Warner Bros. will expand on its DC Films line starting in 2022, with four films in theaters every year, two exclusive to HBO Max, and television spinoffs coming fast enough to set your watch to.
DC Films president Walter Hamada explained the studio’s new plan to the New York Times, saying “With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?’”
With the release of Wonder Woman 1984 to HBO Max and the studio’s 2021 film slate set to follow due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are still plenty of DC Films on the way in 2022 and beyond. The Matt Reeves-directed The Batman, a Flashpoint-adapting Flash film, a Black Adam movie that introduces the Justice Society, and Shazam: Fury of the Gods. There are also plenty of other unnamed projects in stages of predevelopment, like an Aquaman sequel, Wonder Woman 3, a Green Lantern Corps movie, Batgirl, Static, Nightwing, the New Gods with Ava Duvernay, and maybe even a Blackhawks movie with Steven Spielberg — though nothing’s been heard of that effort since 2018.
Some of these film projects will head straight to HBO Max, which will also be the home of television spinoffs based on theatrical films. Warner Bros. announced the first HBO Max spinoff from a DC Film in July, a The Batman tie-in series “set in the Gotham City police department.” John Cena will star in the eight-episode Peacemaker, spinning out of his role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
Warner Bros.’ plan looks a lot like Disney’s plan for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with several films every year and multiple television spinoffs coming exclusively to the company’s streaming service — but with one critical difference: Warner Bros. isn’t tying its superheroes together in one setting.
Borrowing the idea of the “multiverse,” a sprawling setting of parallel Earths, Warner Bros. films will only connect to each other when they want to. For example, the upcoming debut Flash film — based on the timeline-hopping DC Comics storyline of the same name — will feature both Ben Affleck reprising his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League role as Batman, and Michael Keaton reprising his Batman role as Batman.