‘The Batman’ Gets A Sequel And Other DC Tales From Warner Bros’ CinemaCon Presentation
by Erik Amaya
This week saw the return of CinemaCon to Las Vegas. The (mostly) annual exhibition of upcoming films for theater owners is generally a time for the studios to reveal some their upcoming plans, preview unfinished films to a very select crowd, and start some of the hype for the coming year. Therefore, it was the best place for Warner Bros. Pictures to formally announce a sequel to The Batman.
Deadline reports both star Robert Pattinson and director Matt Reeves will return. Although no plot details were offered — Reeves briefly took the stage to thank theater owners for their support of the film — we image it will continue the Batman’s emotional journey as he realizes a grimdark avenger may not be the hero Gotham needs. And though Reeves has suggested the Joker (Barry Keoghan) will not appear in a potential sequel, he is a tough character to ignore.
The presentation also included a teaser for December’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods that we expect will be released online before too long. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom director James Wan appeared on stage to tell owners he is working on his director’s cut of the film. He also offered a glimpse of a re-powered Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen III) and a few new bits of tech employed by the various Atlantean kingdoms. Dwayne Johnson also took to the stage to promote July’s DC League of Super-Pets and October’s Black Adam. Those in attendance also saw a trailer for The Flash, although it appears the film — now scheduled for release on June 23rd, 2023 — was the least represented.
The presentation, the first of the Warner Bros. Discovery corporate era, suggests a renewed focus on the DC characters unlike anything we’ve seen since the initial Justice League presentation in 2014. And as many have noted, the tone of the presentation re-iterated Warner’s intentions to be theater-first following WarnerMedia’s push to day-and-date released on HBO Max in 2021. The move was quite unpopular with theater owners, so the switch is hardly a surprise. What is surprising is the lack of word on Batgirl. The HBO Max feature is said to be eyeing a theatrical release, a la former HBO Max original Blue Beetle. With no other films besides The Batman sequel in true development, it, Blue Beetle, and HBO Max’s Wonder Twins adaptation may be called upon to bolster the DC roster in 2024.