The DCEU Slate Announced In 2014 Looks Like a Cruel Joke Now

The DCEU Slate Announced In 2014 Looks Like a Cruel Joke Now
Image credit: globallookpress

James Gunn revealed via Twitter that he and co-CEO of DC Films, Peter Safran, have the next decade of DC films planned and will unveil it in the coming weeks. For some fans, this is a cruel reminder of the last time DC announced the future of the franchise.

In 2014 – long before Gunn and Safran were around – DC announced the following ten-film slate.

  1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
  2. Suicide Squad (2016)
  3. Wonder Woman (2017)
  4. Justice League Part One (2017)
  5. The Flash ( 2018)
  6. Aquaman ( 2018)
  7. Shazam! (2019)
  8. Justice League Part Two (2019)
  9. Cyborg (2020)
  10. Green Lantern (2020)

Comparing this list with how it ended up playing out, the first thing to notice is how they shift off-plan after 2017.

Change of Plans

Looking back, it's evident that DC panicked after the failure of 2017's Justice League, with planned Zack Snyder's second film never seeing the light of day. The first part, remade by Joss Whedon, only made $658 million, far less than projections and was seen as a failure for a film that cost $300 million to make.

DC shifted their focus to solo films, which included Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam! in their original slates. They also added The Batman (2022) and Joker ( 2019) set in a different universe – two movies not in their original plan.

After Justice League, fans never got to see another team-up.

Scrapped Films

The character Cyborg was introduced in Justice League, with a solo film planned for 2020. Star Ray Fisher infamously clashed with the studio and Joss Whedon after Whedon replaced Snyder on the set of Justice League. Fisher hasn't been featured in the DC Universe since.

Green Lantern has always been one of DC's most popular characters, but the DCEU was never able to bring him to the screen. Gunn and Safran likely have a plan for Green Lantern going forward, finally vindicating the cosmic hero after the critically maligned 2011 version.

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On a positive note, it's interesting to see that DC didn't seem to have big plans for the Suicide Squad beyond their 2016 film. While the critical ratings weren't great, Margot Robbie 's portrayal of Harley Quinn became somewhat of a pop culture sensation. She reprised the role in 2020's Birds of Prey and 2021's semi-reboot, semi-sequel The Suicide Squad, directed by Gunn.

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Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam! were all relatively successful – enough so that the studio justified making sequels. Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods will be released this year.

DC Going Forward

Just like DC in 2014, Gunn and Safran have a decade-long plan set up for their franchise. They need to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and not panic at the first few negative reviews.

If DC is going to have a revival and compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they must stick with the plan they will soon announce.