When Iron Man burst onto cinema screens in 2008, kickstarting what would become Marvel’s cohesive plan for international cinematic comic book domination, a response from their closest competitor – DC – was inevitable. DC is the historic behemoth of companies with comic book characters that cross media boundaries, with over seventy years of the giant trio of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in their stable – among others. DC characters have been depicted in TV, film and animation since the 1940s, with blockbuster movies appearing in more recent years. The big movies were always few and far between, however, and with varying levels of success – arguably due to a lack of forward-planning from the company itself.
In that sense, DC fans have much to be grateful to Marvel’s highly controlled strategy for. Proving that audiences will seize upon any comic book movie, as long as it is well made and coherent, Marvel ploughed the road for DC to really make the most of its inventory. This is not to say that DC is simply trying to emulate the success that Marvel has thus far enjoyed, of course. On the contrary, while it is exploiting the fact that Marvel has made comic book movies big business, DC is taking a different approach. Firstly, while there are crossovers within media-types, DC is avoiding the trap of cohesion. Marvel has created a vast interlocking universe that encompasses both its film and television projects, but DC is keeping them separate. For example, TV’s The Flash may be spun-off from TV’s Arrow, but neither will have any connection to the DC feature films that are planned.
So, in terms of influence, Disney/Marvel has simply inspired Warner Bros/DC to come up with a long-term plan – and, while we have known for a while what that plan would be like in general terms, we were recently given more of the specifics – release dates and all. Though Sandman is still said to be in development with Vertigo, and Batman and Superman solo films are apparently planned with Warner Bros/DC, the list of feature films that have been confirmed as the current DC slate is an interesting mix of enormous cultural icons and lesser-known characters.
Not sure what to make of the schedule? Are some of these characters unknown to you? Worry not, dear readers, because we’ve got you covered. Here is your comprehensive guide to DC’s future movie slate.