This week in DC film news and rumors we’re covering two weeks worth of news. From stories about how Batgirl might make her way into the DCEU while Steven Spielberg may be looking to dip his toe into comic book movies and even a little hint on a certain someone’s cameo in Wonder Woman 2. Here is your latest update of the announcements and rumors that have released from April 13-26.
First up we’ve got news that Steven Spielberg is developing Blackhawk, the classic World War II-set comic book, into a film written by David Koepp (Jurassic Park) and produced by Spielberg with the potential of him stepping in as director as well. According to The Hollywood Reporter story, Spielberg’s next project will be Indiana Jones 5 followed by a remake of West Side Story, so if he does choose to direct Blackhawk, the film is going to be a long way away.
Henry Cavill doesn’t look like he’s done playing Superman if a recent interview is to be believed. Fandango spoke to the actor who revealed “I’m hoping sooner rather than later. I’ve been talking to certain people and hopefully, we’re going to be talking to other people who are responsible for making those calls. We shall see.” Following up on this is a report on Collider that Cavill is looking to extend his contract beyond the one film he still has left. Essentially the DCEU may want Superman to make appearances in multiple movies, essentially being the through line of the universe. It’s still just a rumor at this point and no word yet on if he makes an appearance in Shazam! if that will count toward his contract or be a similar situation that happened with Ben Affleck appearing in Suicide Squad in an uncredited role.
Also in Superman news, storyboard artist Jay Oliva revealed that the reason there was never a Man of Steel 2 is that Zack Snyder had intended for a five-part epic storyline that began with Man of Steel, followed by Batman v Superman, the Justice League part 1 and 2 and a fifth finale film. “Man of Steel was never meant to have a sequel because it was supposed to be chapter 1 of a 5 chapter story. Notice how [Batman v Superman] follows exactly after [Man of Steel]? It’s like book two of Harry Potter.” The plan obviously fell apart meaning that we’re now left with the DCEU shifting toward more standalone releases rather than a cohesive central story.
While Josh Brolin is pulling double duty in the Marvel Universe playing both Cable in Deadpool 2 and Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, the actor actually was in talks to star as Batman in Batman v Superman. There are no hard feelings about Brolin not taking on the role, with the actor telling ComicBookMovie.com “We indirectly talked about it, but we never got to the point because I wasn’t the guy for him [Snyder], I’m really glad it didn’t happen. I haven’t thought twice about it.” Let’s not forget that Brolin also starred as Jonah Hex in the much-maligned film adaptation. Brolin accepted responsibility for the film’s failure saying “That was my fault. I had really good intentions.” I think everything turned out OK for him in the end.
Joe Manganiello was only in Justice League for a minute, but the actor’s portrayal of Deathstroke included a ton of research on the character so the actor could make as much of an impact as possible in a short amount of time. In a recent interview with Chris Hardwick on the ID10T podcast Manganiello went into detail on everything that went into creating the character.
When I met with Ben Affleck about Batman, the meeting we were having was for Deathstroke. This is a real opportunity to figure out who this guy is on the inside. Like what he’s battling with…
…From the inside, this is a person who is struggling with all types of things. I think it’s really interesting to tell that kind of a story and tell the truth emotionally of a story like that when you’re talking about a man who lost an eye, was betrayed, lost a son. These different types of aspects.
Then you couple that with real world military training. Then I started training at like a Ninjutsu dojo and started learning sword fighting. Started learning and understanding where those techniques come from. All of a sudden this thing starts writing itself. What I love doing is in an instance like that I’m able to, at the ground level, I’m able to go back and pitch all of my work. So I’m pitching them: “This is where I think he comes from. This is where I think he’s going. This is the military background. These are some articles that I pulled for you. I also interviewed these people over here.”
The Ninjustu school, there are scrolls that are written that have these ancient techniques that are not shared with students that are locked away because somebody is going to go into a bar and rip someone’s head off using one of these techniques. What are those techniques? Where are they? Could there theoretically be somebody that would go around and learn these insanely offensive techniques and become this incredible killer? But I’m rooting it in the world. I’m rooting it in something honest so it feels real…
Somewhere along that way I know that it was announced where the studio – there was talks with Gareth Evans and talks about an origin movie. I’m not giving news. I spent six months prior to all of those phone calls writing a backstory that was turned into sixteen pages, which got turned into a treatment, which then led to my Skype call with Gareth.
It’s really admirable how involved the actor is in the character and really went all in on his portrayal. The biggest takeaway from the interview is a potential solo movie directed by Gareth Evans. Let’s hope that Manganiello has another shot at playing the character, even just so all his training doesn’t go to waste.
In Batman movie news that isn’t really news, director Matt Reeves responded to his fans on Twitter giving his picks for his favorite Batman comic books. “There are many… I love Year One, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Ego… Many others… Neal Adams is awesome… Love the original Kane and Finger… I could go on…!” Clearly, Reeves is a fan of several eras of Batman stories so it’s tough to pin down what might be his biggest influence when developing the Batman solo movie. He may be better off picking and choosing from several different stories rather than attempting a completely faithful adaptation of one particular story.
She may be playing the President on Supergirl, but the original Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, has yet to appear in the DCEU. This may be about to change as according to an interview with Megyn Kelly, Carter is in talks to appear in Wonder Woman 2. “That is up to Patty Jenkins, I’ve been talking to her about it,” Carter said. “She has given me some hints about it and I guess it’s up to Warner Bros. if they want to spend the money. You can write letters and tell them.” With that much discussion, it seems as if the role might be bigger than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. We shall see if anything comes of the talks, as it would really be a great moment seeing Carter and Gal Gadot together on the big screen.
If Lynda Carter does a cameo in Wonder Woman 2, she’ll need a period costume as it was revealed at CinemaCon that the sequel will be set during the 1980’s at the height of the Cold War.
Also at CinemaCon was a peak at Aquaman with Deadline reporting: “Footage showed the underseas kingdom of Atlantis, replete with swimming fish people — some riding sea horses — and futuristic submarines. Aquaman is challenged by his brother (Patrick Wilson) for the throne (sounds a lot like Black Panther), with Amber Heard’s Mera begging Jason Momoa’s Aquaman character, “Unless you help us, millions will die.”” It really seems like they’re going for an epic feel with the movie and it will be unlike any film we’ve seen from either DC or Marvel.
Billy Batson may not be the only hero in Shazam! as ScreenRant is reporting on a rumor that five additional heroes are coming to the film. The heroes make up the Shazam Family that features other members of Billy’s foster family that become adult heroes alongside him. According to the website, the following actors have been cast as the family:
- Adam Brody is Freddy Freeman
- Michelle Borth is Mary
- Ross Butler is Eugene
- D. J. Cotrona is Pedro
- Meagan Good is Darla
Whether these will just be cameo appearances or a possible post-credits scene is still anyone’s guess. Interesting note that two of those actors were previously attached to George Miller’s Justice League Mortal film that was about to film before being canceled back in 2008.
Big news last week was the forward momentum of the Birds of Prey movie. First off it was announced that newcomer Cathy Yan is in talks to direct the film, after, according to Deadline, her presentation for the film blew away the execs at Warner Bros. The movie will focus on Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and part of the reason for Yan’s deal is Robbie’s insistence that the film be directed by a woman. This is in addition to the script being written by Christina Hodson, who is also working on writing the Batgirl solo movie. The film is expected to go into production late this year or in early 2019. Of note is a series of tweets by Justin Kroll of Variety that claim there are more than one Birds of Prey scripts floating around, with the only constants being Batgirl and Harley Quinn with all other roles currently in flux. The movie will also bump Suicide Squad 2 on the filming schedule with the sequel filming directly after Birds of Prey raps production.
While Birds of Prey may have Harley Quinn in the starring role, the plan is for the film to introduce Batgirl into the DCEU before placing her in her own movie, similarly to how Black Panther was introduced in Captain America: Civil War before starring in his own film, according to Cinema Blend, Currently there is no director attached to the Batgirl solo film, but it looks like the loss of Joss Whedon as the writer and director has not banished the movie to development hell, as it looks like Warner Bros. and DC are really intent on focusing their efforts on bringing their female characters to the big screen, which is a big win for audiences.
Furthering the Batgirl talk, Joss Whedon recently revealed more information on why he left the project. His reasoning still boils down to just not feeling like he had the right take on the character.
It seems like it’s for the best that Whedon gave up rather than trying to make a script or story work that simply wasn’t going to happen.
What other characters do you hope join Harley Quinn and Batgirl in the Birds of Prey movie? My hopes are to see Black Canary finally done right after the handling on TV’s Arrow alongside Helena Bertinelli’s version of the Huntress. Though with Harley Quinn around we may also see Poison Ivy in the film, perhaps in the role as villain. Sound off with your thoughts in the comments below.