Every Canceled DCEU Movie & What Happened | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

Every Canceled DCEU Movie & What Happened | Screen Rant – Screen Rant

The DCEU has an almost decade-long history of ups and downs, including several movies that were announced but that ended up never being made.
In the decade since its launch with Man of Steel, the DCEU has collected several canceled movies – here’s what happened with each of them. As Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy approached its ending, Warner Bros. was keen on kickstarting a new franchise based on the DC IP – one that could rival the already successful MCU. While The Avengers and its record-breaking box office results were clearly an inspiration and a goal for the studio, the DCEU had a turbulent path in the crafting of its universe, which helps explain why there have been so many canceled DC projects
Although Man of Steel ended up becoming the first entry in the DCEU, the Zack Snyder film was not initially planned to be the start of a cinematic universe. Instead, Warner Bros. wanted to replicate the Dark Knight trilogy’s perfect trick, and thus Christopher Nolan and David Goyer started to develop a Superman project. Zack Snyder was chosen to helm the film, and Man of Steel echoed much of what has been done by Nolan in Batman Begins. After The Avengers, however, it became clear that audiences were keen for cinematic universes, which led to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League being developed instead for a proper Man of Steel sequel.
Related: Every DCEU Cast Controversy Explained: Timelines & Updates
The DCEU’s rushed approach in order to compete with Marvel had consequences both in terms of box office and critical reception. Not only did Justice League fail to the point that it made less than Man of Steel, many of the original projects envisioned for the DCEU never saw the light of day. The state of the DCEU canon after Justice League, with many questions still up in the air regarding the future of key characters, also contributed to increasing the long list of canceled DCEU films.
While Suicide Squad was critically panned, the movie did $746 million at the box office, and elements like the characters’ costumes and the soundtrack managed to stand out. In that scenario, it was reported in 2017 that a Harley Quinn vs. The Joker movie featuring Margot Robbie and Jared Leto was in the works. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa were set to pen the script, but months went by with no further updates, and the film never happened. Instead, the story of how Harley Quinn broke out of the Joker’s influence was relocated to 2020’s Birds of Prey, a film that started with Harley breaking up with the Joker.
Similar to Harley Quinn vs. The Joker, Gotham City Sirens was one of the early ideas for follow-ups to Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn had been one of the highlights of the 2016 film, and if any characters were to receive a spin-off, it was likely to be her. Coming after Suicide Squad, director David Ayer tweeted 2016 a picture of Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy with a caption alluding to the Gotham City Sirens. Ayer later tweed a picture of Black Mask, who most likely was going to be the villain of the film. However, Gotham City Sirens never happened, and the project became the Birds of Prey film, which also had Black Mask as the villain.
A Jared Leto Joker solo film was yet another Suicide Squad spin-off that never became a reality. The project was initially reported in 2018, but no other announcement followed. Instead, Warner Bros. went ahead with the Todd Phillips project, and 2019 saw the release of Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix in a film that had no connections to the DCEU.
Related: The DCEU’s Biggest Problem Is Still How It Treats Its Villains
While a Green Lantern movie for the DCEU is still on the cards, the Green Lantern Corps project, as originally announced in 2016, never came to be. The film was part of the DCEU’s original slate that was revealed before Batman v Superman‘s premier, and no creative team had been attached. No Green Lantern was featured in the present-day events of Justice League, and a scene featuring the Green Lantern John Stewart was cut from the Snyder Cut. Currently, the Green Lantern project in the most advanced stage of production is the untitled Green Lantern HBO Max show.
Before Batman v Superman was released, it was announced that Zack Snyder was going to direct a two-part Justice League film. However, it was later decided that Justice League was going to be a self-contained story first and that sequels would be discussed later. That led to Snyder and Chris Terrio rewriting the film to better adjust the story, but the ideas of how Justice League 2 was going to play out remained almost the same. Snyder ended up having to step down from Justice League after a family tragedy, the movie was reportedly troubled bey problematic rewrites and reshoots, and Justice League did not justify either Zack Snyder’s Justice League sequel ideas or any form of Justice League 2, at least not initially. The Snyder cut of Justice League was eventually released, but that was not enough to change the status of the Justice League franchise.
Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie is one of the projects that was part of the original DCEU slate. Similar to what happened with the Justice League sequels, the reception of Batman v Superman as well as the behind-the-scenes controversies of Justice League, made it difficult for Affleck’s Batman film to happen. Not only that, but Ben Affleck revealed that the experience during his run as Batman, especially in Justice League, had been wearing – and that directing and starring in a Batman film could have put his health at risk. Matt Reeves was then brought in to develop a Batman reboot, The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson.
The original DCEU slate also involved a Cyborg film, although no creative team was ever announced. After the Justice League failure, the Cyborg film never received any updates. Given everything that went by with Ray Fisher’s accusations of mistreatment on the set of the Justice League reshoots and the formal investigation that followed, both the actor’s return to the DCEU and a Cyborg solo film have become unlikely.
Related: Why Wonder Woman’s DCEU Origin Change Was A Perfect Choice
In 2017, director Gareth Evans was set to write and direct a Deathstroke solo film starring Joe Manganiello. The actor had appeared briefly in Justice League and was also expected to be the main villain of Ben Affleck’s Batman movie. As Affleck’s project was not moving forward, neither did the Deathstroke one. Despite the planned budget of $40 million, the studio decided not to proceed with the project, as confirmed by Manganiello.
Following the success of Aquaman, the only DCEU film to cross the billion-dollar mark, The Trench, a spin-off named after one of the kingdoms of Atlantis in the Aquaman lore, was announced in 2019. James Wan, who directed Aquaman, was going to serve as a producer. Two years later, however, Warner Bros. announced through a press release that the studio was not going to move forward with the project. Wan continued attached to the Aquaman franchise and is currently working on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
After Justice League featured Steppenwolf and the parademons as the main villains of the film, the world of characters created by Jack Kirby was set to have its own movie written and directed by Ava DuVernay. New Gods was announced in 2018, and comic book author Tom King was brought in to co-write it. In 2021, in the same press release that confirmed The Trench was no longer happening, New Gods was canceled. To this day, it is still not clear whether the film would be part of the DCEU and feature the same versions of Darkseid and Steppenwolf as Snyder’s Justice League or if it would have been something completely new.
A Deadshot solo movie starring Will Smith was also one of the Suicide Squad spin-offs announced shortly after the movie’s release. In 2018, Smith confirmed that the project was happening, but no updates followed. In 2022, THR reported that the Deadshot solo film had been put on the back burner due to Smith’s $20 million dollar salary ask.
Related: The Rock’s Black Adam Can Avoid A Major Snyder DCEU Criticism
In February 2022, it was reported that a Wonder Twins movie for HBO Max starring Riverdale’s KJ Apa and 1883’s Isabel May was in the works. However, only three weeks later, Wonder Twins was canceled. A report by WSJ revealed that the DCEU film was scrapped due to budget concerns and that Warner Bros.’s new leadership was not keen on developing expensive films for streaming only.
Next: What If Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern Had Been In The DCEU
Marcelo Leite is a senior writer for Screen Rant with years of experience in creative and academic writing. Although his chosen field was structure engineering, there is nothing he likes better than writing about the things he loves.

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