Warner Bros. is “all in” when it comes to DC Films, TV, and the DCEU. A large slate of DC projects being released shows that three of them will be in 2019. The recent announcement of the stand-alone film featuring the “Clown Prince of Crime,” The Joker will be released in October of 2019, making it the third film to come out of DC next year.
In addition to The Joker, DC Films will be releasing Shazam! and Wonder Woman: 1984 with production on Birds of Prey beginning the same year. This shows that DC is starting to fill in their medium-range plans and expands on their film universe in a big, big way. Three films in one year is a tactic often used by Marvel Studios to help fill in the gaps between their big team-up movies. The new change of plans at DC comes very shortly after the Warner Bros. merger with AT&T. John Stankey, head of WarnerMedia following the AT&T merger, recently said that DC Films was:
“trending in the right direction in terms of the quality of the product and how the franchise is being managed.”
Three films in one year show the “big boys” in charge have nothing but confidence in the DC product. That’s a “breath of fresh air” for DC fans everywhere especially with all the behind-the-scenes conflict within the DCEU, some of which even led to the departure from their main visionary, Zack Snyder, during post-production of Justice League and major negative attention from film and online critics concerning the majority of the projects at DC Films.
Currently, production on both Aquaman (December 2018) and Shazam! have been reported going smoothly while Patty Jenkins has reunited with her cast from the first Wonder Woman film while taking the helm of Wonder Woman: 1984
One of the most interesting things coming out of DC Films is that The Joker will not be set inside of the DCEU and has been operating at just $55 million–a much lower budget film than we’ve seen inside the superhero genre. The rapid green light of The Joker film suggests that Warner Bros. is embracing a more diverse mix-up of characters and is interested in creating more adult products with more films coming at an R-rating. Recent comments are coming from Birds of Prey’s main star and producer, Margot Robbie, suggests that the film will also be R-rated with a smaller production budget.
Whatever changed over at WarnerMedia, DC Films is looking to have a bigger focus on substance and style instead of just explosions and jokes and, in my opinion, that is a very welcome change for DC, its characters and the fans whom love them and want more from the DC product.