It seems the rumored return of Henry Cavill as Superman in Black Adam has sparked sequels and expansion interest for other DCEU properties, including James Gunn’s mystery project and Matt Reeves’s The Batman spinoffs.
As the release of Black Adam inches closer this week, new details about DC Comics properties being brought to live action suddenly boomed. Fans of this superhero cinematic universe have been thirsty for news, and it seems Dwayne Johnson and other big filmmakers are only happy to deliver.
Check out everything we know so far for the DCEU films in development or already in production.
In an extended report by The Hollywood Reporter, a slew of news tidbits was shared that gave new light to DCEU films being developed.
DC is charting into truly unknown territory.
Without a leader to guide the stable of some of the biggest and best known pop culture characters in the world, DC is seeing a secret, but dramatic land grab amongst some of the biggest players in Hollywood: https://t.co/NC2cIo0Li0 pic.twitter.com/9tEKO2zuMH
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 17, 2022
For one, Dwayne Johnson shared his experience in making Henry Cavill’s return a reality. Apparently, the man called The Rock was consistently refused by DC Films head Walter Hamada. This prompted the star and producer of Black Adam to go directly to Warner Bros. Pictures head Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy to present his case in bringing back the fan-favorite Cavill as Superman.
Man of Steel 2 and more
More than that, it seems the wheels for a Man of Steel sequel are turning. The report has identified Charles Roven as the producer of the project. Roven is a veteran producer, including superhero fare such as the Christopher Nolan-directed The Dark Knight trilogy, Suicide Squad, and the Zack Snyder DCEU films.
No director or writer has been officially attached for Man of Steel 2, but Christopher McQuarrie is on the top of the list of writers. McQuarrie previously worked with Henry Cavill in Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018).
Plus, Dwayne Johnson has been vocal about doing a Black Adam sequel that pits his magic-empowered antihero against Superman. The rumored cameo at the end of the Black Adam film may be a not-so-subtle push for this plot for the next film, as well as to feed the flame of Cavill’s big screen solo return as the Last Son of Krypton.
James Gunn mystery projects
Meanwhile, the report also indicated James Gunn is working on a mystery project. While the filmmaker has already done The Suicide Squad (2021) and Peacemaker (2022) for HBO Max, it appears Gunn is in talks with Warner Bros. for one or more DC Comics properties.
While it was not specified which property it would be, the film or films will be produced by Peter Safran. Safran is a producer for Shazam! and Aquaman, as well as their upcoming sequels.
It should be noted that these projects are separate from the second season of Peacemaker and another The Suicide Squad spinoff that James Gunn will be involved in. Could the appearance of a Peacemaker mainstay in Black Adam be an indication of this mystery project?
The Batman spinoffs
Finally, the THR report noted that Matt Reeves is deep into developing expansions to The Batman. Aside from a sequel to the film starring Robert Pattinson and The Penguin series with Colin Farrell, Reeves is working on bringing more obscure Batman villains to live action.
Reeves is reportedly meeting with directors and writers for films that will feature members of Batman’s rogues gallery, including Clayface, the Scarecrow, and Professor Pyg.
Walter Hamada exit
This wave of interest for DC Extended Universe projects comes in the midst of the quiet exit of Walter Hamada from the company.
As the head of DC Films, Hamada was heavily involved in the decisions made, particularly with the film and television productions in the past several years. During this period, the DC Extended Universe have been a mixed bag of success and missed opportunities, as well as some choices that clashed with what fans were clamoring for.
Of particular note, Walter Hamada had been attached to the old regime which, according to Dwayne Johnson, repeatedly declined bringing back Henry Cavill as Superman for 6 years. It is quite telling, then, that according to the THR report, Hamada did not attend the Black Adam premiere in New York this past October 12.
What about J.J. Abrams?
But with all this buzz for DC properties, where does it leave the multiple projects under J.J. Abrams? The HBO Max re-imagining and race swap of Constantine has already been cancelled after the Constantine sequel starring Keanu Reeves had been confirmed. However, Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions will remain on-board for as co-producer.
Meanwhile, there is no update for the Superman Abrams was spearheading and greenlit by Walter Hamada. With a script by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and was rumored to be a Black Superman.
This project was purported to be the replacement to Henry Cavill’s Superman, in line with the direction the old Warner Bros. Pictures management was going for prior to the Discovery merger. But as far as the report goes, this Black Superman project is still in the works, though it will likely be in a different continuity, similar to Matt Reeves’s The Batman and Joker (2019).
Still no Kevin Feige
But with all these projects in development, the DCEU is still lacking a singular figurehead guiding them. David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, has made it clear that they are working on a 10-year plan to overhaul the DC Extended Universe. However, efforts to land a guiding hand like Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige have so far been unsuccessful.
Dwayne Johnson himself was named as a possible candidate. Still, The Rock has not closed his doors to that possibility. But in an interview with Variety, the Black Adam star and owner of Seven Bucks Entertainment seems to be content with being in an advisory capacity:
The best position that I could be for DC is one as an advisor, where I can help. I love DC. It’s in my blood. In the spirit of growing up with the DC Universe. I’m here to help in any way I can, including looking for and finding that right leader or leaders.
In addition to the big news of DCEU expansions and sequels, the THR report also touched on the Wonder Woman 3 and The Flash sequel scripts. While the former is expected to be done soon for the third Patty Jenkins-directed film, the latter is reportedly already done courtesy of David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (who also wrote the first Aquaman film).
That is a lot of DCEU news for projects that fans should look forward to. But an insider stated this all hinges on the success of Black Adam. Black Adam will be flying into theaters worldwide this October 21, 2022.