A sudden slew of changes to DC Entertainment movie schedules has the fandom rumbling with speculations. Black Adam, DC League of Super-Pets, The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom have all received new release schedules for the 2022 to 2023 period.
While alterations to theatrical releases are not unusual, changes to multiple big projects like the DCEU film slate means there are major decisions made in the background. According to early reports, the updated release schedules are due to additional VFX and reshoots. The performance of The Batman may also have been a factor, as well as the ongoing merger between Discovery and Warner Media.
What are the details behind shifting the DCEU release dates? Read on for the breakdown below.
The Flash and Aquaman sequel
Two of the major DCEU movies scheduled for 2022 have been pushed all the way to 2023.
The first is The Flash. It is interesting to note that it will now be the last of the previously scheduled films to be released, moving from November 4, 2022 to the middle of 2023. What makes this particularly noteworthy is that, as a multiverse story, this is intended to be the point where the DCEU would reset its continuity.
Original plans for The Flash film were to retain some of the elements from successful DCEU projects such as Aquaman and Wonder Woman, and introduce new players like Sasha Calle’s Supergirl. As it loosely follows the events of the comic book story Flashpoint, The Flash (Ezra Miller) and his actions would lead to a revised DCEU.
Now that The Flash has been pushed back further, it will likely have reshoots to allude to what transpires in Black Adam, Peacemaker, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom.
As for the aforementioned Aquaman sequel, director James Wan explained the reasons for the delay on his Instagram:
For a movie that is nearly all visual effects, I’m thankful for the extra time needed to craft this thing right. Working with groundbreaking new technology, I’m blown away by some of the early tests coming in. I’m cautiously optimistic and excited, and can’t wait to share when the time is ready.
The director also expanded on the rationale for delaying the sequel from its December 2021 window to March 2023 by responding to a fan’s comment on Facebook:
Honestly, I couldn’t make the December release as much as I love the Christmas slot. I literally just finished shooting 2 months ago in January.
The Rock stands strong
While The Flash and Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom have been delayed to 2023, the films that Dwayne Johnson are involved in as actor and producer are still going to be showing in 2022. In one case, the release actually moved up which is great news for DCEU fans.
Although Black Adam has been pushed back from July to October, the man called The Rock is all smiles on his social media and reiterates his commitment to changing the balance of power in the DC Universe:
BIG & EXCITING NEWS out of our movie industry
Our @SevenBucksProd & @DCComics movies are shifting dates.
SUPER PETS🐕 will be released JULY 29th!
BLACK ADAM⚡️will be released on OCT 21st!
The hierarchy of power in the DC universe is about to change ☄️
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) March 9, 2022
The animated film DC League of Super-Pets has also been pushed back a couple of months from its original May release to July.
Finally, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the one DCEU project that has its release date moved forward. Originally set for June 2023, it will now be shown 6 months earlier. Scheduled for a December 2022 release, Shazam! Fury of the Gods will have tough competition during the Christmas season as it will go head-to-head with James Cameron’s Avatar 2.
All three movies are developed and produced Seven Bucks Productions, which Dwayne Johnson co-created and co-owns with Dany Garcia.
The Snyderverse movement awakens
The news doesn’t end with moving the release schedules around. These delays and changes to the release dates of major DCEU projects have revitalized the Restore The Snyderverse movement. Hardcore Zack Snyder fans have been busy reposting the hashtag #RestoreTheSnyderverse on social media.
Moreover, there are rumors and speculations that Ben Affleck’s Batman will again have his role expanded in The Flash movie, thus requiring additional reshoots. Plus, industry insiders are saying it might no longer be the last appearance of Affleck in the role of the Dark Knight, as previously reported.
Ok what’s going on? 🤔
This isn’t even all the media sites sharing the same #Batfleck𓃵 article that we could find. This is just a small portion. #MakeTheBatfleckMovie #RestoreTheSnyderVerse pic.twitter.com/lSxLjacrDJ
— The Batfleck Movie #MakeTheBatfleckMovie (@BatfleckMovie) March 7, 2022
You crazy #Snyderverse fans, how you manage to stay alive is incredible 🔥
I now hear #Batfleck does NOT die in #TheFlash after all 🤯
At least not the most recent cut.
June 2023 - and a Discovery merger - is a long long path indeed… we’ll see what happens #DC #DCEU pic.twitter.com/xaofVoVxmE
— Grace Randolph (@GraceRandolph) March 11, 2022
Now that Ben Affleck is open to continuing to down the cape and cowl, does this mean his Batman will co-exist in the same universe as Michael Keaton's returning Caped Crusader? Or will Affleck's Batman shift to another universe?
Another curious development is the official DC Comics Twitter account has updated its header to the Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The new image header has both the comic book version of the Trinity with the DCEU stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck (along with Robert Pattinson), and Gal Gadot.
Furthermore, the poster for the DC franchise of films on the HBO Max home site now features the Snyderverse Trinity prominently. This is interesting, as the prior unspoken mandate was to distance from the Snyderverse.
Look at that 👀 the changes are already happening #RestoreTheSnyderVerse #ReleaseTheAyerCut pic.twitter.com/MaBJjU1TiP
— The Ayer Cut (@CutAyer) March 12, 2022
DC comics have changed their header with SnyderVerse trinity 😳#RestoreTheSnyderVerse pic.twitter.com/Iov2ysEuGl
— 𝗚𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝘁 of SnyderVerse (@Itssan17) March 12, 2022
The calls for Discovery to continue the cancelled solo Ben Affleck Batman movie have particularly increased activity. It should be noted that Ben Affleck had announced he was hanging up the Batman cape after The Flash. However, the actor has recently softened his stand and leaves the possibility open for the future.
In relation to the revitalized motion to revive the Snyderverse under the new Discovery-Warner Bros. management, the fans are preparing for a massive social media push on March 18, 2022 to celebrate the first year of the Snyder cut of Justice League on HBO Max.
Ready the armada.
It’s imperative that we all trend #RestoreTheSnyderVerse on March 18th 2:14 PM UTC pic.twitter.com/7VKYvLVaDv
— The Batfleck Movie #MakeTheBatfleckMovie (@BatfleckMovie) March 12, 2022
For most of the delays, the rationale is COVID-19 and to improve the VFX. But could the delays and changes of DCEU film release schedules actually be connected with the Discovery and Warner Media merger? Aside from the release date changes, what other short and long-term repercussions could the merger entail? Will the Snyderverse live on after the dust has settled? We will have to wait and see, but for now, things are looking up for DC Extended Universe fans.
The new schedules for the DC Entertainment superhero films are as follows:
- DC League of Super-Pets - July 29, 2022
- Black Adam - October 21, 2022
- Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom - March 17, 2023
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods - December 16, 2022
- The Flash - June 23, 2023