Warner Bros. hasn't exactly been consistent when it comes to its DC output, but the studio hopes to change all that by expanding its slate of superhero movies for both theatrical and HBO Max.
In a new interview with the New York Times DC Films head Walter Hamada laid out an intricate plan that includes simultaneous Batman stories, and the creation of a DC multiverse.
While Warner Bros. has committed to releasing some of its biggest titles directly to HBO Max next year, Hamada insists that the studio plans on releasing its most boldface superhero efforts in theaters. As of right now, WB is planning to release four DC films per year by 2022, along with two more "riskier" projects designed specifically for HBO Max feauting properties like Batgirl and Static Shock. Hamada also talked about the importance of spinoffs, like the already announced Suicide Squad spinoff The Peacemaker starring John Cena and the Batman spinoff, as examples of superhero projects that will go directly to HBO Max. “With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?’” Hamada told the Times.
WB already has its DC slate for 2022 pretty much sorted, with the Robert Pattinson-starring The Batman set to arrive in March, followed by The Flash in November, and Aquaman 2 in December. The fourth title, however, hasn't been confirmed just yet, but the studio has announced that Shazam! will be getting a sequel, and the Dwayne Johnson-starring Black Adam will enter production early 2021.
That's not all that WB has planned for DC, as the studio will begin dipping its toes into multiple timelines going forward. After experimenting with more standalone stories like Joker, DC will have multiple universes running concurrently, with Wonder Woman existing Earth 1, while Pattinson's take on Batman will belong to Earth 2. That Batman will not belong to the DCEU, which will have its own Batman saga running concurrently.
"To make all the story lines work, DC Films will introduce movie audiences to a comics concept known as the multiverse: parallel worlds where different versions of the same character exist simultaneously," the Times writes, pointing to the studio's "two different film sagas" involving Batman. The Flash is the film that is expected to set the DCEU Batman franchise in motion, with both Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton set to don the cape and cowl for that 2022 release.
“I don’t think anyone else has ever attempted this,” Hamada said. “But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it.”
Needless to say, DC fans are in for a lot of content.