It took over a decade for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to finally debut as Black Adam in the DCU, but now that he’s here his energy and appeal might’ve given the franchise the jump start it needs. Only time will tell if DC Studios can get past its shaky performance over the past few years. Still, the consistent interest in upcoming projects and the news of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s hiring has many fans remaining hopeful. Even in 2023, there is a big uptick in output with the likes of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Fans certainly have their own ideas of what they want to see in the future of the DCU Studios, with some wanting it to revert to Zack Snyder’s tone and aesthetic from Man of Steel and Justice League, while others want a fresh start and more things like The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. As such, there are many great opinions about who should get their film or not – especially since there have been no official projects announced for 2024 and beyond. Whether they’ve already been featured or been teased in the DCU or they’d be new introductions, fans on Reddit would like to see these characters headline their film.
One character who’s getting an incredible amount of interest recently from fans is Doctor Fate, thanks to his standout appearance in Black Adam. u/Daviddv1202 puts it plainly, writing “We seriously need a Doctor Fate movie” From the creative design of his costume and magical abilities to his intriguing backstory, Doctor Fate is a perfect candidate for a new film.
The big caveat is that Pierce Brosnan’s Kent Nelson died in Black Adam, but death is not an issue in comic book stories. This could operate like Black Widow in showcasing Kent as Doctor Fate before Black Adam, showcasing his origins and life over the years as a hero – although this might just be best for an HBO Max miniseries. Alternatively, it could focus on Kent’s successor and nephew, Khalid Nassour as the new Doctor Fate and Brosnan could still appear as a mystical advisor, a spirit within the helmet, so there’s a big star linked to the project.
The other JSA character deserving of his film following Black Adam is Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman. He has already been presented as the leader of the JSA, a man that was made rich and powerful thanks to the Nth metal he possesses. However, his true origins are still a mystery to most – they were delved into in related comics, but unfortunately, most DCU audiences probably aren’t aware they exist.
u/msk21shoaib wrote, “Give Hawkman a movie with Hawkgirl and introduction of Thanagar.” A Hawkman movie would therefore examine their strange love story through the ages, dating all the way back to Ancient Egypt, and even connect their alternate origins from the planet Thanagar. It could incorporate other cosmic characters like the Green Lanterns and/or Adam Strange.
While Superman was the first superhero introduced in the DCU and Wonder Woman is the first chronologically, there was another prominent DC character hiding since the franchise’s beginning in Man of Steel. Zack Snyder’s Justice League revealed that Harry Lennix’s Calvin Swanwick is the Martian Manhunter, observing humanity and the heroes in secret. However, there hasn’t been any reference to him since, so fans are unsure if he will ever play a role in the DCU’s future.
u/TvManiac5 wrote, “The fact that Harry Lennix still hasn’t gotten a theatrical Martian Manhunter movie is a crime.” He is an important and foundation member of the Justice League in the comics and animated adaptations, so he has the popularity to draw audiences. Plus, a Martian Manhunter film would also be a great excuse to expand the DCU’s stories into the cosmos.
Another established DCU character many fans would like to see again in their film is Katana. She was a standout character in Suicide Squad, so some audiences were surprised when she didn’t feature in The Suicide Squad at all. The interest in more Katana hasn’t waned it’s been exacerbated by Karen Fukuhara’s stellar performance in The Boys.
u/Chronokix wants a Katana film, claiming, “It would be so cool to see her backstory in an epic, action-packed, and possibly tear-jerking movie.” This could entail Katana as she seeks a new life, but she gets dragged back into a fight against the Yakuza, forcing her to relive her tragic origins. This might be a perfect option for a future HBO Max film like Black Canary, as long as it’s not abandoned like Batgirl.
Green Lantern Corps
One of the most important and storied factions of DC Comics characters is still waiting in the DCU’s wings. The Green Lantern Corps have only appeared during the opening fight against Darkseid and his army in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but they’ve been missing otherwise. There was a scene intended to introduce Jon Stewart and Kilowog in that film, but it was scrapped and swapped for Martian Manhunter’s.
A Green Lantern Corps film has been in development for years, but there hasn’t been any public news about it recently. Despite the poor response to Green Lantern, this is still something many fans are desperate for in the DCU, with u/True_Leadership_2362 wanting a “Green Lantern Corp film that leads into the JL sequel where Darkseid attacks.” This could be a way to incorporate both Hal Jordan and John Stewart as protagonists, along with other popular Green Lanterns and even members of the other Lantern Corps.
If there is one DC character fans are pinning for, it’s Lobo, the Czarnian bounty hunter. Even James Gunn seems interested, given his first post on Mastodon was of Lobo. u/No-Consideration8132 thinks “Lobo is a must. TBH it would be brutal fun and comedic. With the 4th wall breaks, it would be amazing. Plus, his travels across the galaxies would be epic.”
He could be introduced as an antagonist, whether main or secondary, in a future film or tv show if a contract brings him to Earth – potentially allowing him to go up against Superman even. Alternatively, Lobo is a perfect candidate for his animated series on HBO Max in the vein of Harley Quinn.
While the Suicide Squad, Justice League, and possibly Justice Society are at the center stage now, other prominent teams would be welcome sights in the DCU. Interestingly, Black Adam sets up a potential option for the Outsiders, a team established by Batman to operate outside the Justice League. If the Justice Society has become the premiere team in the DCU, in working with Amanda Waller and World Governments, this could be what Batman is up to.
An Outsiders film would showcase a team-up of non-mainstream heroes, such as Katana, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, and Looker. u/MX2419 wrote, “they come back together cause an old foe who they thought was dead, and he threatens their city. Something like that.” It could work as a big film if Batman plays a prominent role, but if not, it could otherwise work as an HBO Max movie or even a show.
Of the Justice League members missing from the DCU, one who could do well with her film is Vixen. She is magically able to emulate the abilities of all sorts of animals, allowing her to be as strong as a gorilla, fast as a cheetah, and fly like an eagle. This alone holds great prospects for cool action sequences and visual effects.
u/DominicBSaint wrote, “I could picture it being set in Zambesi, and being a sort of more on the avant-garde and artsy side of tones. Yet, still staying true to the source material.” They go on to say it could even show an alternative perspective to Black Panther on Afrofuturism and mysticism.
Etrigan The Demon
Another good option to showcase DC Comics’ varied takes on spirituality and magic is to introduce the Justice League Dark and characters like John Constantine, Zatanna, and Etrigan the Demon. There are supposedly projects in development for the former two – in addition to a Constantine sequel starring Keanu Reeves – so u/Bsquared02 would like one movie for Etrigan.
They wrote, “a movie with Jason Blood/Etrigan would be intriguing, especially with a medieval England setting, and maybe even Mordred and Morgan le Fay as antagonists.” Such a framing would allow it to be a solid and isolated origin story like Wonder Woman, establishing the character on his own before eventual team-ups.
With Black Adam and Birds of Prey, the DCU has made a name for itself by focusing heavily on the villains, framing them as ant-heroes. Other villains worthy of their film are The Rogues, a collection of Flash’s greatest adversaries. Those suggesting such a project likened it to Oceans 11 and Now You See Me as they all work together, showcasing their strange talents, in a heist movie.
u/BVTheEpic wrote, “image a heist movie starring Flash’s rogues (Captain Cold, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Trickster, and Golden Glider.” That sounds like a cool group to follow, and such a film wouldn’t have to involve the Flash or the classic third-act big climax fight. Interestingly, if The Flash restarts the DCU as many are theorizing, such a film could also incorporate Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang.
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