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The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman lead DC's big CinemaCon plans

Co-president Peter Safran took to the stage to tease DC's three big 2023 releases

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CinemaCon attendees got to learn more about the future of DC Studios Tuesday, with co-president Peter Safran showing up at the Las Vegas trade show for theater owners to spill some beans about what’s coming up as part of the new era of DC Studios... if not necessarily the beans they expected.

“We could not have a better launching point than our phenomenal DC lineup for 2023,” Safran told the audience about the three remaining DC movies ahead of the new DCU era. (Those being The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.) The movies, Safran said, “blaze a trail forward into our DC Universe that we are cracking with our next chapter.”

Aquaman director James Wan offered a video message teasing the final movie of the “DCEU,” as what was once the Snyderverse has become known, saying that the movie will “dive back into Atlantis, but... also get to visit beautiful, strange new worlds.”

Wan was introducing a new trailer for the movie, shown exclusively for CinemaCon audiences, which teased the return of both Amber Heard and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as well as Jason Momoa, with Aquaman complaining, “I’m supposed to be a king. To bring the land and sea together. But now, I feel the tide shifting.” But… towards what…? We’ll find out in December.

Also appearing on stage was Xolo Maridueña, promoting August’s Blue Beetle with an alternate version of the trailer released earlier this month — it featured a longer transformation sequence from Jaime into Blue Beetle — and Andrés Muschetti, director of upcoming summer release The Flash. Safran discussed the latter movie, saying that Barry Allen is “a superhero so powerful that he can change the destiny of other superheroes,” before introducing the new trailer for the movie. “This movie has everything, including an incredible performance by Ezra Miller,” Safran teased, saying that it will “reset the DC Universe” — adding fuel to the rumors that The Flash might be more connected to the new DCU than initially believed.

The arrival of Safran had been teased at the start of the mammoth WBD presentation by WBD CEO David Zaslav at the start of the studio’s presentation, when he seemingly told the crowd that Gunn and Safran were going to reveal more about their ten year plan for DC — something that, sadly (but understandably) didn't happen. (Some secrets should be kept for closer to the time, after all.)

Zaslav also described this summer’s The Flash as “a very emotional movie [and] to me… the best superhero movie I’ve ever seen.” (CinemaCon attendees will get to make their own minds up about that later tonight, when the movie has an exclusive early screening.) James Gunn, Safran’s co-president of DC Studios, is currently on tour promoting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Marvel.

Zaslav also talked about his desire to make moviegoing more of a priority for Warner Bros. Discovery moving forward, noting that there are 16 WBD theatrical releases this year compared with 6 when Discovery merged with Warner Bros. He wants upwards of 20 per year moving forwards, and told theater owners, “I’m convinced, there is no other place to see a motion picture, to have impacts on all parts of the world [than in a movie theater], adding, “We’re in no rush to bring movies to Max.”

CinemaCon continues throughout this week, and Popverse will continue to share the latest news as it happens.


Keep up to date with what’s happening with upcoming superhero movies with our calendar of future releases.

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.

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