From frustrating cancellations to exciting new announcements, here are the biggest movie and TV moments from the DC Universe in 2022.
2022 has been a complicated year for DC's movie and TV announcements. Starting with the new Batman reboot, 2022 has seen DC film release date changes, movie and show cancellations, surprise returns and shocking farewells. Between Henry Cavill's brief return of Superman and the prospect of a new DCU in 2023, 2022 could be the penultimate year for the DCEU, as the franchise has known since Iron Man. The CW's Arrowverse is also drawing to a close, with Season 9 of The Flash.
Keeping an eye on DC movie news for 2022 is challenging. Movies that seemed certain like Wonder Woman 3 won't be happening, plans that were teased like Henry Cavill's return of Superman ended up going nowhere, and highly anticipated movies like Batgirl were cancelled. . Arrovwerse's cancellation also leads to a tumultuous 2022 for DC, but the prospects for 2023 for the DCU are exciting. Here's a breakdown of the biggest DC moments of 2022, both positive and negative.
Matt Reeves’ The Batman Set Up A New Batman Universe
DC kicks off 2022 with Matt Reeves' Batman. Batman's first and only solo film since Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Batman Avoids Any Connection To The Greater DC Universe, Tells The down-to-earth, realistic story focuses on the second year of Batman. The success of Robert Pattinson's Batman led to the start of its own "Batman Cinematic Universe." A Batman sequel is expected, an HBO Max Penguin show starring Colin Farrell is currently in production, and an Arkham Asylum spinoff TV show is in the works. Essentially, Batman is one of DC's most successful creations in years.
Legends Of Tomorrow & Batwoman Ended (Without A Proper Farewell)
Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman were canceled despite their gripping endings. Legends of Tomorrow won't be coming for Season 8, and Batwoman won't be returning for Season 4. The cancellation of Legends of Tomorrow and The Batman confirmed that the Arrowverse, which seemed set to continue expanding, is now nearing its end. Three years after Crisis on Infinite Earths, the only two remaining Arrowverse episodes are The Flash and Superman & Lois, the latter technically not even part of the Arrowverse, since it doesn't take place on Earth-Prime. Batwoman, played by Javicia Leslie, will return for season 9 of The Flash. Only the Arrowverse shows remained. However, it has been confirmed that The Flash season 9 will be the show's last. The stories of Barry Allen, Iris West and Team Flash will come to an end in nine years, which means the Arrowverse will end in 2023. The trailer for The Flash season 9 has been revealed, and it promises an emotional and high-stakes final season. Whether The Flash season 9 will also serve as the Arrowverse's coda remains to be seen.
The Flash’s Final Season Was Announced
With so many DC TV show cancellations, the future of Stargirl on The CW also seems uncertain. In October 2022, it was announced that Stargirl season 3 would be the show's last. Fortunately, unlike Legends of Tomorrow season 7 or Batwoman season 3, Stargirl season 3 seems to have been crafted as a possible final season. The Stargirl season 3 finale ended in fast-forward, revealing where Stargirl and the rest of the characters are now. For example, Courtney Whitmore is now Starwoman, the Justice Society Museum was created by The Shade, and Jay Garrick is still alive. While Stargirl never appeared in the Arrowverse's Earth-Prime, it could be considered an alternate ending for some Arrowverse shows.
Stargirl Ended With A Look Into The Future
The Batgirl movie has been canceled in the first of a string of major DC movie news for 2022. While the merger with Warner Bros. Discovery was expected to result in changes not only for DC Films, but also for Warner Bros. and HBO Max, the cancellation of Batgirl, a film already in post-production, shocked the industry. Batgirl was designed to be an HBO Max original movie, which isn't the DC IP Warner Bros. Discovery seems to want. Given how WBD reportedly canceled Batgirl to write off taxes, Batgirl could never be released in any form.
Batgirl Was Canceled In Upsetting News
While it's not surprising that Joker is getting a sequel given the film's success, confirmation that Joker 2 is happening is big news for DC. Joaquin Phoenix will reprise his role as the Joker in "Joker Madness," as will Joker director Todd Phillips. However, the biggest news about Joker 2 is that Lady Gaga will play Harley Quinn (from THR) in a sequel that will be a musical. Harley Quinn made her live-action debut in 2016's Suicide Squad, and Margot Robbie has played the character in three DCEU films so far. Joker: Folie à Deux will take on the difficult task of replicating Joker's unique success.
Joker 2 Was Announced (With Lady Gaga As Harley Quinn)
Canceling Batgirl wasn't the only major decision DC Films made after the merger was discovered by Warner Bros. In his first event as WBD CEO, David Zaslav mentioned the word "reset" when talking about the future of DC Films, which sparked a lot of speculation about a potential DCU rebrand and reboot. With Shazam: Wrath of the Titans, The Flash, Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom all having their release dates changed, DC now has four films slated for release in 2023. David Zaslav also mentioned Kevin Feige and Marvel as inspiration for the future of DC movies, and WBD started looking for DC's own Kevin Feige.
Warner Bros. Discovery Merger Shook Up DC Films
Black Adam, a project in development since 2005, is finally coming to the big screen, starring Dwayne Johnson as the titular hero. Considering Dwayne Johnson's success with the franchise, especially The Fast and the Furious, it's clear that the Black Adam star and showrunner has big plans for the future of not only Black Adam, but the DCU as a whole. Dwayne Johnson repeatedly teases that Black Adam will change the 'power hierarchy' DC Universe", the actor teased a Superman-Black Adam fight in particular. The Rock went on to refer to Black Adam as Phase 1 of the new DCU, now confirmed otherwise.
Black Adam Was Released Promising A New DCU
DC's response to their Kevin Feige-esque studio head The search was relatively quick. On October 26, it was announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran would lead DC Studios to create a new DC universe spanning movies, TV shows, and video games. Although the term "reboot" was never used , but James Gunn mentions that they are building "a new DCU." Gunn and Safran have planned DC movies for the next decade, most of which have yet to be released to the public. Director of Suicide Squad and is about to finish his MCU Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. James Gunn of the trilogy will have executive and creative roles at DC Studios.
Black Adamu26a1ufe0f pic.twitter.com/b7ZbCJZxBw— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 20, 2022
James Gunn & Peter Safran’s DC Studios Was Announced
Black Adam's post-credits scene features the return of Superman from Henry Cavill, the character who last appeared on the big screen in Justice League for five years After. Whether Henry Cavill will return as Superman is a question that has defined the past five years of the DCEU, and there is no indication that Henry Cavill will star in a new Superman movie But there's also no word on a reforge or a DCEU Superman reboot. Henry Cavill is back as Superman in Black Adam, and Cavill's subsequent Instagram announcement seems to have settled the issue. However, Cavill's Superman return lasted less than two months. A new Superman movie reboot is in development as part of James Gunn and Peter Safran's plans for DC Studios, and Henry Cavill won't be returning as Superman.
As for more answers about the future of the DCU, I will sadly have to ask you to wait. We are giving these characters & the stories the time & attention they deserve & we ourselves still have a lot more questions to ask & answer. pic.twitter.com/sxwKGRD3vc— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 8, 2022
Henry Cavill Returned As Superman… For Two Months
The first major sign of a DCU reboot was the cancellation of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 3 before the news broke that Henry Cavill would not actually be returning as Superman. While reports have been mixed as to whether Wonder Woman 3 will still come out in a different fashion, the truth is that Gal Gadot's future as Wonder Woman may be in check. THR first reported that one possibility for James Gunn's DCU is a full reboot, which now seems likely after the cancellation of Wonder Woman 3 and the exit of Henry Cavill's Superman. According to Patty Jenkins, there's nothing she can do to "move anything forward" with regards to Wonder Woman 3.
Wonder Woman 3 Was Canceled In Shocking Decision
A full DCU reboot has not yet been announced. However, everything now points to the end of the franchise From the beginning of the Man of Steel and the new DC Universe. A new Superman movie that focuses on Superman's early years as a superhero is the perfect setup for a DCU reboot, as it would allow this new franchise to introduce new versions of DC characters. That includes Batman, whose DCU future is tricky. Matt Reeves' Batman introduces acclaimed young Batman played by Robert Pattinson, but both James Gunn and Matt Reeves deny Pattinson will be cast Rumors brought into the DCU.
pic.twitter.com/E6IdujcgTt— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) December 14, 2022
The DC Universe Could Be Completely Rebooted In 2023
James Gunn reveals that new DCU films will be announced in early 2023, as well as general plans for the future of the franchise. So the biggest question about the future of the DCU is about to be answered. That includes whether James Gunn's DCU will actually be rebooted, and whether characters like Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman and Jason Momoa's Aquaman will be rebooted. The future of Robert Pattinson's Batman is also interesting, as Variety stands by its original report that Pattinson's Batman might join the DCU. Either way, 2023 will be a game-changing year for DC.
More: James Gunn's Most Complicated DCU challenge is Batman
Peter & I have a DC slate ready to go, which we couldn’t be more over-the-moon about; we’ll be able to share some exciting information about our first projects at the beginning of the new year.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 15, 2022