Warner Bros. gave comic book fans notice Wednesday to start saving up ticket money, unveiling their plot for 10 DC superhero movies scheduled through 2020.
Industry insiders already had high expectations for the first film — «Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice» — which introduces Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman to Henry Cavill’s Superman, who was first introduced in 2013’s «Man of Steel.»
Once the Zack Snyder-directed film hits theaters March 5, 2016, the studio will move faster than a speeding bullet to create a vast DC cinematic universe that can compete with arch-rival Marvel Studios.
The planned slate, which was announced by CEO Kevin Tsujihara at an investor conference, also includes:
# «Suicide Squad,» a story about a group of villains forced to work clandestine jobs for the government that’s directed by David Ayer, will be released later in 2016.
# «Wonder Woman» hits in 2017, giving Gadot’s Amazonian warrior her own standalone flick.
# «Justice League Part One,» which returns Batman, Superman and all the major DC heroes to the big screen and Snyder to the director’s chair, is set for later that year.
# «The Flash,» starring Ezra Miller, is fast-tracked for 2018. Since Grant Gustin, star of the CW series centered on the speedy hero, is not behind the mask, the announcement seems to officially settle the question of whether or not the DC television series and movies are connected — with a definitive «no.»
# «Aquaman,» starring Jason Momoa as the King of Atlantis, also lands in 2018.
# «Shazam,» for which producers have already shown the wisdom of Solomon by introducing Dwayne Johnson as the anti-hero Black Adam, is set for 2019.
# «Justice League Part Two» will arrive later in 2019.
# Ray Fisher’s «Cyborg,» rumored to be introduced in «Dawn of Justice,» will get his own standalone movie in 2010.
# «Green Lantern,» also due out in 2020, will likely feature someone other than Ryan Reynolds wearing the power ring, given the box office disappointment behind the 2011 superhero film.
Conspicuously absent from the list is a standalone adventure for Affleck’s Batman, perhaps because the studio didn’t want to risk comparison to director Christopher Nolan’s massively successful «Dark Knight» trilogy.
Forget Lex Luthor. The DC heroes’ biggest nemesis may be the oversaturation of the genre at the multiplex.
Marvel has already trumpeted «Avengers: Age of Ultron,» «Ant-Man,» «Captain America 3,» «Doctor Strange» and «Guardians of the Galaxy 2» through 2017.
Fox, meanwhile, has in the works 2016’s «X-Men: Apocalypse»; the planned standalone «Wolverine,» «Deadpool» and «Gambit» movies; and a «Fantastic Four» reboot and its sequel. Sony execs are also reportedly mulling several strategic plans for its «Spider-Man» franchise.