Proving that movie studios are going to keep churning out as many comic properties as they can buy Warner Bros studio announced recently that it has no less than 10 films on the schedule based on DC comic superheroes. Some of those films will be crossovers and will feature several heroes from within the DC universe. Others will be based solely on one superhero figure although some of the other DC characters will probably end up making cameo appearances. The films are staggered, with some of them not appearing for another six years, but Warner Bros wanted to let fans know that their favorite comic superheroes will be making their way to the big screen eventually. Well some of them will. Notoriously absent from the superheroes who got their own films are fan favorites like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. A Sandman movie is in production, but is going to be released on the Vertigo imprint so it wasn’t included in the Warner Bros DC announcement.
First up on the roster is a crossover film due in 2016: Batman Vs Superman. There will be a lot of appearances in this film by superheroes that will show up later in their own feature films and in future crossovers like Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Batman Vs Superman is the film that will essentially kick off a decade of DC comic based films by Warner Bros. The producers and studio executives are banking on audiences still flocking to the theaters to see comic based movies for at least the next decade. But judging by how well superhero action movies tend to do at the box office it’s a good bet that the genre will hold up over time.
After that comes a relatively lesser known group of superheroes the Suicide Squad. The Suicide Squad members perform highly classified black ops for the government. This movie is also slated for release in 2016, and it’s expected to compete with Sinister Six for audience support.
Next up will be Wonder Woman, played onscreen by Gal Gadot. Many fans of Wonder Woman are very anxious to finally see a full-length Wonder Woman film and are excited to see how Gal Gadot players her and develops the character. Wonder Woman will be making many appearances in the forthcoming DC comic films that Warner Bros is making.
After Wonder Woman audiences will get to experience Justice League Part One which have an ensemble cast of all the DC superheroes. This will be released in 2017, probably as a summer blockbuster or at holiday time when a lot of action movies debut. The list continues with The Flash, then Aquaman. Aquaman will star former Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Shazam will be next, and then Justice League Part Two will hit theatres. Cyborg and a new Green Lantern film in 2020 will round out the ten announced films.
Will Audiences Stay Loyal?
The movie industry has suffered from a lack of interest among the public over the last few years and the studio is hoping that packing the upcoming film schedule with superhero based movies from DC comics will entice more viewers to see films in the theaters and buy the DVDs and Blurays. Increasingly people are staying home and watching films because of high ticket prices and the proliferation of people who are adding media rooms and screening rooms to their homes. One of the few movie genres that has consistently performed well is the superhero genre. Clearly Warner Bros wants to take advantage of that and fill the schedule with as many superhero films as possible in order to increase ticket sales.
But will audiences still embrace these movies a decade from now? Warner Bros is spending a lot of money to ensure that they will. The only really risks for Warner Bros will be the movies that are featuring characters that aren’t so well known to people who don’t really follow the comics. Suicide Squad, Cyborg, and Shazam may be riskier properties for the studio than films like the Justice League. But presumably the studio will make so much off the combined films that it won’t matter too much if one or two of the films doesn’t perform up to expectations.