The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of superhero films and television series produced by DC Studios and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on characters that appear in American comic books published by DC Comics. The DCEU also includes comic books, short films, novels, and video games. Like the original DC Universe in comic books, the DCEU was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters.
Warner Bros. had plans to bring various DC Comics superheroes together in films since 2002, when Wolfgang Petersen was set to direct a crossover of the Superman and Batman film franchises. After a planned Justice League film was put on hold in 2008 and initial universe plans were scrapped due to the critical and commercial disappointment of the 2011 film Green Lantern, Warner Bros. established this shared universe in 2013.
The DCEU began with the film Man of Steel (2013), a reboot of the Superman film series, followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), which served as a reboot of the Batman film series. These films were followed by twelve films, and the DCEU was expanded to include a television series for the streaming service HBO Max in 2022, Peacemaker. Following the restructuring of DC Studios and the appointment of James Gunn and Peter Safran in 2022, the franchise was largely rebooted before the release of Shazam! Fury of the Gods on March 17, 2023, becoming the DC Universe films and television series planned by Gunn and Safran, though the original DCEU will conclude with the release of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 22, 2023.
The DCEU is the ninth-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $6.7 billion at the global box office. Its highest-grossing film, Aquaman (2018), earned over $1.15 billion worldwide and became the highest-grossing DC Comics-based film to date. However, eight out of the other thirteen theatrically released films have failed to break-even, being considered box-office bombs. Reception to the franchise has generally been mixed among critics and fans.
Upon announcement of the film series, the universe was commonly called the "DC Cinematic Universe" (DCCU) by fans and the media, in keeping with the naming convention of the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Keith Staskiewicz, writing for Entertainment Weekly, jokingly coined the term "DC Extended Universe" (DCEU) in an article about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on July 1, 2015. This term and the abbreviation DCEU quickly spread among the press and fans who took it as the official name of the franchise over the following years. According to Vulture writer Abraham Riesman, DC confirmed to him in September 2017 that the term was not used internally and they did not consider it official.
In 2016, as part of DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League, both Geoff Johns and Kevin Smith referred to the franchise's name as being the "Justice League Universe". During the DC Films panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, a video banner displayed the words "Welcome to the Worlds of DC", after showcasing some upcoming films. As a result, some media outlets interpreted this as DC officially naming their shared film universe as the "Worlds of DC". However, in March 2020, Jim Lee referred to the franchise as the DC Extended Universe at C2E2. The franchise was officially titled DC Extended Universe when the WarnerMedia streaming service HBO Max launched the following May.
Following the appointment of Peter Safran and James Gunn as heads of DC Studios, Warner Bros. Discovery (created from the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc.) referred to DC's film and television series as part of the "DC Universe" (DCU), which some media outlets interpreted as a rebranding of the DCEU.
In 2002, Wolfgang Petersen was set to direct a Batman vs. Superman film from a script by Akiva Goldsman, but the project was shelved by Warner Bros. in order to focus on individual Superman and Batman projects. In 2008, a planned Justice League film directed by George Miller and titled Justice League: Mortal was placed on indefinite hold after it failed to secure tax breaks for filming in Australia. Man of Steel, a reboot of the Superman film series released in 2013, was intended to launch a shared universe if successful. Following the film's release, Warner Bros. announced a follow-up entitled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), establishing the DCEU. A slate of 11 DCEU films were then announced in 2014.
In 2016, Warner Bros. established DC Films after the poor critical reception of Batman v Superman. The division, led by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg, was to oversee production and form a cohesive creative direction for the DCEU. After the failure of Justice League (2017), Johns and Berg were replaced by Walter Hamada in 2018. The DCEU expanded to television with the release of Peacemaker (2022–present) on HBO Max.
Discovery Inc. completed its acquisition of DC and Warner Bros. parent company WarnerMedia in 2022, forming a new company named Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) with David Zaslav as CEO. Zaslav sought to overhaul the DCEU, and began searching for a creative leader akin to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to lead DC's film and television projects. James Gunn and Peter Safran were subsequently announced as the co-chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, the successor to DC Films. In 2023, the duo unveiled their slate of ten DC projects which were to be part of the DC Universe (DCU), a soft reboot and spiritual successor to the DCEU.
Kal-El / Clark Kent, who arrived on Earth years ago as an infant from Krypton, struggles with why he was sent to Earth. Raised by his adoptive parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, Clark adopts the persona "Superman", and learns if his abilities are meant to maintain peace or conquer the world.
During story discussions for The Dark Knight Rises (2012), David S. Goyer told Christopher Nolan his idea regarding how to present Superman in a modern context. Impressed with Goyer's concept, Nolan pitched the idea to the studio, who hired Nolan to produce and Goyer to write based on the financial and critical success of The Dark Knight (2008). In October 2010, Zack Snyder was hired to direct the film, and Henry Cavill was cast as Clark Kent / Superman in January 2011. Principal photography began in August 2011. Man of Steel was released in North America on June 14, 2013.
Gotham City-based vigilante Batman travels to Metropolis to preemptively combat Superman, fearing what would happen if the latter is kept unchecked, while another threat endangers humankind.
By June 2013, Warner Bros. were fast-tracking a sequel to Man of Steel, with Snyder and Goyer returning as director and writer, respectively. Nolan was involved in an advisory role as executive producer. The sequel included Batman in a main role, and serves as a reboot of the Batman film series. Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishburne reprised their Man of Steel roles, while Ben Affleck was cast as Bruce Wayne / Batman. Chris Terrio was hired to rewrite Goyer's script. Originally scheduled to be released in July 2015, the release date was changed to May 6, 2016, to give the filmmakers "time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story". The film's title was revealed to be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Initial filming occurred on October 19, 2013, at East Los Angeles College, before full principal photography began in May 2014 and concluded that December. Production took place in Detroit, Illinois, New Mexico, Africa and the South Pacific. After another date change, the film was released in North America on March 25, 2016.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set 18 months after the events of Man of Steel. The film introduces Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen / The Flash, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry / Aquaman, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone / Cyborg, and Joe Morton as Dr. Silas Stone. Steppenwolf, who serves as the main antagonist in Justice League (2017), was introduced through a brief scene not included in the film's theatrical release but instead revealed online by Warner Bros. on March 28, before being included in the Ultimate Edition home video release.
After Superman's death, a secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions and rescue the world from a powerful threat, in exchange for clemency.
In February 2009, prior to the development of the DCEU, Warner Bros. was developing a Suicide Squad film, with Dan Lin producing and Justin Marks writing the script. Warner Bros. announced Suicide Squad in October 2014, with David Ayer as director, also serving as screenwriter. The main cast included Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Karen Fukuhara, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, and Joel Kinnaman. Principal photography took place from April to August 2015 in Toronto. Suicide Squad was released in North America on August 5, 2016.
Suicide Squad is set after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck and Miller reprise their roles as Bruce Wayne / Batman and Barry Allen / The Flash from that film. In a mid-credits scene, Amanda Waller (portrayed by Davis) meets Wayne in a restaurant and hands him a dossier containing information on future members of the Justice League.
Diana of Themyscira, an Amazon warrior who is also the demigoddess daughter of the god Zeus, uses her talents and abilities in order to help humanity during World War I.
In December 2013, Gal Gadot was cast as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman and signed a three-picture deal which included a solo film. The film was announced in October 2014, and Michelle MacLaren was confirmed to direct from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs the next month. MacLaren left the project the following year in April due to creative differences, and Patty Jenkins was hired to replace her. Filming occurred from November 2015 to May 2016 and took place in the United Kingdom, France and Italy. Wonder Woman was released in North America on June 2, 2017.
Motivated by Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Batman and Wonder Woman assemble a team of metahumans to stop the threat of Steppenwolf, who is in search of three Mother Boxes scattered across Earth.
By June 2013, Goyer was set to write Justice League as part of a three-film deal he signed for Man of Steel. Snyder was confirmed to return as director in April 2014, and the film was announced in October as Justice League Part One. In 2016, Chris Terrio was revealed to have written the script, and the title was changed to simply Justice League by June. Affleck, Cavill, Gadot, Momoa, Miller, and Fisher reprised their respective roles from previous films. Filming took place from April to October 2016 at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in England, as well as locations around London and in Iceland. In May 2017, Snyder stepped down from his duties on the film due to his daughter's death; Joss Whedon filled his position on post-production, with additional scenes being written and directed by him. Though Whedon was not officially credited for his role as post-production director, he completed enough additional work for a screenwriting credit on the film. Justice League was released worldwide on November 17, 2017.
Reprising their roles from previous films are Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Connie Nielsen as Hippolyta, Robin Wright as Antiope, and Joe Morton as Silas Stone. Justice League also introduces J. K. Simmons as James Gordon, Amber Heard as Mera, and Billy Crudup as Henry Allen, with Joe Manganiello appearing as Slade Wilson / Deathstroke in a post-credits scene.
The divisive reaction to the theatrical cut of Justice League, with Snyder leaving directorial duties and the final cut of the film in the hands of Whedon, led to a fan-driven campaign for a "Snyder Cut" of the film. Arguments were made that Snyder's vision would be more cohesive to the previous films. In March 2019, Snyder confirmed his original cut does exist, and stated that it was up to Warner Bros. to release it. Warner Bros. remained silent regarding the matter, though Variety reported in November that Warner Bros. was unlikely to release Snyder's version of Justice League, with one studio insider describing it as "a pipe dream". Snyder announced in May 2020 that HBO Max would be releasing his cut of Justice League on their service on March 18, 2021. Initially conceived as a four-part miniseries, it was ultimately released as a four-hour film, twice the length of the theatrical version. Snyder stated this version is intended to not affect the future of the DCEU continuity, but that it takes place in a slightly alternate universe. The new cut cost an estimated $70 million to complete, primarily for visual effects and additional photography. Some actors returned to their roles for the additional photography. Work on the cut was completed in January 2021.
Characters in the film who did not appear in the theatrical version include the Joker (with Jared Leto reprising the role from Suicide Squad), General Swanwick / Martian Manhunter (with Harry Lennix reprising the role from Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Darkseid (portrayed by Ray Porter), DeSaad (portrayed by Peter Guinness), Nuidis Vulko (portrayed by Willem Dafoe), Iris West (portrayed by Kiersey Clemons), Ryan Choi (portrayed by Zheng Kai), a Green Lantern, as well as Granny Goodness.
Arthur Curry, a half-Atlantean assistant lighthouse keeper, sets out to lead the underwater kingdom of Atlantis against his half-brother, King Orm, who seeks to unite the seven underwater kingdoms against the surface world.
Jason Momoa was cast as Arthur Curry / Aquaman in June 2014. By August, Will Beall and Kurt Johnstad were writing competing scripts for the character's solo film. Aquaman was announced in October. James Wan was hired as director the following year, as well as to oversee the screenplay by Johnstad. David Leslie Johnson was later brought to write a new script. Beall returned to write the script, based on a story treatment by Wan and Geoff Johns. Johnson worked on a rewrite of Beall's script with Wan and producer Peter Safran. Principal photography began in May 2017 in Queensland, Australia and wrapped that October. Aquaman was released in North America on December 21, 2018.
Aquaman is set after the events of Justice League, though critics have noticed numerous inconsistencies between the two theatrically released films. Furthermore, Momoa claimed that the film takes place after "Zack's cut", with the ending of that version of the film directly tying into the events of Aquaman. Heard reprises her role as Mera from Justice League, while Dafoe is introduced as Nuidis Vulko.
By speaking "Shazam", Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster child, can turn into an adult superhero, courtesy of an ancient wizard. He attempts to master his powers and defeat the evil forces controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
In August 2014, Dwayne Johnson announced his attachment to a project about the superhero Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel. Johnson was revealed to be portraying the antihero Black Adam, Shazam's nemesis in the film, with Darren Lemke set to write the script in September. In October, Warner Bros. announced Shazam as a film in its upcoming slate. By January 2017, Henry Gayden was working on the script. In July, David F. Sandberg was hired to direct Shazam!. Johnson was dropped from the project, instead starring in a Black Adam solo film. By October, Zachary Levi was cast as Shazam, and in November, Asher Angel was cast as Shazam's child-age alter ego, Billy Batson. Principal photography began in January 2018 and wrapped that May, with most of the filming taking place at Pinewood Toronto Studios, among other locations around Toronto. Shazam! was released in North America on April 5, 2019.
Shazam! is set after the events of Justice League. Superman makes a cameo appearance at the end of the film, but his face is not shown as Henry Cavill was unable to reprise the role due to scheduling conflicts. The villain Mister Mind is introduced in a mid-credits scene.
When Cassandra Cain, a young girl, comes across a diamond belonging to crime lord Black Mask, Harley Quinn joins forces with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to help protect her.
By November 2016, a film based on the female superhero team Birds of Prey was in development, with Christina Hodson signed on as screenwriter. By April 2018, Warner Bros. selected Cathy Yan as director, with Margot Robbie, Sue Kroll, and Bryan Unkless serving as producers. Margot Robbie reprised her role as Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. The film is the first theatrical R-rated installment in the DCEU and has a smaller budget than most of the other films. In addition to Robbie's starring role, the cast also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, and Ella Jay Basco. The full title of the film was revealed as Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) by Robbie. Principal photography commenced in January 2019 in Los Angeles and lasted until April. Birds of Prey held its world premiere in London on January 29, 2020, and was later released in North America on February 7.
Birds of Prey is set after the events of Suicide Squad.
Diana Prince comes into conflict with the Soviet Union during the Cold War in the 1980s and finds two formidable foes in the form of Maxwell Lord and Cheetah.
By June 2017, Geoff Johns and Patty Jenkins had begun work on the story treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel. In July, Johns was working on the script, and the sequel was officially announced at San Diego Comic-Con, with Gadot reprising the lead role. In September, Jenkins signed a deal to return as director, and brought on David Callaham to pen the script with her and Johns. Production began in June 2018 and concluded that December. Filming locations included the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the United Kingdom and the islands of Tenerife and Fuerteventura in Spain. Wonder Woman 1984 was released in the United States on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously on December 25, 2020.
In a mid-credits scene, Lynda Carter, who starred as Wonder Woman in a 1970s television series, is introduced as Asteria, a legendary Amazon warrior who possessed ancient golden armor that Gadot's Wonder Woman wears in the film.
Amanda Waller sends a new Task Force X, consisting of both old and new members, on a mission to destroy a Nazi-era laboratory containing experiments.
In March 2016, a Suicide Squad sequel was announced to be in development, with Ayer returning as director. Adam Cozad was hired to write the script by March 2017. By July, a new story treatment was written by Zak Penn. In September, Gavin O'Connor was hired as director and writer after Ayer dropped out. O'Connor completed the script with David Bar Katz and Todd Stashwick by September 2018. The next month, O'Connor left the project as Warner Bros. believed the script was too similar to Birds of Prey. In 2019, the film was re-titled The Suicide Squad, with James Gunn directing, from a new script he wrote. Gunn chose the project over various other films Warner Bros. had in development, including a Superman film. In March, Idris Elba joined the cast. He was initially hired to replace Smith as Deadshot, who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts, but was later decided that Elba would play a new character so Smith could return in the future. Robbie, Kinnaman, Courtney, and Davis reprise their roles from Suicide Squad. Production began in September 2019 at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Atlanta, with additional filming following in Panama, and concluded in February 2020. The Suicide Squad began its international release on July 30, 2021, in the United Kingdom, and was released theatrically and on the streaming platform HBO Max in the United States on August 5.
Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the powers of the Egyptian gods and imprisoned, Black Adam is freed from his tomb, ready to unleash his form of justice on the modern world.
In September 2014, after being considered to play Shazam and Lobo, Dwayne Johnson was cast as Black Adam, a central villain of DC's Shazam franchise. The character was intended to be introduced in Shazam!, but Johnson convinced the film's production studios to divide the narrative to focus on Black Adam's origin, with Black Adam and Shazam instead set to cross paths in a future film. Adam Sztykiel was hired as screenwriter. Jaume Collet-Serra was hired as director in June 2019, with Johnson, Beau Flynn, Hiram Garcia, and Dany Garcia attached as producers. By September 2020, Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani had written a new draft of the script. Filming began in April 2021 and wrapped that July. Black Adam was released in the United States on October 21, 2022.
The film features the Justice Society of America, consisting of Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate. Reprising their roles from previous DCEU media are Davis as Amanda Waller, Djimon Hounsou as the wizard Shazam, and Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt, with Henry Cavill appearing as Kal-El / Clark Kent / Superman in a mid-credits scene.
Billy Batson and his foster siblings, who transform into superheroes by saying "Shazam!", are forced to get back into action and fight the Daughters of Atlas, who want to use a weapon that could destroy the world.
A sequel to Shazam! entered development in April 2019, with Henry Gayden returning as writer. David F. Sandberg and Peter Safran returned as director and producer, respectively, and Chris Morgan was hired as an additional screenwriter. Zachary Levi reprises his role as the titular superhero, as most of the adult and child cast in the Shazam Family. At DC FanDome in August 2020, the film's title was announced as Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Filming began in May 2021 in Atlanta and concluded that August. Shazam! Fury of the Gods was released in the United States on March 17, 2023.
In January 2023, co-CEOs of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran stated that Shazam! Fury of the Gods will lead right into the events of The Flash.
Barry Allen travels back in time to prevent his mother's murder, which brings unintended consequences.
By July 2013, Greg Berlanti was developing a film that centered around Barry Allen / The Flash, and drafted a script alongside Geoff Johns, Chris Brancato, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim. In October 2014, Warner Bros. announced The Flash with a scheduled 2018 release date, and that Ezra Miller was cast in the starring role. A new story treatment was being written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller the following year in April. Over the next two years, Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa had individually dropped out as director due to creative differences with the studio. Joby Harold was hired to do a page-one rewrite of the script in January 2017, which previously had drafts written by Grahame-Smith and Famuyiwa. In July, the title for the film was changed to Flashpoint, based on the comic book storyline of the same name. Dan Mazeau was brought on as co-writer. In March 2018, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were hired to co-direct. In 2019, following creative differences with the co-directors' work on the script, Miller was hired to co-write a new draft in collaboration with Grant Morrison. By July, Daley and Goldstein had left the project, while Andy Muschietti and Christina Hodson were hired to replace them as director and screenwriter, respectively. Barbara Muschietti and Michael Disco serve as producers. Filming began in April 2021, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in Hertfordshire, England, and wrapped that October. The Flash was released on June 16, 2023.
The Flash explores the multiverse concept using the Speed Force and features multiple superheroes, including Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne / Batman (reprising his role from the 1989 film Batman and its 1992 sequel Batman Returns) and Sasha Calle as Supergirl. Ben Affleck also reprises his role as the DCEU version of Bruce Wayne / Batman. The film also "restarts" the DCEU, according to Barbara Muschietti. Michael Shannon and Antje Traue reprise their roles as General Zod and Faora-Ul, respectively, from Man of Steel, with Ron Livingston replacing Billy Crudup in the role of Henry Allen, Barry's father, who appeared in Justice League and its director's cut, and Kiersey Clemons returning as Iris West from the latter cut.
In January 2023, co-CEOs of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran stated that The Flash will "reset" the DC Universe and lead right into the events of Blue Beetle, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and their future slate of films given the subtitle of: "Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters". Gunn later explained that The Flash will change some aspects and characters, but not every aspect of the franchise that came before.
After Jaime Reyes graduates from college and returns to his hometown Palmera City, he is chosen to become a symbiotic host to the Scarab, an ancient alien biotechnological relic that grants him a powerful exoskeleton armor, turning him into the superhero Blue Beetle.
In November 2018, a film centered on the Jaime Reyes incarnation of Blue Beetle was in development, with a script written by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer. By February 2021, Angel Manuel Soto signed on as director, and Xolo Maridueña was cast as the titular character in August. John Rickard and Zev Foreman serve as producers. Principal photography commenced in May in Atlanta, and wrapped on July 18, 2022 in Puerto Rico. Initially developed as an HBO Max exclusive film, Blue Beetle was later changed to a theatrical release, and was released on August 18, 2023.
In January 2023, co-CEOs of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran stated that Blue Beetle directly follows the events of The Flash, where much of the franchise will be "reset" in such a way that Blue Beetle will be "totally disconnected (from everything that came before) and can be a part of the DCU".
Several years after the events of the first film, Arthur Curry / Aquaman is forced to protect Atlantis and his loved ones from devastation after an ancient power is unleashed by David Kane / Black Manta obtaining the cursed Black Trident. In order to achieve this, he will have to seek help from an unlikely ally, his brother Orm.
In January 2019, Warner Bros. confirmed development of an Aquaman sequel, with intentions for James Wan to return as director. In addition to starring, Momoa has a larger creative role in the sequel; together with his writing partner Thomas Pa'a Sibbett, he pitched their idea for the sequel to Warner Bros. and co-wrote the first story treatment. In February, David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick signed on as screenwriter; he completed the script alongside Wan. Producer Peter Safran said that the film will explore the other Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis. The title was announced as Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Filming occurred from June 2021 to January 2022 in the United Kingdom, Hawaii and Los Angeles. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is scheduled to be released on December 22, 2023.
In January 2023, co-CEOs of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran stated that Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will take place following the "reset" of the timeline of the DC film by The Flash, and that it will be directly followed by the slate of projects given the subtitle of: "Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters", mentioning the "true start" to occur in 2025.
Task Force X member Christopher Smith / Peacemaker is sent on a black-ops mission to target "butterflies", individuals possessed by parasitic, insect-like creatures invading the human race.
By September 2020, a television series spin-off of The Suicide Squad centered on Peacemaker was in development for HBO Max. James Gunn served as an executive producer alongside Peter Safran, wrote its eight episodes and directed several of them. John Cena reprises his role as Peacemaker from the film. Filming began in Vancouver, Canada in January 2021 and concluded that July. The first three episodes of Peacemaker were released on January 13, 2022, with subsequent episodes releasing weekly until February 17. Soon after the series ended, the series was renewed for a second season, with Gunn set to write and direct every episode.
The first season of Peacemaker is set five months after the events of The Suicide Squad, with Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland reprising their respective roles as John Economos and Emilia Harcourt from that film. Viola Davis, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller also make uncredited appearances as their respective DCEU roles of Amanda Waller, Arthur Curry / Aquaman, and Barry Allen / Flash, with Superman and Wonder Woman also appearing portrayed by stand-ins, with their faces obscured by the darkness. The series contains references to the wider DC universe, including confirmation that Bat-Mite, Doll Man, Matter-Eater Lad, Kite Man, and Green Arrow exist in the DCEU. Additionally, a newspaper headline detailing the Intergang can be briefly seen, ahead of their debut in Black Adam.
After the second season was ordered following the positive reactions garnered by the series, with the show's creator James Gunn confirmed to write and direct all planned episodes, and John Cena set to reprise the title role, Gunn stated that the new season would explore the greater ramifications from the aftermath of the first season's events. Following the surprise cancellation of the HBO Max film Batgirl in August 2022, Gunn reaffirmed that Peacemaker's second season was "safe" and would continue development. Later in the same month he stated that filming was scheduled to begin in 2023, but in January 2023 Gunn said that the second season was delayed as he was busy working on other projects.
Over the years, many projects that were at one point supposed to be part of the DCEU have either been moved into a different continuity, outright canceled, or unreleased. Following the end of the DCEU and reboot into the DCU, various projects that were in development have been shelved though they may be repurposed for the new continuity:
In October 2014, Geoff Johns explained that DC's approach to their films and television series would be different from Marvel Studios' cinematic universe, stating that their film universe and TV universes would be kept separate within a multiverse to allow "everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world". This divide lasted until January 2020, when the DCEU was retroactively established to have connections to The CW's Arrowverse continuity via an expansion of the multiverse concept, during Part 4 of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover. Ezra Miller reprised their role as Barry Allen in a cameo appearance alongside Grant Gustin's version of the character. During their conversation, Miller's Barry gets the idea to call himself "The Flash" from his alternate self and mentions "Victor". Despite their cameo, the episode did not confirm the designated Earth for the DCEU characters.
Miller's cameo opened up more possibilities for crossovers between DC films and the Arrowverse. President of DC Films, Walter Hamada, revealed that prior to "Crisis on Infinite Earths", DC had been structured in a way that the television division had to clear the use of characters with the film division. Now, the company could "really lean into this idea of [the multiverse] and acknowledge the fact there can be a Flash on TV and one in the movies, and you don't have to pick one or the other, and they both exist in this multiverse". Arrowverse creator and executive producer Greg Berlanti agreed, feeling that "moving forward, there's more opportunity to do more things like this", and was open to more film characters appearing in the Arrowverse.
In August 2020, Hamada announced plans to develop a multiverse inspired by the comics. In doing so, the studio also stated that all past, present, and future projects are a part of the same unified multiverse. The Flash director Andy Muschietti further explained that all previous adaptations of DC Comics were a part of the multiverse: "...all the cinematic iterations that we've seen before are valid... all that you've seen exists, and everything that you will see exists, in the same unified multiverse".
In 2023 the Zachary Levi version of Shazam makes a cameo appearance as Beast Boy travels through the multiverse in Titans, season 4 episode 9 ("Dude, Where's My Gar?").
In the DCEU, the events of the films rarely explicitly make their exact years known. Man of Steel takes place after the events of Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984, which are set in 1918 and 1984, respectively. Wonder Woman also has bookend scenes set in the present after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The events of Batman v Superman occur 18 months after the events of Man of Steel, which follows the consequences and the emergence of aliens and metahumans such as Superman. The film concludes with the death of Superman, which is emphasized in Suicide Squad and Justice League, taking place approximately one and two years later, respectively.
Jason Momoa confirmed that Aquaman takes place right after Zack Snyder's Justice League. Aquaman is followed by Shazam!, which occurs during the Christmas season of 2018. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is set about two years after its predecessor. The events of Birds of Prey are set in 2020, followed by The Suicide Squad, confirmed to take place in 2021. Peacemaker is set five months after the events of The Suicide Squad. Black Adam is confirmed to take place after Justice League.
The franchise has won an Academy Award, nominated for three Annie Awards, seven Critics' Choice Movie Awards (winning two), 13 Critics' Choice Super Awards (winning two), 12 Golden Raspberry (winning four), five Grammy Awards, two Hugo Awards (winning one), three Golden Reel Awards, 14 MTV Movie & TV Awards (winning two), one Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award, 35 Saturn Awards (winning one), and eight Visual Effects Society Awards, among others.
In January 2023, Gunn and Safran announced the initial ten installments for the DC Universe, which make up a portion of the slate subtitled "Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters". They included the films Superman: Legacy (2025), The Authority, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and Swamp Thing, as well as the television series Waller, Creature Commandos, Lanterns, Paradise Lost, and Booster Gold. The duo were open to DCEU actors such as Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa and Zachary Levi returning, though Gunn clarified that Superman: Legacy would serve as the start of the new continuity, with the DCU being able to change events from the DCEU, with the DCEU properties serving "like a rough memory of what happens in the DCU". The Flash film would be used to reset some aspects of the universe heading into the DCU.
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