The success of 'Aquaman' has confirmed what 'Wonder Woman' had already proved in 2017: that the DC Extended Universe works better when they tell the superheroes' individual stories in solo films, instead of trying to follow Marvel's example and unite the world in overly ambitious crossovers. In light of DC's realisation of this, a Forbes journalist recently published an interesting (and extensive) article in which he explores the future of Warner's world of superheroes.
If one name in the DC hall of fame stands out above all others it is Gal Gadot's due to her flawless portrayal of Diana Prince. The sequel to 'Wonder Woman', 'Wonder Woman 1984', is one of DC's most highly anticipated upcoming releases, especially among fans of the 1970s original. Patty Jenkins' project is set to come to cinemas in May 2020 and it is rumoured that Prince will be facing a super-villainess named Cheetah with superhuman strength.
Ben Affleck has finally announced his exit from the Batman world, stepping down from both the position of director in 'The Batman' (which is now set to be directed by Matt Reeves) and from the role as the superhero. With his exit the future of Reeve's film in unclear as we still do not know who will be taking on the role of Bruce Wayne. The latest rumours have pointed to Robert Pattinson, although there are also strong bets being placed on Armie Hammer. After Pattinson's exit from the 'Twilight' series, the actor has generally elected for smaller independent projects. Could he be ready to jump back into Hollywood blockbusters? Forbes, however, confirms that the rumours are nothing more than that. Thus the search continues...
Batman is not the only nocturnal-rodent-base hero in the works; 'Batgirl' has also been confirmed. It is being planned as an independent film, shutting down rumours that it could be connected to Harley Quinn's 'Birds of Prey' (which is set for release in 2020). Likewise, 'Gotham City Sirens', David Ayer's project, will neither be connected to 'Birds of Prey' nor 'Batgirl' and it is apparently seemingly likely that the project will be totally cancelled. 'Suicide Squad 2' will be going ahead, despite the disastrous review of the first film, but this new project of James Gunn's will not be including the Joker's girlfriend, Harley Quinn.
With regards to the Joker himself, the question is: what happened to Jared Leto? There was a time when people were talking about a film focusing on the romance story between the Joker and Harley Quinn, but that idea was thrown out the window when Warner unexpectedly announced their new film, 'Joker', starring Joaquin Phoenix in the role. It is almost as if Warner is trying to erase the disaster that was Leto in the role... 'Joker' is set to be released in cinemas this October.
Now moving from Gotham to Metropolis: it is unclear as to whether Henry Cavill will be returning to the role of Superman and the Forbes report rejects the possibility of the actor making the much-rumoured cameo in the upcoming 'Shazam!'. Cavill has already starred in five of DC's films in the role of their most iconic superhero, so even if he does not return, he leaves behind quite a legacy. 'Supergirl', however, is a confirmed project and is set to be coming to cinemas in 2021.
To conclude, it seems that DC and Warner have finally found their winning formula to separate themselves from their biggest rival, Marvel: they simply need to create quality individual superhero films and pay attention to the will of their audience. Since people loved 'Wonder Woman', give them more of that. And as they were carried away by the underwater world of Atlantis, then give them an 'Aquaman 2'. The report suggested that projects in the far future could include superheroes such as Nightwing, Deadshot, Cyborg, and Lobo, but for now these projects are paused and not under any development. Only time will tell what the years to come hold.