DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran may have outlined the new slate of projects that make up the “first part of the first chapter” of the revamped DCU this week, but there are still quite a few question left to be answered, particularly when it comes to the DC films greenlit by Gunn and Safran’s predecessors. Four DCEU movies are releasing in 2023 —Shazam: Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom — but it’s still unclear how they really fit into the future DCU.
And where does this leave other projects that were never really a part of the DCEU to begin with, like Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe and Todd Phillips’ Joker movies? Gunn and Safran confirmed that the latter will fall under the special “DC Elseworlds” banner for films and TV series that take place outside the main DC continuity.
We’re still a little unclear on whether Reeves’ The Batman universe, which encompasses at least two more films and several HBO Max shows, will now be considered Elseworlds or if it’s a secret third thing. What Gunn and Safran did confirm is that Reeves is officially turning The Batman into a trilogy of films, with The Batman – Part II slated for release on Oct. 3, 2025.
“Matt Reeves is working on The Batman 2, which he thinks of as a Batman crime saga, which also includes The Penguin TV series, and it is its own thing,” Gunn explained. “He’s hard at work on that. He came in and pitched us some amazing, really cool stuff the other day. So our plan is for that to continue.”
Separate from The Batman universe, the new DCU will also introduce its very own big-screen Dark Knight, but Safran was quick to reassure fans that “The Batman is not a stepchild. It’s all under DC. We’re fully invested in the success of The Batman just like we are everything else.”
The DCU’s Caped Crusader will star in a film called The Brave and the Bold, which will also introduce other members of the extended Bat Family. Gunn described it as “the story of Damian Wayne, who is Batman’s actual son, who he didn’t know existed for the first eight to 10 years of his life. He was raised as a little murderer and assassin. He’s a little son of a bitch. He’s my favorite Robin.” He explained the story is “based on the Grant Morrison comic book run, which is one of my favorite Batman runs.”
But who’s playing this new Batman?
“It is not Robert Pattinson. It is not Ben Affleck,” Gunn confirmed, also sharing that “I am working with Ben Affleck who… really wants to direct one of our projects, and we’re excited for him doing that.”
So while the revamped DCU may finally begin to put WB’s superhero mess in order after years of false starts and confusing continuity, there will still be multiple bat vigilantes on the big screen. But Gunn stressed that his plan is to spread out entries in Reeves’ The Batman universe and the DCU’s Bat-installments, so that they have room to breathe.
“Of course, everything’s gonna be balanced. The Brave and the Bold is not going to be coming out in the same six month period as The Batman 2,” Gunn said.
You can read way more about the 10 movies and TV series that will kick off the new DCU here.