As the dust settles on Suicide Squad, and as we head towards 2017’s Wonder Woman, it’s very evident that the cinematic DC Universe is here in a big, bad way. DC fans are in heaven while critics debate the merit of each frame of film, but this disconnect should not blind long time DC faithful that a Cinematic DC Universe is a thing that actually exists! And it’s only getting bigger. Justice League, The Flash, Aquaman, Shazam, The Green Lantern Corps, and Cyborg are all scheduled to arrive by 2020 and a Ben Affleck helmed Batman film is also confirmed for an unscheduled time in the very near future. We also know that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn will be starring in a very female centric DC film while Man of Steel 2 has also been green lit.
But as DC fans knows, the DC Universe is a big place- a really, really big place- made up of multiple timelines, futures, Earths, and dimensions. There are literally thousands of heroes and villains that DC and Warner Brothers can look to in order to expand the Cinematic DC Universe and fill out the forthcoming batch of DC Phase Two films. Here are but a few.
1. Birds of Prey
In the recent Suicide Squad and coming up in Wonder Woman, the women of the DC Universe have and will take the world by storm, so why not look to DC’s female team supreme for a future DC films? Batgirl, Black Canary, Huntress- all icons of the DCU and it is long overdue for this trio of kick-ass ladies to make their cinematic debut.
This film sort of writes itself as comic scribes like Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone have provided the comic book template for any potential Birds of Prey film through years of intense BOP tales. Adventure and friendship are just two reasons that the Birds of Prey have been one of DC’s most beloved properties for decades and it is about time the world gets to visit the Clocktower HQ of three of DC’s most iconic women of action.
2. Teen Titans
When you need a new film franchise you know who to call- Teen Titans! Can you believe that the original Teen Titans cartoon is thirteen years old? Man, it feels like just yesterday that we first heard that awesome earworm of a theme song. So, all the kids that grew up with that cartoon are now almost adults and ready to see the next stage of Titans evolution. Those millennials join the absolute hordes of rabid Titans fans that have been waiting for a Teen Titans film since the days of Marv Wolfman and George Perez on the New Teen Titans comic.
One former member of the Titans, Cyborg, has already made a cinematic impact, and it would be awesome to see Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy, and some of DC’s OG sidekicks like Roy Harper, Donna Troy, Dick Grayson, and Garth of Atlantis come to life in celluloid. There are so many classic Teen Titans tales from many eras to choose from, but with the recent reveal of Deathstroke joining the cinematic DCU, we’re kind of hoping for a film version of the classic Titans story “The Judas Contract.” Think about it; a cinematic version that will feature Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing? Yes, please
3. Metal Men
Don’t laugh, now. The Metal Men are freakin’ awesome. The Metal Men could be a film experience that is part Incredibles, part Wall-E and part Big Hero 6 if these awesome automatons ever come to cinematic life. Think about it- Gold, Platinum, Mercury, Lead, Iron, and Tin kicking bad guy butt in a film that would win the hearts of kids and old school DC fans alike.
Listen, DC has been criticized for being a bit too serious in their most recent batch of films. The Metal Men could bring some much needed humor and an ironic sense of humanity to the sometimes dire DCU. Plus, this exploration into superhero A.I. would tie into the coming Cyborg film very nicely, wouldn’t it?
4. Legion of Super-Heroes
The present might be very dark when it comes to DC films, but if DC and Warners turn to the Legion of Super-Heroes, the future could be very bright indeed. Think about the marketing potential of a Legion of Super Heroes film. There are literally dozens of well fleshed out, iconic characters to choose from.
Heck man, wouldn’t a Legion film be a perfect place to launch the adventures of a cinematic Supergirl in order to differentiate the cinematic Kara Zor-El from the wonderful TV version of the character? Even if there are no Kryptonians present, try and picture “The Great Darkness Saga,” one of the most classic Legion stories of all time that just so happened to feature Darkseid, coming to the big screen.
The Legion of Super-Heroes has been away from the DCU for too long. One can only hope that when the Legion returns, it’s in a huge way, and we can’t think of anything bigger than a feature film starring tomorrow’s greatest heroes.
5. Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
Speaking of the heroes of tomorrow, we have Booster Gold and his present day pal Blue Beetle. A Blue and Gold film has been stirring on the rumor mill for a while now, and we really wish it becomes more than just speculation, because a film featuring these two beloved heroes could be like the superhero version of Superbad. On the surface, Booster and Beetle are two goofballs, one from the present day and one from the future, but beneath the wacky antics of these two masked wiseacres beats the hearts of true heroes.
Booster and Beetle were first put together as two super-pals in the pages of the ‘Bwah-ha-ha era’ Justice League International, and they have been fan-favorites since. Their antics are the stuff of legends, but both heroes have been involved in some pretty intense stories making them two of the more thematically malleable heroes in the DCU, a fact that could make this pair of super-friends just right for future cinematic exploitation. We’ll say it again: the DC film universe has been a very dark place, but these two super-heroic, sometime stooges could be just the right heroes to bring some laughter into this shared universe.
6. Hard Traveling Heroes: Green Arrow and Green Lantern
The Flash will be the subject of an upcoming film, so why not include his CW stablemate Green Arrow in the cinematic DCU? But, you don’t want to cover the same ground that TV’s Arrow has done so well, so how about a cinematic buddy road film with Arrow’s traditional BFF Hal Jordan? “Hard Traveling Heroes” by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams is one of the DC’s most classic storylines of all time. This story arc’s exploration of race relations, drug abuse, and environmental issues rings truer than ever in today’s politically fractured world.
A Hard Traveling Heroes film could be the ultimate road film; a tale of two classic heroes finding truth in America and in each other’s friendship. This film could also be an unexpected place to continue the Green Lantern franchise after the coming Green Lantern Corps film, a grounded epic that creates a bond between two of DC’s greatest, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen. This potential GL/GA film could also offer fans of CW’s Arrow a more classic comic book take on Oliver Queen as he becomes the social consciousness of DC’s cinematic world.
Yeah, we fist-pumped when we saw Ben Affleck’s tweet featuring the debut of the film version of Deathstroke the Terminator. Whether it’s in the upcoming solo Batman film or in Justice League, when Deathstroke debuts, it’s sure to be huge and there’s so many great Deathstroke tales to be told.
A dedicated solo Deathstroke film could be an intense telling of Slade Wilson’s tragic origins or a tale of a modern day mission to allow this anti-hero to truly shine darkly. Hell man, Deadpool is a parody of Deathstroke and look how much bank Wade Wilson’s film made! Imagine what the OG assassin himself could do if let loose in a solo film.
We really hope you’re checking out the Christopher Priest’s Deathstroke Rebirth comic series currently being published by DC. First off, it kicks ass, but more important to our subject here and now, it is a perfect template for a prospective DC film as it dissects everything awesome about Deathstroke, a character that is ready to be DC’s next big film star.
Come on guys, you know it and I know it; Dick Grayson’s film debut as Nightwing is long overdue. There are just so many stories for DC to adapt, as Nightwing has been one of DC’s most beloved characters for years.
From Haley’s Circus, to his relationship with the other Robins, to his complex bond with Batman, to his on again, off again, star-crossed romance with Barbara Gordon, to his days as a super-spy, Dick Grayson is a genre-defying force of nature that could set DC films aflame. Most non-comic fans know Dick Grayson as Robin and a chance to see him grow beyond his role as the Boy Wonder would be a gripping film (or film series), indeed. Man, Channing Tatum was just made for this role, so make it happen DC; it’s Nightwing’s time to fly!
The time has come for a LGBT superhero to star in a big budget comic film. Not because of some PC agenda but because it is a unique and fascinating lens in which to focus a superhero film through. Will mainstream audiences embrace such a bold move? They should if it involves the big bad Bat!
Batwoman, aka Kate Kane, is DC’s greatest character creation of the 21st century. Her origin story of being kicked out of the military due to her homosexuality, and becoming Batwoman so she can still use her fighting skills to help people, is one of the more tragic and inspiring superhero origins of the last twenty five years. Writer Greg Rucka established Kane’s motivations and many great DC creators have built upon this new legend.
Batwoman is a movie star in the making. Not just a gay hero, but a kick-ass woman who just so happens to be gay. Batwoman is an important figure of understanding and inclusion, and most importantly, she has a strong story behind her.
It’s time DC, it’s time for Kate Kane to bust some cinematic heads as DC Films barrels into the future.
10. Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.
DC has such a rich history it would be a shame to not explore any heroes of DC’s past. Courtney Whitmore, aka Star Girl is the legacy-bearer of the Star Spangled Kid, a young hero that fought the Nazi menace in World War II. Courtney is a very modern day kid who becomes Star Girl to annoy her step dad, Pat Dugan. Dugan just so happens to be the former partner of the Star Spangled Kid and a superhero in his own right. So Dugan builds the S.T.R.I.P.E. armor and becomes Star Girl’s reluctant partner. Somehow, the two become great heroes.
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. was the comic that launched the career of current DC Films’ head honcho, Geoff Johns, and you know Johns will put his all into bringing his two awesome creations to life. And hey, did you know that the original Star Spangled Kid and Stripsey were created by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel? A Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. film would be a great way to pay tribute to Siegel’s enduring legacy.
Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. is part Buffy, part Iron Giant, and part contemporary superhero tale; a story of family, bravery, and legacy that despite being a relatively unknown property, has all the story elements a great film needs.
Any other potential, DC superhero properties you’d love to see on the big screen? Sound the hell off!