James Gunn, co-CEO of DC Studios, finally made the announcement this week that DC has the next decade entirely mapped out with new and exciting projects that they’ll be bringing to the big and small screen. Gunn made fans incredibly happy with the announcement of 10 new movies and tv shows all set to air within the next 8-10 years, as well as confirmed that audiences won’t have to wait years to see any of this new content since the next 4 movies (all set to air this year) will still be connected to the bigger DC Universe that Gunn is attempting to create.
That said, Gunn also confirmed that any other projects that the studio makes will be set outside the connected DCU and will take place under a new label known as DC Elseworlds. This isn’t to be confused with the long-running DC Elseworlds comic-book run which displays different realities and stories outside the main DC Comic canon, but the premises are incredibly similar and related. Certain projects that Gunn specifically mentioned as being part of the DC Elseworlds universe were Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Todd Phillips’ The Joker and the animated Teen Titans Go series.
So, despite the world having plenty of new DCU content to get hyped about for the future, fans are bound to start asking – which new projects could DC create that will take place inside the DC Elseworlds universe?
Justice League Variation
Technically speaking, the DC Elseworlds universe already has a Justice League movie in it’s canon, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t have another one. Zack Snyder’s official cut of the 2017 film was definitely a different movie from the original that aired in theaters, but it still contained a multitude of the same shots, had the same actors, and covered the same premise. So, with the announcement of DC Elseworlds being projects set outside the DCU canon, why not let another talented director and cast take a crack at it?
Not only could DC make a brand new Justice League movie, but they could also do a fan-service project in which they bring back several of the actors and actresses who have played their characters in prior DC projects. Bring back Christian Bale as Batman or Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman. Incorporate characters from the Flash television series as well as others like Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow and Doom Patrol and create a gigantic cross-over event. It would give fans a chance to reminisce about all of the prior projects they loved (or hated), and give DC a chance to acknowledge/laugh at how disjointed their prior projects have been and atone for any mistakes.
One of the largest takeaways from James Gunn’s announcement of DC’s 10 new projects was that none of them were truly centered around villains. There were definitely a couple of anti-heroes and tragedies thrown into the mix of new movies and tv shows, but none that specifically focused on the villain as the main character. With the included conclusion that Todd Phillips’ The Joker is a movie inside the DC Elseworlds canon, it would make sense that DC would keep riding that wave and create another movie centered around some of their more popular villains.
One specific character that comes to mind is Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch-enemy and the smartest man alive. The character was given a live-screen portrayal in the Batman vs Superman movie but (no offense to Jesse Eisenberg) the performance left a stale taste in fans mouth as it wasn’t quite what they were expecting from the character. So, with a character as intelligent and complex as Lex having so little live-action screen-time over the years, it wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world to give him his own stand-alone project.
Another possibility would be an entire Legion of Doom movie centered around the majority of the villains in the DC universe. It’s far less likely as Gunn will probably want to introduce a multitude of those characters in the DCU before doing so, but it’s something that fans still might be able to hope for several years down the line.
Quite honestly this should be at the top of DC’s list of projects outside the DCU. Even if somebody isn’t a comic-book or movie fan, if you say the name ‘Batman’ they’ll know who it is, and they’ll also know he has a sidekick named Robin. The character has been around for nearly a century and has had so many different variations in that time that it’s astounding (borderline criminal) how little live-action screen-time he’s gotten over the past several decades.
Now, one of the best pieces of information from James Gunn’s announcement was that the DCU will have their own version of Batman that will include the Damian Wayne Robin. So, this means that while the DCU will specifically introduce Damian as their Robin, it leaves DC Elseworlds free rein to make any projects about any other Robin’s from the DC comic canon. That could mean a project centered around Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, or even Stephanie Brown. For a character as well-known as Robin, it only makes sense for DC to capitalize on their new opportunity for standalone projects.
Arguably the most important thing to take away from James Gunn’s DCU announcement was that he has every intention of scouring the farthest corners of the DC comic-canon and including as many different characters and story-arcs as he can. So, what that will most likely mean for any future DC Elseworlds projects is that (at least for the next decade) they’ll probably be focused on some of DC’s most popular and well-known characters rather than center around a lesser-known character that Gunn will want to give a proper introduction to in the greater connected DCU. But with future movies like The Batman 2 and Joker: Folie a Deux being confirmed in the DC Elseworlds universe, fans can rejoice knowing that DC will assuredly be adding more movies to that slate as soon as they can.