All 7 DC Elseworlds movies and shows to continue alongside James Gunn’s DCU
The new DCU is dawning. Movies like Superman: Legacy, The Brave and the Bold, and Swamp Thing, will all be creating a brand new shared continuity for the new DC universe. But that doesn’t mean that the studio has pressed the pause button on its other DC-adjacent projects. To date, seven other upcoming DC-related Television shows and films will be part of the studio’s “Elseworlds” sideline.
Elseworlds projects are works inspired directly or indirectly by DC comics that are not considered canonical to the DC Cinematic Universe. For example, both 2019’s Joker and last year’s The Batman, both sizable hits, were not part of the then-canon DCEU or the new DCU but instead exist as standalone franchises.
Here is every planned Elseworlds project slated to be released in the next few years:
The two movies currently in the Warner Bros. Discovery pipeline are both sequels to prior hits.
Joker: Folie a Deux
The sequel to Todd Phillips’ hit reimagined origin story of The Joker — Batman’s arch-nemesis — is already one of 2024’s most hotly anticipated movies. In addition to returning Joaquin Phoenix to the screen in the title role, the film will also serve as an origin/introduction to this particular Elseworlds’s Harley Quinn, who will be played by pop goddess and award-winning actress Lady Gaga.
The Batman – Part II
Although Batman is arguably the most successful DC character of all time, the character’s standalone franchises have all tended to be set in an Elseworlds context. Tim Burton’s and Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Bat-movies have both been disconnected from the greater DC Universe and Matt Reeves’ latest take on the character, featuring Robert Pattinson in the title role, is no exception. The first sequel in the franchise, The Batman — Part II, is scheduled to be released on October 3, 2025.
There are currently five TV projects ongoing or in development featuring DC properties.
Teen Titans GO!
A decade ago the folks at Cartoon Network took a gamble that kids might like to see what the Teen Titans got up to when they were just hanging around Titans Tower in between missions. The resulting show has become one of the greatest hits for the network and continued for a jaw-dropping 10 years (that’s almost 30 years in terms of animated series lifespans).
Superman & Lois
Fans might still be mourning the loss of Henry Cavill’s Superman but they at least still have Superdad. Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal of a married-with-kids Clark Kent has been a hit with fans since Superman & Lois first premiered in 2021. The series takes a page from one of DC Comics’ original Elseworlds scenarios, a timeline where Clark and Lois Lane got married and had kids. In the series, they’ve relocated to Clark’s hometown of Smallville — but that doesn’t mean he’s hung up his costume. The show’s third season premieres on March 14, 2023.
One of HBO Max’s most popular animated offerings right now is the Elseworlds re-imagining of fan fave Harley Quinn and her skewed take on the traditional setting of Gotham City. The extremely TV-MA-rated series might have a raunchy sense of humor, but it also has some of DC’s best onscreen LGBT representation with the third season, due to the burgeoning (and comic book canonical) romance between Harley and Poison Ivy, voiced by Kaley Cuoco and Lake Bell, respectively. The series’ first holiday special, Harley Quinn: A Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special, drops next week on Feb. 9.
The upcoming Gotham Knights series promises to out-Elseworld all the other Elseworlds with its premise of a Gotham City where Bruce Wayne/Batman has been killed by Duela (who claims to be The Joker’s daughter). A team of young misfits including Bruce’s adopted son Turner Hayes, played by Oscar Morgan, and the Carrie Clark version of Robin, played by Navia Robinson, and a passel of teens that all happen to be the children of Batman’s enemies, join forces to find out who really killed the Bat. If that sounds intriguing or just confusing you can find out what it’s all about when the series premieres on The CW on March 14.
There’s no denying that one of the biggest TV successes of the last year was Netflix’s The Sandman. But although the series originated in the pages of DC’s Vertigo Comics line it isn’t tied to DC Studios or Warner Bros. Discovery, but is owned outright by its creator, Neil Gaiman. As such, the mini-series did not feature any appearances from DC superheroes, unlike its source materials. However, antagonist John Dee was based on DC villain Doctor Destiny, and Jed Walker’s Sandman superhero costume was based upon writer/artist Jack Kirby’s original design. The next season of The Sandman is currently in development.
Next to Gotham Knights, Batwheels is easily the biggest Elseworlds departure from canon on the list. In the kids’ cartoon, currently airing on Cartoon Network’s preschool block, Cartoonito, the Batmobile and the vehicles of Batman’s allies are brought to life by the Batcaves’ computer. Bam (the Batmobile), Red (Robin’s motorcycle), Bibi (Batgirl’s motorcycle), and Wing (the Batwing) all take to the streets (literally) of Gotham City to fight crime and the sinister Legion of Zoom — made up of Gotham’s villains’ vehicles. The show was renewed for a second season in December.
As of now, two planned series appear to have survived both the Warner Bros. Discovery axing of animated projects and the DCU reshuffle.
My Adventures With Superman
This upcoming animated series, which will focus on the adventures of twenty-somethings Lois Lane and Clark Kent during their early days at The Daily Planet, is apparently still on the production slate. The series will air on HBO Max and Cartoon Network and features Jack Quaid (The Boys) and Alice Lee (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) as Clark and Lois.
Batman: Caped Crusader
Batman: Caped Crusader was set to reunite some of the greatest talents from the beloved Batman: The Animated Series, including OG Batman voice Kevin Conroy as well as Mark Hamill as The Joker. However, Conroy’s tragic passing has put an end to those plans — and Hamill has stated he is unwilling to voice the Joker without Conroy’s participation. However, the series still appears to be on IMDb, and although it is not going forward on HBO Max, it is currently being shopped to other outlets.