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My proposal to WB/DC Entertainment on the direction of the projected films of 2016-2020.

One order of business that didn’t take place in San Diego a few weeks ago was DC Entertainment announcing their next slate of dates for their upcoming films. There have been plenty of rumors about possible film projects going into “pre-pre-production.” I just thought we might get more of a glimpse at the convention at what characters to expect popping up on screen in the next few years.

Then, two days ago, DCE drops the announcement of release date for ten possible films.

Better late than never. No, we haven’t gotten the heroes and villains sorted out, but DCE has mapped out a lengthy run of films. Seeing this got me excited. What do they have in store for us? Can lightning strike twice? The formula has worked for Marvel Studios, but will the market be oversaturated by 2019? 2020? Time will tell us when it wants to tell us.

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Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is now slated for a March 25, 2016 release (like you thought it was going to go head-to-head with Cap 3?). As a fan, I don’t mind. The difference of March to May won’t really matter from a production aspect. Plus, it will give Cap 3 an opportunity to have it’s own weekend to dominate the box office. I seriously doubt it will make BvS money. I’m thinking in the $130-$150 million-range opening weekend. Is that nuts?

With BvS moving up to March 2016, we can all only speculate as to which heroes will be filling the empty slots in the years 2017-20. It’s crazy to think about films released in 2020. Not because of the films being so far off, but because I was born in 1981. Wild.

Another great thing about the announcement from DCE is, at this point, anything can happen. It’s up to us in 2014 to come up with some ridiculous shit to happen on the big screen in six years.

May I? Let the speculations begin.

Untitled DC Film: 08/05/2016 - It’s SHAZAM!, right? There has been so much talk about what DCE plans on doing with the character over the past three years, but no real production talk has been publicized. I hope this changes over the next few weeks. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has certainly hinted about a role for him is an upcoming DCE project. This could be the DC film universe’s equivalent to Marvel’s Thor films.

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I have a few choice routes in which the plot may turn. First, Billy needs to become Shazam! right away. The writers should waste little time. In fact, open that piece right in the midst of young Billy getting the wisdom bestowed upon him by the Wizard himself (Max Von Sydow-esque, yeah?). Then, enter Billy’s life up to that point. Again, wasting little time. Go heavy into the middle school (I would prefer freshman in high school) aspect by introducing to important characters. Warning, these individuals are more “Hollywood-friendly” than some of the more familiar characters from Shazam!’s comic book series.

The first, Amon Tomaz, could be restructured from some random teen that gets roughed up by a crime syndicate into a more simple bully at the high school for Billy Batson to deal with. I might not even have him be related to Isis in any way. It might complicate things for the viewer. But, then again, as a reader of the comics, I would “wtf” Isis and Osiris not being brother a sister. I’ll touch a bit more on this in a second. Back to Osiris’ role. When Amon gets some of the Black Adam “wisdom” near the end of the possible film yet-to-be-announced, his ties will be directly with Billy--which would make more sense in the aspect of a film, correct? Again, that would be if Adrianna and Amon weren’t related.

I keep mentioning Isis. There are a few ways to go about handling her. You could always go with Isis: the wife of Black Adam, or she and Amon could be related, or you could write her as the alter-ego of Cissie Sommerly, who catches a bit of both Shazam! and Black Adam’s magic. For some reason, the third alternative sounds like something a movie studio would try and pull off. I like Cissie being in the film a lot, but I also like Adrianna Tomaz and Amon being more of a twin pairing, who’s powers become linked once Amon receives his magic. I would almost run Black Adam’s quest similar to that of Dracula’s. After thousands of years, Black Adam finds a girl who resembles Isis--his lost love. This happens in the midst of discovering Shazam! is Billy Batson, a mere 13-14 year old boy. At the end of the day ages in the Shazam!verse are a bit zany.

How? What? Wait? I could keep going. Let’s not get into the Geoff Johns and Gary Frank bonus story that was featured in the pages of New 52’s Justice League. That story has some legitimate big screen potential. And if Johns has anything to do with it, they may swing towards that story being twisted into a possible treatment.

The Shazam-U contains a lot of characters to pull from aside from the “Marvel family.” I’ll be interested how the family will be named if the film gets a series, or--again--gets a film, period.

At the end of these prophetic, ridiculous speculations, I just have to throw my two cents toward what ties all of these films together, let alone trying to figure out possible plots. For example, in Shazam!, a key moment near the end of the film would be a scene involving Batson and possibly Superman and Wonder Woman or Batman. Something to the extent of Batson’s heroic efforts not going unnoticed. You have to think the end of BvS will be the “Trinity” (I hate that name), alongside Cyborg (possibly) talking about forming a team to combat evil on a global scale.

I imagine this type of ending would spark the road to a Justice League film. Not to mention leave the audience with the knowledge that there are forces that draw from magic in this universe. This is something DC Entertainment can cash in on, presuming a Doctor Strange movie is a bit further off. The DCU is comprised of some powerful heroes and villains based upon magic. Doctor Fate--DC’s Dr. Strange (basically)--comes to mind.

Untitled DC Film: 06/23/2017 - Pacific Rim 2 is slated for a spring-summer 2017 release. So this rules out any Guillermo Del Toro-related DC Entertainment projects, right? Based on the speculative scheduling behind his much-anticipated sequel, Del Toro is focusing on the direction of PR2, but not before the film he’s finishing at the moment entitled, Crimson Peak.

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Wouldn’t a Del Toro produced, Alfonso Cuarón directed SANDMAN film hold us over until 2018? Those guys work together all the time. Let’s get weird. And why have I always seen Keanu Reeves reinventing his career yet again by starring as, ironically enough, Morpheus in this film? I imagine there are better candidates, but when I read Sandman, I hear Neo. Maybe I am a silly fool.

As Shazam! introduces us to “DC magic,” Sandman would introduce the moviegoers to what not to do with magic. Or better yet, what happens when bad people use “bad” magic, etc. I would hunt down Neil Gaiman and pay him a ton of cash to co-produce the project. It’s the only way to go.

Involve the Endless--like Delight becoming Delirium. There is also Death and Destruction. I feel like this film would be easier to write than to film. A Sandman film has to contain tons of tripped out, incoherent visual displays that don’t upstage the story, but are thrown in random points through the film. I feel that would be important. One thing this film doesn’t have to do is tie into the Justice League story tied up in all the previous yet-to-be-titled films. A cool direction could be incorporating the Constantine television series (if it survives on NBC) into the Sandman film.

To sum it up, a Sandman film would be a rocking introduction to DC’s Dark Universe. And (if it were up to me) there is more to come.

Untitled DC “Event” Film: 11/17/2017 - Ah yes, ‘tis the season, 2017. DCE to this projected point has produced two films centered on different kinds of super-magic. So, “let’s get back to the lecture at hand.”

On Thankgiving 2017, go ahead and drop Doomsday on the DC film universe and have him “kill” Superman in JUSTICE LEAGUE: DOOMSDAY. This would be a tricky maneuver and would require production of BvS to shift directly to a Justice League film. But hey, that has to be the plan, right?

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Introduce Aquaman, bring back a new Green Lantern, and of course the already established Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, and Shazam!. (I don’t count the Martin Campbell film playing into the continuity established in Man of Steel.) The plot could consist of Superman dealing with Doomsy in middle of the Sahara and literally breaking the desert in half. This alerts not only the Green Lantern Corps, but also the city of Atlantis--which just so happens to be located close to where Superman and Doomsday have been throwing down throughout the beginning of the film.

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I’m talking about establishing Arthur Curry as King of the Sea from the jump. Maybe give some bits and pieces of his background--i.e. Why he left the land to go and embrace his destiny. But I would want him to be more regal, rugged, and edgy. Oh yeah, and pissed because someone is knocking down his city. Just as he shows up with a fleet to kick someone’s ass, here comes Bats, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and Shazam!. (This would be amazing.) Not to mention the previously alerted Green Lantern back on Earth. I believe if all of these characters were on the screen together, it’d be as epic as the final shot of 1994’s Street Fighter (bad example). Only it wouldn’t be at the ending when the heroes gathered, it’d be at the twenty-minute mark. You folks know what I’m talking about.

From there, watch it go. Again, with the end result being the subsequent death of Superman. He and Doomsday knock each other out. Don’t play, just retool Superman Vol. 2 #75 to close the film and you’re golden. This will spawn a new direction for the next, dare I say, “phase” in the DC film universe.

Close the film with people paying their respects to the monument Metropolis erects in tribute to the Man of Steel. Then have Lois Lane roll into the mausoleum and see the body is gone. Oh, the drama, and oh, by the by, the 25th anniversary of The Death of Superman.

I know, right?

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Untitled DC Film: 03/23/2018 - A WONDER WOMAN film following the same acclaimed storyline Brian Azzerello has produced over the past three years is the next logical step. Don’t play around. Shift gears. The plot could show Wonder Woman distraught over Superman’s death, which we find out in this film was not as final as we thought. Her fight to protect Zola, etc. (comic series) could definitely connect at some point with finding the truth behind the false assumption Doomsday and Superman killed each other. The demigods of Wonder Woman lure can do just about anything, you just have to find the right “tool.” (No pun intended.)

The key in this film is establishing the existence of the New Gods, namely Darkseid (if he hasn’t appeared at that point) and Apokolips. Maybe Orion, but that may be too much (at this point) to add on top of what could be a wonderful film. The New Gods stuff is definitely in the end-credits realm of thinking. All of it would begin to set up their proposed “event film” in 2020.

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Untitled DC Film: 07/27/2018 - Coming off the hinges of a wild pair of films, enter: Guillermo Del Toro. JUSTICE LEAGUE: DARK may be too easy of a title for another glimpse into the Dark Universe started in my proposed Sandman film of the previous summer. Constantine, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Madame Xanadu, Sandman, and a few more “Dark Universe” heroes play bit roles in the film--Deadman would be a boss character to throw in there.

This possible film could have two main plots. First, we find out that each member of this ragtag group of magicians and demigods have “excavated” the body of Superman. Not only that, but they all are, in some way, keeping Superman alive and healing him simultaniously. They are also protecting him from dark forces that, of course, discover Superman is alive.

The parallel issue is to have Zatanna or John Constantine get a glimpse of the future involving Apokolips obliterating Earth as all the heroes are falling at Darkseid and his Parademons’ feet. This sparks concern as they contact Bruce Wayne, or maybe even a Green Lantern, that danger is on the horizon. It would be cool for the main “monster” of this film to be a Parademon itself. Make him do things that most Parademons don’t normally do, like cloak themselves, or have some sort of shape-shifting tech (yeah, more or less a Skrull on steroids with wings). This will give us as an audience, and the heroes in the story, an idea of the bad shit that is coming their way.

The Dark Heroes take down the Parademon before Batman and Wonder Woman arrive--who witness their teamwork. Constantine, Zatanna, and co. are commended and most importantly, Superman is alive. I’m not opposed to use a 2018-mullet on Henry Cavill after blasting out of his “cocoon” the Dark Heroes created for him, finding out about the film’s monster problem, telling his friends, “It’s good to be back, but before we can enjoy this, I need to find out where that thing (Parademon) came from,” and racing for the sun. This would set up the April film…

Untitled DC Film: 04/05/2019 - THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. (Suck it.)

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We of course have to take into consideration (like all of these films) that BvS is only and TDKR only share similarities in the attire worn by Batman during the showdown between both Bats and Supes teased at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. But then again, who knows what we’ll get in the spring of 2016. I’m as certain people will be craving a new Batman flick in 2017, much less 2019. It’s Batman. Will they go in the direction I imagine? Who knows? TDKR is a lot to throw in one film. The animated masterpiece is case and point. Several plot points would need to be eliminated, like Joker altogether--which would piss a lot of people off.

Thinking back on this, it is a mere consideration to take even more of a TDKR direction with the film but, hell, a fresh, all-new Batman movie wouldn’t be too bad either. Especially if a new take can better tie in to the “event” in 2020 than TDKR. A classic detective story would be amazing. Court of Owls would be as well. I’d even take a chance and go dark with a psychological-action-thriller. Add maybe Nightwing somewhere and things could get interesting.

As far as it specifically tying into the/my DC film universe, it is Batman. Despite Superman alone out somewhere in the cosmos searching for what he doesn’t know is Apokolips, he and Bats have maintained radio contact. At the end of the film/credits, when they have one final conversation Superman is hovering in space staring in disbelief at what we imagine is Apokolips, when really, it’s Kandor. Aaaaand this sets up the next film…

Untitled DC Film: 06/14/2019 - “MAN OF STEEL 2” or “SUPERMAN: NEW KRYPTON” or “BRAINIAC v. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF A CRISIS” (what?)

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Just as Superman is reunited with the Kandorians of Krypton, here comes Brainiac. It’s all gravy because who else is there to assist Supes? Kara Zor-El, of course. Superman and his cousin team up for the first time to combat Brainiac as Kandor is bottled up, but then un-bottled within Jupiter’s orbit, coincidentally enough--also apart of Milky Way powered by a yellow sun. Hello, Supergirl.

Now, I would also have both Kara’s parents involved in the fight with Brainiac only to disappear as Kandor is bottled up once again and flushed into deep space. Brainiac (1) is “killed” by Superman and Supergirl in a team effort. They kill, don’t you guys remember? (Ha.)

Now here’s where it gets interesting. When Superman invites Supergirl to join him back on Earth, she insists on searching the system for her family. Although Superman has some trepidation, he receives word from the Justice League there is trouble on Earth and must return, leaving Supergirl alone to search for the bottled city she once called home.

Okay, now bare with me here. If the inclusion of Kandorians and Brainiac haven’t started to convolute things, then I suggest to keep reading. I’m pulling my nerd card for realskis.

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Anyway, as this particular film’s credits conclude, we see Supergirl flying in space searching through the floating remnants of Brainiac’s ship. We see her at the point of giving up hope. She begins to weep when lights from a large cruiser approach. It’s The Di’iB, the ship commanded by Vril Dox, better known to the galaxy as Brainiac 2. (Stay with me, now.) When Dox exits his ship and introduces himself to Supergirl, the news angers her as she assumes he is a new form of the Brainiac she and Superman destroyed (which he technically is, but not). Meanwhile, Dox is pissed off at himself. The ship was supposed to arrive before Brainiac was destroyed. This is the information that causes Supergirl to strike Dox, who is immediately flanked by Tribulus, Wildstar, and (the most important) Lobo. The gang of space-misfits detain Supergirl and bring her aboard The Di’ib. This, of course, sets up the next film and concludes perhaps the longest end-credits scene in the history of comic book-related cinema.

Untitled DC Film: 04/03/2020 - The success of Guardians of the Galaxy has me thinking. DC Entertainment can find the same financial surprise that Marvel found with a film about unlikely friends coming together to fight evil in outer space. R.E.B.E.L.S. could entertain the heck out of fans of the comics and moviegoers. Especially when fans are expecting the next “big DCE event” that would be two months away from this particular story. Not to mention this event will likely be much anticipated. One bonus the R.E.B.E.L.S. film could present is a break from the underlying story tying all of the previous projected/speculated DCE films. In no way would this film play into the looming “event”. It would be a risk, but I love this DCU team. There’s potential here.

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The plot would involve Vril Dox bringing his team back in time to find the original Brainiac to assist them in taking back the universally accredited L.E.G.I.O.N.--Dox’s original team, which was stolen away from him in what could be spun as a conspiracy set up by an evil corporation or something. The point is that it was an inside job and someone close to Vril Dox is responsible for him losing control of L.E.G.I.O.N. All of this would be explained before and after their encounter with Supergirl in Man of Steel 2, or whatever you would call it. Another reason they need the original Brainiac tech is because they can use the tech to combat Starro, who is destroying the universe of the future. (“Phase two” could begin here.)

Anyway, Dox agrees with Kara Zor-El that they’ll go back and prevent Kandor’s disappearance if she helps them get his team back. When the R.E.B.E.L.S. arrive back in the future/their present day, they are immediately met by Amon Hakk (who turns out in the climax to be the one who sold L.E.G.I.O.N. out). As a former member of Vril’s team, Hakk is warning them to stay away from the old HQ, etc. I get a vibe with Hakk similar to that of the character Walter Donovan played by Julian Glover in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Without getting into great detail, problems are solved, but when the R.E.B.E.L.S. send Supergirl back to the (remember) 2020/present DC film timeline, there is a malfunction caused by a former L.E.G.I.O.N. operative who has been possessed by Starro, who still lives. The operative falls through the timestream with Supergirl, leaving the R.E.B.E.L.S. behind for another possible future adventure--but also technically bringing Starro to the “present day” heroes and villains in the DC film lure.

Untitled DC “Event” Film: 06/19/2020 - DC Entertainment Presents: A CRISIS

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Ah, the Multiverse. Is this something DC Entertainment should attack full on? By 2020, who knows if the comic book film industry turns out to be a fad? As I have been plotting out the direction I think DCE needs to take with these projected film release dates, I can’t help but wonder if people’s interest will still be in getting up from their couch and “going to the movies?” Right now it seems that the only films that can really rake in the loot at the box office are comic book-related properties (or CG-animated children’s movies). I hope both DCE and Marvel Studios stay consistent.

To expand the DCE film universe, you have to introduce some Earth-2 aspects. Maybe not introducing another Earth itself, but maybe New Genesis representing another “planet” of some sort would suffice. Plus, the conquering of New Genesis is the ultimate goal of Darkseid. Of course, the stupid heroes and villains of Earth think they need to ban together to stop Apokolips from destroying Earth. In the end, we get three worlds triangulating themselves towards destruction. “Whose side will you be on?”

Now, let’s back track to “Man of Steel 2/Braniac v. Superman: Dawn of A Crisis.” At the end of the film, Superman gets a call from Batman, right? He has to leave Supergirl alone to search for Kandor in space, yeah?

Now we come back to Earth. Batman and other League members have found the body of Orion, son of Darkseid. He has fallen from the sky, wait, has anyone read Final Crisis? Anyway, the series as a whole was a little loopy, but the final issue of 2009’s big DC Comics event definitely delivered.

You remember in my proposed Justice League: Doomsday plot that Superman “dies” in the climax of the film? Here we follow the final issue of FC where (spoiler) Batman is killed by Darkseid’s Omega Sanction right after Bats shoots him with the same “God-bullet” that killed Orion.

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I’m not saying to do the whole FC story. Just the final pages of the issue. Ending the film with Bruce scribbling the Bat-symbol on a cave wall would be awesome.

To backtrack, this film includes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, Constantine, Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, Lex Luthor, Apollo, Hermes, Zola, Alfred, Mera(?), Darkseid, Kalibak(?), Mr. Miracle(?), Big Barda(?), Granny Goodness(??)--and that’s all I can think of when it comes to just heroes and villains. That’s a little much. And this last film will cost $300 million easy.

So maybe I ended up getting a little carried away. It’s easy to do with all of these characters. I feel for the individuals who have to map out the next five years for DC Entertainment. But hey, if they need help from an undergrad who has read way too many super hero comics--I’m your guy.

Thanks for reading through my crazy ideas. Here’s to the future, and to DC Entertainment: May they make all of our dreams come true.

And they do a R.E.B.E.L.S. movie.

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