Welcome to another week of DC films news and rumors where we are just glad to have one week without a Ben Affleck Batman rumor. This week we’ve got news on the Joker origin film, Nightwing casting rumors, and a whole bunch of info on Birds of Prey. Here is the latest update of all of the announcements and rumors that have released from June 29-July 12.
It looks like the Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is officially a go. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Phoenix has closed a deal to star in the Todd Phillips directed movie. The movie will have a modest budget of $55 million and will skew more toward the crime drama genre of film. How the Jared Leto Joker film factors into these plans is still yet to be seen.
We’ve finally got our first official look at Zachary Levi in costume as Shazam. He’s standing outside a convenience store downing a can of soda and flanked by Freddy Freeman, a fellow orphan in the film. As for the costume itself, Shazam director David F. Sandberg stated to Entertainment Weekly “I don’t know if [the suit is] crazy big if you look at some of the others — look at Batman, I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman. It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.” Personally, I love the costume and can’t wait to see it in action.
On to some Shazam! casting news. Djimon Hounsou has been cast as the Wizard in the film, the character who is responsible for giving Billy Batson his powers.
According to DanielRPK and reported on We Got This Covered, future movies in the DCEU are going to focus on telling individual stories with little crossover between them. That might be a good thing for a little while, just to let everything breathe a bit rather than trying to shuttle everyone toward the same goal.
Mission Impossible: Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie says he has no desire to make a superhero film. Considering that the Mission Impossible films are pretty close to being superhero movies themselves this is a bit of an odd statement. The reason for his decision is how he views the fandom that surrounds these films, and how oftentimes the conversation can turn toxic. I won’t deny that there are some bad eggs in the comic book movie fandom but those seem to be the very vocal minority.
Lewis Tan, who appeared in Deadpool 2 as Shatterstar has reportedly met with producers about the solo Nightwing film. According to an interview with That Hashtag Show, Tan said:
I know Chris McKay wants a martial artist, right, so that’s out there. He’s following me on Twitter, you know…there’s a lot of good juju vibes out there for that. Nothing that I can say that is confirmed. This is a project that he’s still developing and I sat down with DC, with some of the executives at DC, and they’re big fans, I’m a big fan, obviously. My father came to America, because of Batman (Tan’s father worked on Tim Burton’s 1989 film) and, you know, I definitely want to see that come full circle and give back. I’m not trading in my Marvel roots, because they started me, but DC started my dad, so it would be nice to go over there and play around and find the right thing. So we’re looking for the right thing and there were a lot of different talks and Nightwing was one of those that were mentioned, so we’ll see.
While this is far from confirmation and should only be seen as proof that DC and Warner Bros. are casting a wide net when it comes to talent for Nightwing. Here’s hoping they find the right man for the job.
If you’re holding out for news regarding Man of Steel 2, you may have a long wait. Fandango’s Erik Davis asked Henry Cavill when we’d see him suit up as Superman again and his response was golden. “I can say this… it is highly likely we will see another Superman movie somewhere between 2019 and 2045.” I guess technically that narrows it down a bit.
As for Black Adam, we may see Dwayne Johnson stepping into the characters shoes late next year. In an interview with FilmStarts, the Rock said:
With Black Adam I don’t think we’re going to start early next year. Early next year right now it looks like I’m going to be shooting Jumanji, and then after that, if everything goes well, I’ll shoot a movie called Red Notice with Rawson Thurber again, with Gal Gadot, and another actor yet to be named. But Black Adam possibly at the end of next year. It’s coming along great, the script is coming along great we’re very happy with it.
The actor goes on to mention the possibility of other characters from the DCEU making an appearance in the film:
Without giving anything away, there MIGHT be maybe a cameo or two of some of the other DC superheroes. We’ll see. That’s been the beauty of Black Adam as we’ve been developing it is that we could make a movie that just stood on its own too as well, but that’s also the beauty of those universes coming together at DC.
All this is too early to confirm so don’t expect any solid news surrounding the movie to come until late next summer at the very earliest.
I will say that there are a lot of unexplored DC female characters who are unique and complicated and dark and funny and exciting — and not just for their superpowers. Actually, the ones that excite me most don’t have superpowers at all but they have, you know, pretty great backstories and all could kind of live in the world with Harley and create this cool dynamic. Because I don’t think girl groups… I mean all my girlfriends, we’re a huge girl gang and we’re not all the same person, everyone’s very different. I guess I was really trying to put that on screen — the way we exist in everyday life as a big girl gang. Why can’t we watch that in films more?
On the subject of characters in Birds of Prey, rumor is we may not see Barbara Gordon suit up as Batgirl in the film according to a tweet by Heroic Hollywood’s Umberto Gonzalez “Was decided recently no Batgirl. Attention to detail, I didn’t say Barbara Gordon, I said Batgirl.” Could this mean we’ll be seeing Oracle in the film and what does that mean for the solo Batgirl film currently in development? I guess we’ll learn more soon.
Sticking with the Birds of Prey, it looks like the film will have a smaller budget than other movies in the DCEU. With the movie also shooting for an R rating it could be that DC is either not confident the movie will be an instant success or maybe the smaller budget will make for a better film, one that isn’t heavily relying on special effects big budget set pieces. News of the budget came from Robbie herself so she seems to be all in with the smaller funds. As for when the movie will enter production, rumor has it the movie will begin filming after the completion of Wonder Woman 2 with a targeted January 2019 start date. If that’s the case, expect casting news to start trickling out over the next few months.
On to some bad news. Laurence Fishburne has revealed that he’s not expecting to reprise his role as Perry White in any upcoming DCEU movies. In an interview with Den of Geek, Fishburne said “I don’t think I’m still on call. I was, unfortunately, unable to go do some work on what turned out to be the Justice League movie. I don’t know that I need to go back or if they’ll have me back or not, but I was grateful to have been a part of it. I loved working with Zack (Snyder), I think he makes an incredible superhero movie. I’m just excited to be a part of this (the MCU) now.” Looks like DC’s loss is Marvel’s gain on this one.
Entertainment Weekly recently spoke with Aquaman director James Wan who revealed the biggest achievement of rival Marvel Studios is getting people to identify with Captain America and Thor. “I actually think the most incredible thing [Marvel] did is making Captain America and Thor accessible to the mainstream — especially outside of the United States,” Wan said. “The moment you can make a character called ‘Captain America’ work in Russia and China, then anything is possible.” Hopefully, Wan follows suit and launches Aquaman into the mainstream.
Finally, this week, if you got a theory about how Steve Trevor is able to appear in the Wonder Woman sequel despite his untimely demise sixty years before the start of the new movie, allow Patty Jenkins to shoot it down for you. When asked if bathing in the Amazonian water gave a magical reason for Trevor surviving the plan explosion and remaining young, Jenkins said: “I’ve got bad news for everybody.” Looks like we’ll all have to keep guessing.
That’s all for this week. Would you rather see Batgirl or Oracle in a Birds of Prey film? Let us know in the comments below.