steel. [343]
Kellogg's Man of Steel April 19, 2013 Catapult Marketing [344]
Batman vs Superman - Who Will Win? March 16, 2016 Warner Bros. International Enterprises Endless runner;
tie-in video game to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Suicide Squad: Special Ops July 19, 2016 First-person shooter;
tie-in video game to Suicide Squad.
Wonder Woman: Rise of the Warrior May 23, 2017 Endless runner;
tie-in video game to Wonder Woman.


  1. ^ Upon announcement of the film series, the universe was commonly called the "DC Cinematic Universe" by fans and the media, in keeping with the naming convention of the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).[1][2][3] Keith Staskiewicz, writing for Entertainment Weekly, coined the term "DC Extended Universe(TM)" as a joke on an article of his about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on July 1, 2015.[4][5] This and the abbreviation DCEU quickly spread among the press and fans thinking of it as the official name of the franchise over the following years.[6][7] According to Vulture writer Abraham Riesman, DC confirmed to him in September 2017 that the term is not used internally and they do not consider it official.[5] In 2016, as part of DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League, both Geoff Johns and Kevin Smith referred to the franchise's name as being the "Justice League Universe".[8] During the DC Films panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, a video banner displayed the words "Welcome to the Worlds of DC", after showcasing some upcoming films. As a result, some media outlets interpreted this as DC officially naming their shared film universe as the "Worlds of DC".[9][10] Despite this, there has been no official announcement from Warner Bros. nor DC Films to confirm this.

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Music Scenes