Warner Bros. might have left many upset over its decision to release its 2021 slate of movies on HBO Max, but the studio has announced that it will be returning to theatrical debuts for its bigger DC films by 2022.
This announcement came via DC Films president Walter Hamada in an interview with The New York Times where he talked about Warner Bros.’ future plans for DC films. According to Hamada, these plans will involve releasing up to four theatrical films a year from 2022, with two additional superhero films released exclusively on HBO Max per year.
The New York Times has speculated that the two direct-to-video movies might be for “riskier” characters such as Batgirl and Static Shock. DC Films will also be working with filmmakers on spinoffs of their films to launch on HBO Max. This includes Matt Reeves’ The Batman spinoff focused on the Gotham P.D., and James Gunn’s Peacemaker, starring John Cena’s character from the upcoming The Suicide Squad film.
Hadada adds: “With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?'”
As for the four main feature films that will be released in theatres, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is eyeing a March 2022 release, with The Flash and Aquaman 2 set to release in November and December respectively. It remains to be seen what the fourth film could possibly be, with Shazam! 2 currently set to premiere in June 2023 and the Dwayne Johnson-led Black Adam to begin production in early 2021.
In the interview, Hamada also mentioned how the studio was once faced with the dilemma of having multiple DC films, each with their own storylines that sometimes contradicted one another. The solution to that was to build a cinematic multiverse, with events in various movies happening on different Earths. The Flash, starring Ezra Miller, will help link Wonder Woman’s Earth 1, with The Batman’s Earth 2, whilst featuring two Batmans – played by Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton.
Unfortunately, Zack Snyder and his version of Justice League will not be part of the new DC film blueprint as Warner Bros. has described his upcoming HBO Max project as a “storytelling cul-de-sac’, or a street that leads nowhere.
Regardless, with so much to look out for already, we’re certainly excited to see what else Warner Bros. will have in store for fans.