DC Films’ Geoff Johns says the DC Extended Universe is planning to build Batman’s corner of the universe with offshoots for his supporting characters just like how it is in the comic books. Over the many years, the Caped Crusader remains one of the most popular characters for DC, especially on the big screen, with multiple incarnations from Michael Keaton, George Clooney, Christian Bale and the current Batman, Ben Affleck.
The superhero franchise is currently on a roll with the announcement of new properties being developed. The Shazam! film is finally getting the go-ahead while two undisclosed films have already been penciled in for 2020 release dates. These are on top of the previously announced films like Justice League, Aquaman and The Flash among others. While big movie franchises are no longer a new thing in Hollywood filmmaking, the plan for an extended Batman universe sees the company tapping into something that has never been done in the superhero genre before – a franchise within a franchise.
In a recent interview on IGN Live, Johns teased the possibility of eventually bringing together all the characters significantly tied to Batman on the big screen:
“We haven’t gone out there and said what our slate is and that’s because we’ll do it when we’re ready and we have the films that we’re excited about. But for Batman, what I will say is that Batman is more than just Batman and, you know, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen an expansion of that universe, and Batgirl – we are doing Batgirl with Joss Whedon, it’s going to be super exciting. He’s going to start that next year, and that’s just the start. We want to explore the Batman universe in a very big new way and Matt Reeves is coming on to do Batman now, and we don’t want to do the same thing that has been done before. We want to build it out just like we built it out in the comics.”
On top of Batgirl, which will be in development starting next year, a Nightwing film written by Bill Dubuque and directed by Chris McKay has also been in the works at Warner Bros. That said, there are still a slew of other characters that can be brought to life in Batman’s own extended universe like Batwoman, Catwoman, The Spoiler, Bluebird, Robin, Red Hood, Red Robin and maybe even an appearance from Ace the Bat-Hound.
Although it might seem like we’re looking too far ahead with the existing DCEU’s docket packed with other properties not necessarily connected to the Bat of Gotham, laying the groundwork as early as now can eventually prove to be worth it. They can easily tie everything they’ve been building together once the time comes that they want to fully dive into Batman’s extended universe.
We may or may not hear more of this plan from Warner Bros and DC in the foreseeable future given their jampacked timeline, but we can expect more official news about the franchise as a whole when the studio hosts their own panel this Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con. The complete cast of Justice League is expected to attend, including Affleck, who is currently in the middle of a recasting rumor, while the first look on the Aquaman standalone could also debut.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Justice League release date: Nov 17, 2017
Aquaman release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! release date: Apr 5, 2019
Cyborg release date: Apr 3, 2020
Green Lantern Corps. release date: Jul 24, 2020