What’s Next for the DC Extended Universe After Suicide Squad

6 minute read

Suicide Squad may have received lackluster reviews from critics, but the future of the DC Extended Universe is not in question. The saga of Batman and his friends will continue to churn forward.

Warner Bros. has at least nine movies in the works: Wonder Woman (June 2017), Justice League (November 2017), The Flash (March 2018), Aquaman (July 2018), Shazam (April 2019), Cyborg (April 2020), The Green Lantern Corps (June 2020), a solo Batman movie (TBD) and the Harley Quinn spinoff (TBD). That’s a lot of movies in the same universe. Overwhelmed? Here are the answers to all your questions.

Is there going to be a Suicide Squad sequel?

Unclear. The fate of the Suicide Squad franchise will likely depend on box office numbers more than its Rotten Tomatoes score. It will also depend on the willingness of the key actors, namely Will Smith and Margot Robbie, to return to the story. At the very least, Margot Robbie is might play Harley Quinn in a spinoff movie.

There’s a Harley Quinn spinoff?

Sort of. Warner Bros. is reportedly working on a movie starring female superheroes and villains from the Batman universe like Birds of Prey and Batgirl. Robbie reportedly spearheaded the project after filming her part as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. Likely, Warner Bros. is also hoping to capitalize on the recent push by audiences for more kick-ass women onscreen. But the movie does not have a set date yet.

Speaking of kick-ass women, how will the reviews of Suicide Squad affect Wonder Woman?

Who knows! There’s already a good deal of pressure on this movie: It’s the first female-led superhero movie from a major studio in over a decade.

So far things look promising. The film will chronicle the origin story of Diana Prince and follow her as she fights in World War I. Critics’ negative reviews of Batman v Superman (in which Wonder Woman made her big-screen debut) did not stop fans from joyfully cheering on the Wonder Woman trailer when it premiered at San Diego Comic-Con this summer. Perhaps they were buoyed by the resume of director Patty Jenkins (Monster) or the words of star Gal Gadot at the panel: “I wanted to portray this character in a way that everyone could relate too. Not only girls, not only boys, but men and women too.”

Jenkins did tweet on Wednesday that she thought Suicide Squad was a good movie and didn’t understand the bad reviews. Depending on what you think of Suicide Squad, that could be good news or bad news for Wonder Woman.

What do we know about the Justice League movie?

The Justice League trailer also premiered at Comic-Con. In the movie, Batman will round up all the members of the future crimefighting league, including Wonder Woman (Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and (spoiler alert!) a resurrected Superman (Henry Cavill).

The movie will be directed by Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be as dark. Warner Bros. seems to have responded to critiques of a too-dour Gotham in Batman v Superman by trying to make Suicide Squad funnier. They may be doing the same for Justice League, whose trailer involved a few gag lines, especially from Miller.

I thought there were going to be two Justice League movies. What’s the deal?

Back in October 2014 Warner Bros. announced that there would be two Justice League movies directed by Zack Snyder: Justice League, Part One in 2017 and Justice League, Part Two in 2019. However, at Comic-Con Justice League was presented as a standalone film.

During a set visit to Justice League, reporters asked whether the film would be a second movie. “We were only ever planning and we are only doing Justice League,” producer Deborah Snyder told reporters, via Vulture. “Just Justice League. One movie.” She said that the movie would not be split into two parts.

But that doesn’t rule out a sequel, made by either Zack Snyder or another director.

So is Ben Affleck directing the his own Batman movie?

Yes, Ben Affleck will both direct and star in a Batman solo movie. Despite his depressed reaction to the Batman v Superman reviews, Affleck has said in interviews that he did not want to pass up the opportunity to direct his own Batman movie.

Remember, Affleck has helmed critical hits Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and the last film he directed, Argo, won an Oscar. Though Warner Bros. hasn’t confirmed a release date, when they presented at Comic-Con, they slotted the bat’s symbol between The Flash and Cyborg.

Why should I care about The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg?

Well, they’re all part of the Justice League and are all getting their own independent films. Actually, the diverse array of directors attached to these films suggests that the DC Extended Universe (like the Marvel Cinematic Universe before it) could be experimenting with different types of films with each of its spinoffs.

The Flash will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa who proved he can balance drama, comedy and even a little violence in last year’s critically acclaimed Dope.

Jason Momoa of Khal Drogo fame is playing Aquaman, and director James Wan, who helmed The Conjuring and Furious 7, hinted at Comic-Con that he’ll bring his eerie touch to this movie too. Wan has made it clear in interviews that he’s in on the (Entourage-fueled) Aquaman joke—the dude’s superpower is talking to fish, after all.

And Ray Fisher will star in his own Cyborg spinoff movie as an athlete who after a terrible accident becomes part-machine. Starring as a hero with access to all the world’s online information, the film has the opportunity to tap into the serious issues surrounding technology and privacy.

Who is Shazam and what does he have to do with the rest of the universe?

When young Billy Batson says the magic word “Shazam,” he transforms into an adult superhero with the powers of six mythological gods. Though nobody has been cast as Shazam yet, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has signed on to play Black Adam, who is less a villain than he is an anti-hero trying to clear his name.

It’s unclear whether Shazam or Black Adam will be incorporated into the larger DCU or whether other heroes from Justice League or Suicide Squad will appear in the film.

Is Ryan Reynolds involved in the Green Lantern reboot?

Doubtful. The Green Lantern movie starring Reynolds flopped in 2011, and since then the actor has turned against the franchise, even poking fun of it in Deadpool. Likely, he’s swapped out a green uniform for a red one for good. Plus, the plot of the new movie reads like a total reboot, this time with multiple heroes with access to the ring that imbues them with the power to protect the universe. Warner Bros. has not yet announced a director or cast members.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com