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Wonder Woman 3 canned? Cavill gone? Affleck gone? Momoa no longer Aquaman but another DC character? What is happening at DC/WB?!

December 14th, 2022 by Marc Comments

Oh, man,

It’s not too often I sit in front of my laptop, stumped as to where to start with a story because it’s become so labyrinthine, so twisty, that trying to make it coherent is a task.

But I’m there right now.

So, here we go.

Cast your minds back, DC fans, if you will, to a time before the release of Black Adam. The DCEU was looking like a brighter place, like all the ducks had finally fallen in a row; Henry Cavill was back as Superman (here), Ben Affleck was back for The Flash and, to the surprise and joy of many, Aquaman 2 (here) and we were hearing that Superman and Batman, along with Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and [maybe, given the chaos surrounding him] Ezra Miller’s Flash.

After all, word was that while the original plan was for Michael Keaton’s Batman to replace Affleck at the end of The Flash and Sasha Calle’s Supergirl to replace Superman but we were hearing that, while both characters would appear in the movie and have prominent roles, Affleck and Cavill would be centre stage by the end and all would be well in the DCEU.

You see, when Warner Bros’ new bosses took over, top of their list of priorities was making sure that Batman and Superman were, as they should be, the cornerstone of the DC universe, with new President David Zaslav recently saying: “We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years!”

Dwayne Johnson was telling everyone that the hierarchy of power was about to change in the DCEU with his Black Adam moving centre stage, with only Superman being tougher. But, more than that, he was also telling us that his production company, Seven Bucks Productions, who pretty much got Black Adam made after years in production hell and Cavill back as Superman [“And you guys know who I’m talking about. Of course, that is Superman, and that’s Henry Cavill. And at the end of the day, the studio was not bringing Henry Cavill back, inexplicably and inexcusably. But we weren’t going to take no for an answer. Myself, my Seven Bucks co-founder and chairwoman, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, our Seven Bucks president. This has been years in the making regarding bringing Henry Cavill back. And years of strategic conversations and we were not gonna take no for an answer.”], was set to be a player in the direction of the DCEU and, by listening to the fans, would ensure that the course was a true one, saying: “The hardcore comic book fans, we got the love, we got your love, we got your loyalty, and I appreciate that to the bone.”

And that’s all great and, look, I enjoyed Black Adam a lot and I know a lot of people did too but then reports started coming in that it was set to lose $100m! Then, no, it’s actually only $20m! And then, out of nowhere, Johnson came out and shared an article saying that, no, it made money (here)! And then we heard that Black Adam 2 and Hawkman [Aldis Hodges’ Hawkman was a standout in Black Adam] were in planning already (here).


Oh, and I forgot to mention that, on the strength of all this, Cavill quit his hit Witcher series on Netflix (here) and gave himself over to Superman, saying: “I wanted to wait the weekend before posting this because I wanted to give you a chance to watch Black Adam.” he also said that his cameo at the end of that movie was ‘A very small taste of what’s to come, my friends. The dawn of hope renewed. Thank you for your patience, it will be rewarded.’

And it was all going great… we were hearing that IT and The Flash’s Andy Muschietti might be in talks to direct another Justice League and Harry Potter’s David Yates potentially helming Justice League 2. DC was back, baby!

In the middle of all this, James Gunn, the man behind The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker and producer Peter Safran were announced as the new showrunners of the DCEU, basically DC’s answer to Kevin Feige at Marvel… and it was great news; finally a unifying voice and vision for DC, something fans have cried out for for a long time.

This was were we were last night before I went to bed and dreamed of an exciting future for DC on the big screen – heck, Gunn said they planned on a big, story told on tv, animation, games and movies. All was well.

That was before bed.

When I woke the next morning, Twitter was enraged. You’re shocked, I know.

Reports came in that The Flash and Aquaman 2 were given private screenings ahead of next year’s releases and fans were shocked to find that at the end of The Flash, Keaton’s Batman and Calle’s Supergirl were still there, with no sign of Affleck or Cavill stepping back in. On top of that, fans also reported that Affleck was not in Aquaman.

But we told ourselves that, it’s fine, the studio probably didn’t want to spoil the real endings or held back the post-credit scenes starring Affleck and Cavill. But deep inside, we knew something was rotten in Demark.

Then a new report from Variety really put the cat, as they say, among the pigeons.

With all the exciting news that DC was finally pulling its socks up and getting back on point, it’s amazing that it all turned on its head so fast. The new article completely pulled the rug out from under the feet of fans at such a speed that many of us got whiplash on the way down!

Wonder Woman 3, the first casualty of the report, is not moving forward. Now, there’s some confusion over this as everyone assumed writer/director Patty Jenkins was let go, although since the report it seems that her script for the third movie once again had Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor returning  – Trevor was the love interest of Diana/Wonder Woman in the very good first movie but he died in that. And came back in the really very bad Wonder Woman 84. It seems that a second return for Trevor was more than WB wanted and after some disagreement, Jenkins walked.

The movie could, at this stage, still happen and it should as Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is a standout and to see her go would be a great shame. It’s also a pity because word is that Jenkins’ script for the movie saw Trevor coming back when Wonder Woman used The Lazarus Pit to bring him back to life and when he returned he would lead the League of Shadows in a war against Themysciria. Comic fans will know that The Lazarus Pit means Ra’s Al Ghul and Ra’s is Batman’s greatest enemy – I said it, so, the return of Trevor aside, it could have really opened the DCEU up to exciting new things. And yes, Ra’s was played by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins.

Interestingly, in the middle of all this, Gadot took to Twitter (here) to say how proud she was of Wonder Woman and how she couldn’t wait to share the next chapter with us… it’s not clear if she was revealing she’s safe in the role or just had no idea what was happening over at WB.

Next up, the report hints that, despite the celebrations of Cavill being back, it seems that he may not be part of Gunn and Co’s plan moving forward. And that Man of Steel 2, which so recently seemed like a cert (and would have been a return to the values and optimism of Christopher Reeves’ Superman by all accounts), is now… on hold. At best. Was this all because Black Adam tanked (apparently) despite Cavill’s return? Who knows… but if true, it wouldn’t have helped.

Also, at this point, despite the news the night before (the night before!!!), Black Adam 2 is unlikely to happen. And, it seems that WB bosses Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy wanted another Justice League movie with Affleck, Cavill, Gadot and Co all returning. That too is now… unlikely with Gunn and Safran in control.

And now one of the oddest bits of news…

So, do you all remember back in November Jason Momoa was taking to social media talking about his dream project coming up under Gunn and Safran but he can’t discuss it (here)? Obviously, at the time, given the timing with Cavill and Black Adam, that we were going to see the Justice League return or perhaps a longtime Aquaman story he’d want to see adapted on screen… but, no, it’s probably not that but something else completely.

Just a few days after Momoa’s excited posts, Gunn announced himself to the DCEU by posting an image of intergalactic bounty hunter Lobo, left, with the words ‘glad to be here’ and the fans got all excited as it looked like we might be getting a Lobo movie or show, something featuring the fan-favourite.

And, of course, the fans started speculating on who might play him. But none of them go THIS answer.

In a recent interview, Momoa was asked to blink twice if his new DCEU project, the one that had him so excited, was Lobo-related – Momoa is a long-time, self-professed Lobo super-fan – to which he responded: “Well I have to obviously blink, so there’s no way I can get out of this without blinking, but you know that would be amazing if that happened. I’m just happy that [James] Gunn is at the helm and [Peter] Safran, who is just like my heart. So I’m in good hands and I think comic book fans around the world are going to be very excited.

“It’s definitely something I’ve collected my whole life. So, for all the fans who know me will know that I collect this comic book the most. So without giving you anything, if you’re a real fan you’d know what I collect the most, and you can go back in history to find out what I collect the most.”

So… Aquaman night fight Lobo in his next movie after Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom hits next December right? I mean, surely, since the first Aquaman was the first new DC movie to break the £1bn mark, Aquaman is safe?

Well… not really. According to the new report, Momoa might be set to play his favourite character, leaving Aquaman behind.

Yes, the new report is that Momoa is Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman no more but will be staying on as the biggest bastich of them all, Lobo (Admittedly, he’s a great fit for the role but still…).


Wait… so with all this going on, what will become of Zachary Levi’s Shazam! franchise? Surely if all the others are going, then Shazam! will be recast too? Seems not, in a recent appearance, star Levi revealed that Gunn is his friend and new boss while Safran produced Shazam! Fury of the Gods (releasing next MArch), so he’s confident he’s coming back as Shazam! (I hope he’s right):

Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes…

The Blue Beetle movie, which everyone feared was canned along with Batgirl earlier this year, is still set to release next year too, August 18th, if you[re interested – we are. We got the poster for it:

Although, at this stage, I’d not bet on Affleck’s Batman appearing (here).

in all the craziness, Matt Reeves’ Batman plans don’t seem to be in the line of site and neither does the Joker universe. Although, I can’t feeling that somewhere along the way, we will still see Robert Pattinson’s Batman becoming the DCEU’s main focus (as he should have been all along, a younger version of Affleck’s Batman), and Reeves, while not focused on it, has said in the past that he’s not again his version of Batman being part of a bigger universe with characters like Superman being around:

Honestly, with a Penguin and GCPD shows in development at HBO Max, running in The Batman universe, I feel it would be smart to make it a stepping stone or use a Crisis on Infinite Earths-type event to smash all these worlds together and pick out the best parts and soft reboot it all… for the casual fan, this must all be very confusing.

This is hinted at in the new report, as there is talk of a big event being used to somehow unify all these elements.

Interestingly, while we all were excited to see the new management at WB taking over as we believed it would see the DCEU realising its potential, it has now emerged that Walter Hamada – part of the previous leadership that wanted Cavill give forever – had plans to bring him back soon.

According to the new report: “[Superman/Cavill] cameos in forthcoming DC movies of next year would have breadcrumbed to a giant tentpole movie inspired by the now-classic Crisis on Infinite Earth comics of the 1980s. That comics mini-series featured multiple timelines and heroes from other dimensional Earths and, just as the Flash movie was returning Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck in their Batman incarnations, this new movie project would have returned Cavill as Supes.”

But, it seems that Johnson forcing Cavill back in Black Adam may have derailed this plan. For the record, as stated earlier, I think this is how we get this all sorted out and the realities all fold in on themselves, giving us one DCEU reality. could this have been the plan with The Batman and Joker all along? That, sure, they’re separate worlds but they may eventually meet in some way? I like to think so but who knows at this point.

On that note (sort of), writer/director Todd Philips has revealed the first image from Joker: Folie à Deux which began filming on December 10th:

The movie will see Joaquin Phoenix return as the titular Joker with Lady Gaga making her debut as this universe’s Harley Quinn; the first image as Arthur Fleck, still incarcerated, being shaved by an orderly.

On Gaga’s casting as ‘the other Harley’, DCEU Harley, Margot Robbie has said she’s very happy to see another Harley brought to life: “It makes me so happy because I said from the very beginning that all I want is for Harley Quinn to be one of those characters, the way Macbeth or Batman, always gets passed from great actor to great actor,” Robbie says.

“It’s kind of like someone gets to do their Batman, or someone gets to do their Macbeth. I feel like, in not so many cases, are they female characters — Queen Elizabeth I, but beyond that, which I got to have a crack out as well, which I was honored to do. I was like, ‘Wow! Cate Blanchett did Queen Elizabeth I. Now I get to.’ It’s such an honor to have built a foundation strong enough that Harley can now be one of those characters that other actors get to have a go at playing. And I think she’ll do something incredible with it.”

Robbie also says she’s been pushing for a Harley and Poison Ivy relationship in the DCEU too but so far, nothing: “I have been pushing for that for years. I cannot tell you how hard I’ve been pushing for that. I want it too,”

The movie is set to come out on Oct 4th 2024.

Getting back to the main DCEU, this clip appeared a few days ago that has the man who started it all with Man of Steel, Zack Snyder, explain how his original vision for his Man of Steel/BvS/Justice League story was for it to go on for a few movies, tell the Darkseid story and then leave it all open to be rebooted – he refers to it as a limiter comic series – and I feel it’s very relevant to all this; Snyder seemed to know that eventually, all this would get messy and that these characters, in any incarnation, had a limited life-span:

That said, when Cavill was announced as returning, Snyder recorded a special message for him, saying how proud he was and that he was the greatest Superman (here)… high praise indeed.

So… that’s all the rumours and reports on the DCEU’s crumbling. But what about Gunn and Safran, haven’t they anything to say?

Well, yes.

Gunn took to social media after the report came out and quickly tried to tell fans not to believe it all… but also, to assure them that changes were coming; as Jack Nicholson’s Joker said once, you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs:

“So. As for the story yesterday in the Hollywood Reporter, some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven’t decided yet whether it’s true or not. Although this first month at DC has been fruitful, building the next ten years of story takes time & we’re still just beginning. Peter [Safran, co-showrunner of the DCEU] & I chose to helm DC Studios knowing we were coming into a fractious environment, both in the stories being told & in the audience itself & there would be an unavoidable transitional period as we moved into telling a cohesive story across film, TV, animation, and gaming.

“But, in the end, the drawbacks of that transitional period were dwarfed by the creative possibilities & the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far & to help rectify what has not. We know we are not going to make every single person happy every step of the way, but we can promise everything we do is done in the service of the STORY & in the service of the DC CHARACTERS we know you cherish and we have cherished our whole lives.

“As for more answers about the future of the DCU, I will sadly have to ask you to wait. We are giving these characters & the stories the time & attention they deserve & we ourselves still have a lot more questions to ask & answer.”

Gunn wisely, but infuriatingly, avoids confirming or denying any of the rumours, making it clear the plan – and future – is still being developed; he has said in the past that Superman is probably the most important part of the DCEU moving forward and it was likely nothing to do with Gunn and/or Safran that the third Wonder Woman is (for now) scrapped.

As for Cavill and Affleck not appearing in Aquaman 2 or The Flash, there’s likely a myriad of possible reasons for this and trying to work out why at this stage may be a fool’s errand.

The Lobo/Momoa rumour, given the star himself’s reaction to news, could have some weight to it, so I can’t comment either way.

All I know at this point is that, once again, the DCEU is in flux and once again, just when you think everything is leveling out, the wheels go wonky.

Let’s hope Gunn and Safran know what they’re at, otherwise just scrapping it all and starting again may become the only possible solution.

Bet Cavill wishes he held on to The Witcher gig just a little longer, huh?

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….