The DC Cinematic Universe is a movie franchise produced by Warner Bros. Studios and DC Comics. The franchise was first developed by Geoff Johns and J.J. Abrams in 2014, meant as an extended universe to create multiple DC Property films all existing in one movie franchise.


In 2012, after Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy concluded, Warner Bros. sought out a new way to address the DC Comics properties. After a Superman project by Watchmen director Zack Snyder was scrapped, as well as several other potential projects, DC Comics Creative Director Geoff Johns developed an idea to create one whole universe of films that the studio could produce several different films in, much like Marvel had reportedly intended to do with 2008's Iron Man before it flopped.

In 2014, Johns began developing a screenplay, along with J.J. Abrams, for a new Batman film with a tentative release date for summer 2017, with Johns and Abrams both on board as producers as well. English filmmaker Guy Ritchie was hired to direct the film, and also helped Johns and Abrams with the final draft of the script, which Warner Bros. went forward with development for.

When Warner Bros. green-lit the screenplay written by Johns and Abrams, they also commissioned the two to write and produce films for heroes such as Superman, The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. In August 2014, it was also announced that the studio would develop a Justice League film as well, with Abrams signed on to direct.

In October 2014, it was announced that Jake Gyllenhaal had been cast as Batman, reportedly beating out actors such as Luke Evans, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Bradley Cooper, and Armie Hammer. In November of that same year, it was announced that Stanley Tucci and Hugh Laurie had been cast has James Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth, respectively.

Later that same month, it was announced that director Matthew Vaughn had been hired to direct The Flash, as well as write the screenplay with Johns. In January 2015, actor Miles Teller was cast as the titular character.

In July 2015, it had been reported that Abrams would write, produce, and direct Wonder Woman. However, Abrams later denied these reports, stating that he would only serve as a producer on the film. Just weeks later, it was announced that George Miller had been hired to direct the film, and also write the screenplay with Johns. Warner Bros. then announced that English actress Kaya Scodelario had been cast as Wonder Woman, with the movie shooting for a November 2018 release.

In January 2016, Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation director Christopher McQuarrie was hired to direct Green Lantern, with the screenplay being written by McQuarrie, Abrams, and Johns. In April of that same year, it was reported that over a dozen actors had screen tested for the role of Hal Jordan, including John Krasinski, Theo James, Chris Evans, Jim Sturgess (who had also reportedly been considered for The Flash), and Chris Pine. Krasinski was ultimately chosen for the role.

In December 2015, Abrams confirmed he'd be directing a Superman reboot, being released in 2020. Several actors were reportedly considered for the role, with Abrams stating that he wished to continue the tradition of casting a relatively unknown actor, rather than casting well known actors as they had done for the roles of Batman, Flash, and Green Lantern. In August 2016, actor Austin Stowell was cast to play Superman. It was later reported that actresses Mila Kunis, Brie Larson, Anna Kendrick, and Alicia Vikander were all being considered to play Lois Lane.


Planned Projects

In addition the the already announced projects, Johns has stated that there were already multiple other projects in development for Warner Bros. He stated that screenplays had been commissioned for projects such as Aquaman, Justice League Dark, Cyborg, as well as sequels to the announced films. In 2016, director Alfonso Cuaron pitched an idea for Justice League Dark, and the studio commissioned him to write a screenplay along with Johns and John Logan.