Having originally been announced with the intention of mimicking the formula that had brought so much success to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, dating back to that fateful day in October 2014 when a full lineup of ten movies was revealed, the DCEU has significantly shifted gears over the last several years and now appears intent to just make it up as it goes along, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.
Canonical sequels are very much still in play with Aquaman 2, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman 3 all in various stages of development, but Warner Bros. and DC Films are also broadening their horizons. Joker brought in over a billion dollars at the box office and plenty of awards season glory, The Batman exists outside of the main continuity, and J.J. Abrams is rebooting Superman.
Not only that, but president Walter Hamada confirmed that the plan is to build two separate standalone franchises for the Dark Knight, with at least a couple of features per year releasing exclusively on HBO Max for good measure.
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That makes the future of the studio’s comic book properties harder to predict than ever, never mind who’s going to end up starring in them. However, that hasn’t stopped insider Daniel Richtman from claiming that WB are going out of their way and trying very hard to secure Robert Downey Jr. for an unnamed role. The tipster offers no additional information, and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this, but there are obviously a number of potential roadblocks in the way.
For one, the actor hasn’t settled on his next major onscreen part following the Dolittle debacle, while there’s also the Tony Stark-shaped elephant in the room. Robert Downey Jr. is so intrinsically linked to the MCU that it’s hard to picture him in another comic book franchise, not to mention the fact that he’s currently on an indefinite hiatus from the superhero business, so he might not be too keen to suit up for the competition, and he definitely doesn’t come cheap.