The president of DC films plans to introduce a multiverse in films along with numerous spinoffs that will be made specifically for HBO Max…
The DC film universe is expanding.
Just days after “Wonder Woman 1984” opened in theaters as well as debuting on HBO Max, Warner Bros. announced plans for “Wonder Woman 3” with director Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot returning for the third film in the series.
In the wake of that announcement, DC Films president Walter Hamada has now laid out ambitious plans for an even bigger “multiverse” that will encompass numerous iterations of the same characters as well as plotting the course for several spinoff series that will air exclusively on HBO Max.
First up is the multiverse, which is a concept that has been explored in comic books for years, but never truly tackled in films. Marvel Studios is planning something similar with their own multiverse that will eventually be featured in the sequel “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
On the DC side, Hamada revealed that the multiverse is his plan to begin building out a bigger world in the film universe without being required to stick to one particular storyline. For instance, “Wonder Woman 1984” is a film that will be set on Earth 1 where Ben Affleck’s Batman had previously been established but “The Batman” from director Matt Reeves will take place on Earth 2 where Robert Pattinson is playing the Caped Crusader.
“The Flash” movie starring Ezra Miller will seek to bridge the gap between films set in the different corners of the new DC multiverse with multiple versions of Batman appearing including Affleck returning to the role along with Michael Keaton playing the character for the first time in nearly two decades after first appearing in Tim Burton’s “Batman” and “Batman Returns.”
DC is currently developing several original movies such as “Black Adam,” which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as well as numerous sequels for existing films like “Shazam” and “Aquaman.” How those films will tie into the larger multiverse remains to be seen but essentially Hamada is betting that audiences won’t mind seeing two different versions of Batman or any other character as long as the movies deliver.
“I don’t think anyone else has ever attempted this,” Hamada told the New York Times. “But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it. If we make good movies, they will go with it.”
As the DC multiverse expands, Hamada revealed that up to four major theatrical releases could be planned per year with two more movies expected to land on HBO Max. The additional movies made for HBO Max could involve “riskier” characters such as Batgirl or Static Shock.
In addition to the new multiverse, DC will also be planning to extend the film universe with several spinoff series headed to HBO Max.
There are already spinoffs coming from “The Batman” and “The Suicide Squad,” which is being written and directed by James Gunn. “The Batman” spinoff is serving as a prequel of sorts while focusing on the Gotham City Police Department during the first year that Batman first appears in Gotham City. Meanwhile, “The Suicide Squad” spinoff will focus on the character The Peacemaker, who will be portrayed by WWE superstar John Cena in the lead role.
There have also been rumors about a “Wonder Woman” spinoff called “The Amazons” that could see Jenkins continued to build and expand that universe as well.
According to Hamada, that is the new normal with DC Films moving forward as they seek to grow and expand the overall universe between theatrical releases and series specifically made for HBO Max.
“With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?’” Hamada said.
HBO Max already serves as the hub for DC films and series as well as the upcoming “Snyder Cut” of the “Justice League” movie that is expected to debut in March. Director Zack Snyder was given an additional $70 million budget to recut his version of “Justice League” after he was forced off the project following the tragic death of his daughter. Joss Whedon was brought onto finish “Justice League” but his version was a critical disaster while also pulling in paltry numbers at the box office, which seemingly doomed any plans for a future sequel.
Cries for Warner Bros. to allow Snyder to finish his version of the film got so loud that the studio actually relented and gave him the means to produce a new four-hour “Justice League” cut that will debut in one-hour episodes. As of now, Snyder’s cut of “Justice League” will be a stand-alone feature with no plans to have him return for future projects set in the DC multiverse.
For now, look forward to DC fast tracking many of these films into production as the studio seeks to lead on superheroes not only in theaters but to help HBO Max become a destination streaming service for fans.