From Nightwing and Shazam! costumes to early Aquaman reactions it’s another packed week for DC film news. I even get to bring up a potential Dungeons and Dragons movie but don’t worry, it’s all tied to the future of the DCEU. And here we go! Here is your weekly update of the announcements and rumors that have released from February 16-22.
Nightwing Director Chris McKay wants his version of Nightwing to feature white lenses or white-out contacts in the eyes of the title character according to a tweet in which he agrees when a fan says “Whatever costume they keep or go with, can we all agree that white eyes or lenses needs to be a staple going forward with a live action Bat Family?” As Spider-Man has proven that even with covered eyes, an actor is still able to emote via other means. I’ll be glad to see a comic-accurate costume, white eyes and all. In other Christ McKay news, Variety is reporting that the director is also being eyed to helm a new Dungeons and Dragons movie planned for a 2021 release. It’s still a bit too early for these sorts of announcements, but hopefully, this means Nightwing is first on the director’s upcoming schedule and not the other way around.
Moving on from Nightwing news to some good news and bad news about Batgirl. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the red-headed heroine’s movie, along with Flashpoint, is set to be part of the next wave of DC Films following up this current wave which includes Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2. This all comes on the heels of the studio bringing in Chantal Nong as the VP of Production for Warner Bros. DC film group. Nong has been with WB since 2011 and is responsible for movies including 300: Rise of an Empire and The Intern.
That’s the good news, the bad news is that later in the week The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed that Joss Whedon has left the project and will no longer serve as the writer or director of the film. Whedon told the site “Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story, I’m grateful to Geoff and Toby and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed?'” Apparently, Whedon was looking to base his film on Detective Comics #359 and “The Million-Dollar Debut of Batgirl” storyline where Babs went up against Killer Moth. No word yet on a replacement for the filmmaker, but word is that WB is looking for a female behind the camera.
Sticking with Bat-characters, The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider revealed in a tweet that the Joker origin movie is scheduled to begin production in May of this year. Joaquin Phoenix is listed as interested in the role but no actual confirmation of his involvement has hit. So take it all with your usual helping of salt grains.
On to the actual Batman film, actor JK Simmons who portrays Jim Gordon in the DCEU hasn’t actually ever met The Batman director Matt Reeves but is eager to get to work. He says in an interview with Collider, “Assuming that we’re gonna go forward, the way we think it will, I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully, it will be really fun and the character will expand a little bit, particularly in the stand-alone Batman movie. There will be more to do. I guess it’s Matt Reeves now for that one, who I haven’t met. So, it will be a whole new collaborator to get together and work with, hopefully.” It’s safe to say this movie is still quite a long ways away, and there’s that tiny hint of doubt that Simmons will even be part of the film or Reeves may go a completely different direction.
If you’re curious as to what costume Shazam will be wearing in the upcoming movie, director David F. Sandberg revealed on Reddit:
The reveal is not linked to that, no. Here’s something though: The suit has some similarities to his look in Justice League: War. Once pics have been released I can tell you more about where the inspirations came from and why certain choices were made.
The costume Justice League: War is pretty close to the classic look, though it’s the comments Sandberg made afterward about choices being made and other inspirations that lead me to believe it may be a bit more than red spandex and a white cape. Hopefully, a full costume reveal is not far off.
A tiny little tidbit comes from the set of Shazam! as MovieWeb is highlighting a Joker easter egg in the form of a reference to Ace Chemicals being seen on a boxing poster found on the film set. This reference helps place the movie as part of the larger DCEU and whether or not we see the rumored Superman cameo, we at least know Shazam! is not shying away from its place as another piece of the ongoing building of the cinematic universe.
Finally, we have some potentially good news as Batman News is reporting that Warner Bros. held an early test screening of Aquaman and it has received a stamp of approval. Being billed as an emotional action movie, the reactions also bring a few tidbits about the movie. First off, those worried about how communication works underwater need not worry as the characters are able to speak normally underwater, no air bubbles needed as shown in Justice League. Speaking of communication, Aquaman, who will wear his classic comic inspired outfit in the movie, is shown “speaking” with fish. As far as the plot is concerned, Orm is the main antagonist while Black Manta serves as the secondary villain. And if those aren’t enough villains for you, the Trench will also make an appearance.
Now, these sorts of early reactions and test screenings are notorious for not being representative of the whole. So this is one of those stories that is nice to read but not something we want to take as gospel truth. As with all movies, it’s best to wait for reviews closer to release date along with positive (or negative) word of mouth from the opening weekend. We want these movies to be great and to make a ton of money, but at this point, it’s best to tread cautiously.
That’s a wrap for this week. Anyone want to place bets on when we actually see the Shazam! costume reveal? I’m going to say we get one before the end of March. What do you think?