Black Canary and Blue Beetle progressing, other DCEU projects slowed

The Black Canary and Blue Beetle films are still on track and moving forward with production. But other DC projects have slowed.

While the HBO Max exclusive Batgirl has been cancelled, Black Canary and Blue Beetle are still on track and moving forward with production, but others have slowed development.

The Black Canary and Blue Beetle films have been reported to be moving forward, but other DCEU projects have slowed. (Images: DC Films/Warner Bros. Discovery)

The surprising cancellation of the $90 million project that starred Leslie Grace and with Michael Keaton and J.K. Simmons (returning as their versions of Batman and Commissioner Gordon) sent massive ripples in Hollywood. The DC Extended Universe has not had a smooth road compared to its chief rival, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some fans have cried foul over the Batgirl cancellation, given that it was nearly finished. Supporters of Brendan Fraser, in particular, felt cheated in missing out on the actor’s nuanced portrayal of super-villain Firefly.

Moreover, fans have worried that Batgirl’s cancellation might mean more DCEU projects being crossed out. However, it appears not all are on the chopping block for now. The Black Canary and Blue Beetle projects have been reported to be moving forward, according to inside sources.

Black Canary

According to a report posted by TVLine, the Birds of Prey spinoff Black Canary is still moving forward with its production.

Spinning off from Birds of Prey (2020), Black Canary star Jurnee Smollett will collaborate with Misha Green for the script.

The report pointed out that Jurnee Smollett is collaborating with Misha Green (Lovecraft County) in developing the script. Earlier in May, Green confirmed that she was working on the plot, responding through her official Twitter account:

However, while the report was recent, no new specifics have been revealed. Furthermore, the last news of the development update was prior to the cancellation of the Batgirl HBO Max project.

Blue Beetle

Shifting to a DCEU project with more concrete details, the Blue Beetle feature film seems to be safe.

In a report by The Hollywood Reporter, it name checks the superhero film headlined by Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) to be moving towards its August 2023 release:

Insiders say Blue Beetle, starring Xolo Maridueña as DC’s first Latino superhero to topline a movie, is also on track for its August 2023 release date.

Directed by Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings), Blue Beetle will be the first major superhero film with a Latino as the lead. Principal photography had wrapped earlier in July.

The film will center on the Jaime Reyes version of the Blue Beetle, which is the story of a teenager who inadvertently becomes the keeper of the Blue Beetle scarab. The mystical artifact creates a living armor that provides various powers, including flight, super-strength, and the ability to create weapons from its carapace.

Some more DCEU projects are safe while others slowed down

In the same THR report, other earlier confirmed and in-development projects were mentioned. The second season of Peacemaker and the other projects under James Gunn appear to be safe. Likewise, the sequel to The Joker film with Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga is progressing.

Blue Beetle starring Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) is on track for 2023, wrapping up filming this past July.

On the other hand, certain other rumored and confirmed projects are apparently showing no movement. As the report states:

Warners had films based on Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps and Static Shock expected in the next few years, plus a J.J. Abrams-produced Black Superman film from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. Development has slowed, with none of those features attaching directors.

The article also mentions that all these projects were building up to a Crisis on Infinite Earths style of event under Walter Hamada. Given the cancellation and slowdown of these projects, as well as the restructuring of the DC Extended Universe overseen by Alan Horn, this Crisis event might no longer be on the table, at least for now.

During the Q2 earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav pointed out that the new management is focusing on quality over quantity. Zaslav added:

We’re not going to launch a movie to make a quota. And we’re not going to put a movie out unless we believe in it. Particularly with DC, where we think we want to pivot and we want to elevate and we want to focus.

It is entirely possible the Black Canary and Blue Beetle projects will be altered in a way that reflects this new mandate of quality under Warner Bros. Discovery.

No release date has been provided for the Black Canary film. Blue Beetle is reportedly scheduled for a theatrical release on August 18, 2023.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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