DC Films, Call Us!1 of 12
News broke this week of potential casting for Warner Bros. planned Joker solo film, as well as news that the long in-development Lobo film may be back on track with a potential new director named Michael Bay (heard of him?).
With DC’s film plans expanding again, we’re digging into the hundreds of characters in their comic book stable to pull out 10 ideas that we think would make for great additions to DC's film schedule.
The Nolanverse2 of 12
With a potential Nightwing movie sewing up one of the last untapped properties from the Batman mythos for a film deal, we’re thinking maybe the next time DC wans to expand its Bat-presence, maybe they should go back to an old staple.
That’s right: the Nolan-verse Batman movies, specifically the continued story of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s character.
Now it’s simply a matter of interpretation whether Robin “John” Blake was rising to his destiny of Robin... Nightwing... Batman... at the end of The Dark Knight Rises, but man, we’d like to see the answer to that question.
Sure, that would basically necessitate a parallel cinematic universe, but what’s DC without a multiverse?
Batman & The Outsiders3 of 12
It’s undeniable that DC and Warner Bros. are always looking for more Batman to fit into their film schedule. With more successful adaptations than, well, anyone (and more failed ones that most, if we’re being honest) Batman is a proven commodity. But there are only so many slots on the schedule for Batman and Justice League movies.
So why not go one better, and give Batman his own team of heroes willing to do the dirty work the Justice League won’t? That’s where The Outsiders come in. Consisting of heroes handpicked by Batman, think of them as a less violent Suicide Squad. And, given the constraints on Ben Affleck’s time, he’d only be necessary for a few scenes to give the film the “Batman” touch – and as a bonus, you could incorporate Nightwing as his surrogate leader. Synergy!
Hellblazer4 of 12
John Contantine is the only character on this list who has already had a shot at a movie – one that wasn’t particularly well-received, but which a growing number of fans look back on with some fondness (and actually did well at the box office). He’s also starred in his own TV show, which only lasted one season, but led to a guest spot on Arrow and and eventual spot on DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
But we think it’s about time Constantine got his due with a more faithful big screen adaptation. A Constantine film could spin out of the in-development Justice League Dark film Dark Universe. With the right visionary at the helm, a darker, more mystical take on the so-called Hellblazer would be the perfect window into a mystical branch of DC’s movies, featuring an acerbic sorcerer who single-handedly takes on demonic threats armed only with a bad attitude and a pack of smokes.
Birds of Prey5 of 12
Birds of Prey is a pretty simple sell: Barbara Gordon leads Huntress and Black Canary in fighting street level crime in Gotham City.
But with Gotham City Sirens coming down the pike, a Birds of Prey film may seem a bit redundant – but think of BoP as the other side of the coin, the heroic answer to Harley Quinn and her gang.
Birds of Prey could almost even work as a pseudo-sequel to Sirens, playing off DC’s “girl power” mission and capitalizing on the success of its Super Hero Girls line.
And, with a Batgirl solo movie in the works, maybe Batgirl & The Birds of Prey would be a worthy follow-up.
Legion of Super-Heroes6 of 12
The Legion of Super-Heroes may be a hard sell for comic books in recent years, but we think they’ve got great potential as a movie – think of it as DC’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
Think about it – the Legion has dozens of members to choose from, each with insane powers and iconic looks, but to modern audiences, they’re kind of a mystery. Making a major motion picture would be the perfect opportunity to reestablish and recontextualize the team into something more manageable and recognizable.
And, with the Legion’s far-future setting, the sky’s the limit in terms of DC Easter Eggs and connections to the larger universe. How about using the future to foreshadow events in movies that happen in the past, using the reported Booster Gold movie as a possible connection?
If you want to go all out, throw in Superman (or Superboy, or Supergirl) and add an even more concrete connection to the modern day timeline.
Doom Patrol7 of 12
Not every movie on this list has to be a major blockbuster. DC’s gotta have some low-key scrappers in its oeuvre to compete. That’s why we’re suggesting Doom Patrol.
Some of the more psychedelic elements of DC’s weirdest heroes might take some effort to translate, but after the success of Doctor Strange, we’re willing to bet audiences would do the legwork – if the characters are compelling enough.
Fortunately, compelling characters is one thing Doom Patrol has in spades. With a cast of misfits with powers that cause them physical or mental abnormalities, the Doom Patrol could be DC’s chance to establish a cast that could only exist in this film.
And the time to strike on a Doom Patrol movie may be right now, as the team's ongoing series is the flagship of DC's pop art Young Animal line.
Fourth World8 of 12
Jack Kirby’s Fourth World is already a component of DC’s movie universe, with the New Gods’ iconic Mother Boxes appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Steppenwolf, the warlord of Apokolips, appearing in Justice League. But there’s a huge, rich world that exists among Kirby’s far-flung creations.
From the Gods of New Genesis such as Big Barda, Mr. Miracle, and Orion, to the Gods of Apokolips like Granny Goodness, DeSaad, Kalibak, and of course Darkseid – to say nothing of the peripheral characters that are a part of the saga – there’s more inherent story to Kirby’s opus than could likely be told in movies where they are mere supporting characters.
DC could frame this as the backstory of their universe, the connective tissue that ties all their films together in one cosmic bow. As a standalone prequel of sorts, or a trilogy, Fourth World could be the space opera that DC needs to expand beyond the confines of Earth.
Batman Beyond9 of 12
Like we said, Warner Bros. is always looking for more Batman. With Ben Affleck only able to be in so many places at once, why not tap into the already established future timeline where Terry McGinnis has taken over the mantle of the Bat?
Multiple concurrent timelines for movies might seem like a dangerous proposition, but audiences are already familiar with Batman Beyond - the concept has been on TV and in comic books for 15 years now. And with a built in rogues gallery – and a bunch of future Justice League analogues to boot – Terry McGinnis brings a very tantalizing prospect to DC’s big screen plans.
If that doesn't sell you, perhaps if we add in Michael Keaton as the elderly Bruce Wayne?
Hitman10 of 12
If Warner Bros. is looking for their equivalent of an irreverent hit like 20th Century Fox's Deadpool, they might have an even better candidate than Lobo in their catalog.
Spinning out of Gotham's Irish district known as the Cauldron, Hitman is ‘street level’ killer-for-hire who gains some low-level metahuman powers that affords him entrance into the world of DC superheroes. But instead of becoming one of them, his (by way of Garth Ennis’) unique perspective humanizes the iconic superheroes in an oddball sort of way.
With Preacher and The Boys making waves on the small screen, Ennis and John McCrea’s-inspired take on the genre could be the shot in the arm Deadpool gave Fox’s X-universe that Warner Bros. needs (and with a more studio-friendly special effects budget than Lobo.)
The Authority11 of 12
Zack Snyder's Justice League sort of-trilogy if nothing else divided fans and invited debate as to whether its darker/ish tone fit DC’s premier grouping of iconic superheroes. Just the fact it shares so much DNA with the Super Friends is enough to fuel a thousand online flame wars.
The good news is if DC is still looking for a more nihilistic take on the super-team, they happen to be sitting on one.
The Authority may be exactly the kind of property that audiences looking for more adult-oriented superheroes are craving. It features recognizable archetypes playing off the well-known characters of teams like the Justice League and the Avengers, but in a context you’ll never see those icons placed in.
Violent, sexual, and way beyond the usual superhero fare, The Authority turned heads and redefined adult superhero comic books when it debuted through WildStorm. And, now that WildStorm falls under DC’s purview, adapting The Authority might be the best way for Warner Bros. to have its cake and eat it too. They’d get their imperfect Superman, their ultra-violent Batman, and more, without having to step on or over many fans’ visions of those characters.
Plus, they'd get Jenny Sparks - and I think we'd all be better for that.
1 of 12
2 of 12
3 of 12
4 of 12
5 of 12
6 of 12
7 of 12
8 of 12
9 of 12
10 of 12
11 of 12
12 of 12