While the new year is finally here, there may have been some movie news you missed over the holidays. It’s okay. Everybody was busy this time of year.
However, there’s some big news you might have missed that may interest you concerning the future of DC Comics movies, the bursting holiday box office, and more. Here’s everything big to catch up on in the world of film.
DC Comics Restructuring
With James Gunn now in charge of the DC Comics division of Warner Bros, there have been many new plans for how this new leadership will proceed with DC Comics movies. Over the past few months, we’ve slowly learned a little bit more about what movies we’ll be seeing next, which ones we won’t, and who won’t return for another movie. Here’s everything we know so far.
Considering that Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” was a reasonably significant hit for the few DC Comics movies in 2022, there are no plans to stop the Bat-train. The plans for The Batman 2 and the spin-off series centering around The Penguin will proceed, as noted earlier this year. The familiar cast of characters and creatives are expected to return for these Batman projects. What’s interesting, however, is that Gunn mentioned Batman would be playing more of a key role within this new DC Comics universe. What this means is hard to say, considering that the Robert Pattinson version of Batman hasn’t had any interaction with any other DC Comics movie up to this point.
As for Superman, Gunn does have plans for another Superman project, but it won’t be with Henry Cavill. Despite Cavill’s surprise cameo as the iconic superhero in October’s “Black Adam” movie, a recent discussion revealed that Cavill wouldn’t be back as the boy in blue. Gunn plans to go in a new direction with Superman and will seek someone new to don the cape and tights.
But what of Black Adam? Will Dwayne Johnson be back in the role for another movie? Based on how Johnson described his interactions with the new DC leadership, the answer seems to be “not yet.” According to Johnson, DC doesn’t plan to make Black Adam a crucial part of DC’s next chapter going forward. While this seems vague, it seems to imply that Johnson isn’t out of the role but that there are currently no plans for a Black Adam 2 or another movie featuring the character.
The same is happening for the other DC Comics character Shazam. Played by Zachary Levi in his adult form, the superhero has had one sleeper hit of a movie in 2019 and will be appearing on the big screen soon for the sequel in 2023. There’s no definitive word yet on whether Shazam will be gone from this new vision for DC Comics, but there don’t seem to be any immediate plans to replace Levi. We’ll probably get a clearer picture when the box office numbers roll in for Shazam 2.
Wonder Woman is for sure out of the game. The possibility of Wonder Woman 3 is not happening after Gunn met with Patty Jenkins, the director of the past two Wonder Woman movies. The story idea for Wonder Woman 3 was shot down, and it doesn’t look like Gal Gadot will be returning to the role of Diana Prince.
In the coming weeks, we should be getting more official news about what DC Comics movies WILL be going into production.
Avatar 2 has Already Crossed the $1 Billion Mark
James Cameron’s latest film, “Avatar: The Way of Water”, is the sequel to 2009’s blockbuster hit “Avatar”, and there was a lot of speculation on how well this film would do at the box office. It seemed like a tough challenge for Cameron to deliver a holiday blockbuster since it had been over a decade since the last Avatar movie, and the buzz had softened over time for this developing franchise. To the surprise of a few, however, Cameron once again delivered a blockbuster juggernaut.
“Avatar: The Way of Water” had a strong opening weekend and is currently sitting at well over $1 billion worldwide, with the number still growing after spending less than a month in theaters. At this rate, Cameron will likely topple his record set by the previous Avatar movie. This bodes well for Cameron, who not only holds dominance over audiences but has enough power to continue onward with the many Avatar sequels he has planned.
Westworld Too Expensive
HBO has been axing a number of its TV shows to clean house and save money after the disastrous merger with Discovery. Those on the chopping block include “Raised by Wolves”, “The Nevers”, “Legendary”, “FBOY Island”, “Finding Magic Mike”, “Head of the Class”, and “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. But the biggest disappointment so far has been that the sci-fi epic “Westworld” will not be returning, despite going on for several seasons and winning numerous awards.
HBO has recently come out and stated that the primary reason Westworld won’t be back is cost. The show featured a hefty ensemble of actors each season, and the special effect of crafting a world of android and technological breakthroughs makes for a very taxing VFX-based series. The series creators and showrunners have already moved on to developing a new show, “The Peripheral”, for Prime Video.
Rush Hour 4 Might Still Happen
Despite “Rush Hour 3” underperforming at the box office in 2007 that even Jackie Chan didn’t like it, Chan is still pushing for a fourth entry in the Rush Hour action franchise. The films were known for the culture clash of Chan playing a Chinese cop familiar with martial arts and Chris Tucker being a loud-mouthed American cop with street smarts.
Jackie Chan mentioned at the Red Sea Film Festival that he is still in talks with trying to make Rush Hour 4. It’s uncertain just how well these talks are going and who is involved with getting this move off the ground. Rush Hour 4 has been in talks for many years, so it’s hard to say if it will ever come to be at this point in production hell.
Harrison Ford On Entering the MCU
In addition to appearing once again as Indiana Jones on the big screen, Harrison Ford will also be stepping into a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’ll be taking over the position of General “Thunderbolt” Ross, previously played by the late John Hurt, for the upcoming Captain America movie. When asked why Ford would appear in an MCU movie during the Yellowstoners podcast, he explained why:
“Hey, look, I’ve done a lot of things. I now want to do some of the things I haven’t done.”
Ford has been fairly selective of the projects he’s wanted to work on in the past, only agreeing to reappear as Jones in a new Indiana Jones and detective Rick Deckard in “Blade Runner 2049” if the script was right. Having also appeared on Yellowstone, he now seems to be open for trying out different kinds of roles in his older age.