The critical and commercial success of “Wonder Woman,” “Aquaman,” and “Joker” (the latter two earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office) has seemingly revitalized DC Films after a string of critical misfires like “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League.” A new report from Variety’s Brent Lang and Justin Kroll has new details on the future of DC Films, which unsurprisingly includes a commitment to R-rated comic book tentpoles. “Joker” opened in October with an R rating and had no problem becoming the biggest film of the fall movie season. DC Films and Warner Bros. are clearly taking note.
Per Variety, the upcoming Margot Robbie-led “Birds of Prey” is “expected to get a similar rating” as “Joker.” The movie is not overtly bleak like Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix’s revisionist take on the Batman villain, but it’s also not family-friendly either. The same is reportedly true for James Gunn’s “Suicide Squad,” which “insiders predict” will also nab an R rating. Prior to the Disney Merger, 20th Century Fox had big success with R-rated comic book films “Deadpool,” “Logan,” and Deadpool 2.”
Perhaps the biggest scoop in Variety’s DC Films report regards the future of Superman on the big screen. Henry Cavill played Superman in three Zack Snyder-directed films (“Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman,” and “Justice League”) and recently told Men’s Health that he would not be giving up the role so easily. “There’s a lot I have to give for Superman yet,” the actor said. “A lot of storytelling to do.” It appears Warner Bros. is considering moving on from Cavill, however, as Variety reports that Michael B. Jordan met with Warner Bros. earlier this year. The Jordan rumor had been previously circulating for several months.
Variety’s report reads: “There was a meeting with Michael B. Jordan earlier this year with the ‘Creed’ star pitching Warners on a vision for the character. However, Jordan isn’t ready to commit to taking on the project since filming doesn’t seem likely to happen for several years and he has a full dance card of projects. Insiders think that a new Superman film is unlikely to hit screens before 2023, given that there’s no script and no director attached.”
There might not be a director, but Variety reports “there have been discussions with J.J. Abrams, whose company Bad Robot recently signed a massive first-look deal with the studio.” For more on DC Films’ future, head over to Variety’s website. IndieWire has reached out to Abrams’ representative and Warner Bros. for further comment.