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During San Diego Comic Con, we expect news to come out at a furious pace. Typically, we have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be. We watch for new trailers, casting news, movie announcements and if we’re lucky, the occasional accidental overshare from a star. What we don’t expect to hear about is a studio reportedly considering cutting one of their biggest stars. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Ben Affleck’s future in the DC Extended Universe isn’t as sure a thing as we all assumed.
A source tells the magazine that Warner Bros. is working on a way to gracefully usher Affleck out of the role. Nothing’s been confirmed yet, so it’s still just a rumor right now. Warner Bros. Film Studio Chief told The Hollywood Reporter that Affleck is their Batman, and they aim to keep him in the cowl as long as they possibly can. Even so, they say a source close to the situation told them the studio is working on a way for Affleck to exit the role, possibly even before Matt Reeves’ The Batman begins filming. Clearly, they consider the source reliable enough to publish the story.
It wouldn’t be unheard of to swap out a superhero actor mid-series. Marvel famously swapped out Edward Norton for Mark Ruffalo after The Incredible Hulk. Even the ’80s and ’90s series of Batman movies had three different actors take on the role. The difference is that Affleck has had such a significant role in the DCEU that replacing him without an explanation would be weird. He’s appeared in two movies so far, with a third coming out later this year. Granted, his first two DCEU movies have been widely panned, which might explain why Warner Bros. would consider going a different direction. It’s also entirely possible that Affleck himself has soured on the character. Originally, he was going to write and direct The Batman, but he’s since stepped away from those roles. It wouldn’t be too far a leap for him to back out of the project entirely.
There are plenty of ways Warner Bros. could orchestrate a graceful exit for Affleck. DC Comics history is full of instances where multiple universes collide with and overwrite aspects of one another. A Crisis-like event wouldn’t be out of the question. Another possibility would be a Flashpoint-style situation, where Barry changes history in a way that somehow causes Bruce Wayne’s appearance to change. I’m just saying there are a few ways they could do it that wouldn’t feel at all out of place in the DC Universe. We’ll just have to see what, if any, announcements come out of Warner Bros. in the near future.
But let’s get back to the fun part of Comic Con. Whether or not Affleck remains in the DCEU, his presence in this year’s Justice League is guaranteed. He’s promoting the movie at the show this weekend; he’s in the trailer, that’s done. Also appearing in the movie will be a new Batmobile. Attendees at SDCC got the chance to see the Batmobile up close. Now, we can all get a good look at Batman’s new ride.
Well, it certainly looks cool, even if it’s not the classic Batmobile design. It appears to be taking inspiration from the Nolan trilogy, in that it’s just a tank painted black. That’s a lot of guns for Batman, though. Does he still have that rule against killing people? Because this thing looks like it could kill a lot of people. Who knows? Maybe whatever they’re chasing in Justice League is only slowed down by bullets. We’ll have to see exactly what causes Batman to pull the trigger when the movie hits theaters this November.
Beyond Justice League, Warner Bros. has big plans for the DCEU. Not just movies, either. Though their cinematic universe finally earned some much-needed goodwill with Wonder Woman, DC superheroes have been excelling on TV for years now. Next, they’re hoping to continue that trend on Syfy with Krypton.
As the title suggests, the show will take place on Krypton, Superman’s home planet, years before the Man of Steel was born. It will focus on Superman’s grandfather, giving us a look at what life on Krypton was like before it was destroyed. At their SDCC panel, Syfy released a trailer for the new series.
In Krypton, the House of El finds itself shamed and ostracized from society, according to the teaser’s description. Superman’s grandfather will fight to redeem his family and attempt to stop Krypton from falling into chaos. Given what we know about Superman’s origin, I think we can safely say he accomplishes one of those things, but not the other. We can’t see much in the trailer, but the visuals already look great. I love the way the Kryptonian city looks and can’t wait to see more of it.
Syfy has also been on a roll with their original series lately. With shows like The Magicians, Dark Matter, and The Expanse, the once-maligned network has turned itself back into a great home for original science fiction. Since Krypton looks much more like a pure science fiction drama than a superhero show, Syfy seems like the perfect place for it. In any case, we’ll learn much more in the months ahead, leading up to the show’s premiere in 2018.
(Via DC Comics)
Looking even further into the future, Warner Bros. is making plans for the future of the DC Universe far beyond the next couple years. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the next DCEU movie to start filming will be Shazam!. For those unfamiliar with the comic, Shazam was originally known as Captain Marvel, before Marvel Comics gave their own superhero the same name. When DC wanted to revive the character in the Silver Age, they renamed him Shazam, and gave the comic the subtitle, Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. Shazam! follows a young boy who can turn himself into an adult superhero by yelling the word, “Shazam!”
The film will be directed by David F. Sandberg, who was behind the horror sequel Annabelle: Creation. He got his start making horror films on his iPhone, which impressed studios enough that they started giving him larger and larger projects. Superheroes will be a new genre for Sandberg, and it’ll be interesting to see what the horror director can bring to it.
Warner Bros. also has plans for a Black Adam movie starring Dwayne Johnson. Though Black Adam is one of Shazam’s main adversaries in the comics, he will not appear in this first Shazam! movie. DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns told Yahoo! Movies that they are developing both movies simultaneously, intending to have the characters battle in a future sequel.
Shazam! is expected to begin filming in January or February of 2018 for a release sometime in 2019.
Warner Bros. also secured two dates in 2020 for unnamed DC movies, The Wrap reports. These films, whatever they are, are scheduled for February 14 and June 5. There’s tons of speculation as to what these movies could be, but a Wonder Woman sequel seems to be a pretty safe bet for the June 5 date. Given the success of the first one, Warner Bros. would be wise to get Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot working on a sequel as fast as they can. 2020 is about when we’d expect to see one, too. Given how quickly these announcements tend to come out, we can expect both films to become named sooner rather than later.
Finally, over on the animated side, we have our first look at the new costumes we’ll see on Young Justice’s third season. The Young Justice According to the panel at SDCC was crowded with fans eager to see their favorite animated heroes for the first time since the series’s unjust cancellation in 2013. io9, the panel revealed that the new series will be 26 episodes long, and add three new members to the team. The newcomers are Arrowette, Thirteen and Spoiler. Thirteen is described as a completely new character to the series, while Arrowette and Spoiler have made brief appearances in the first two seasons. Arrowette is the little girl who saw Green Arrow and Artemis save her father’s life. That apparently inspired her to take up the bow. Here’s what the team will look like in season three.
Of course, you might notice a few of your favorite characters missing from that lineup. Don’t worry; they’re in the show too.
It looks like Artemis, Nightwing, Aqualad, and Superboy are up to their own sneaky stuff in the upcoming third season. Young Justice: Outsiders will premiere on DC’s digital service when it launches in 2018.
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