Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which premieres on March 25, marks the official start of DC Comics' cinematic universe (retroactively you could say it started with Man of Steel, but that wasn't the plan at the time). The new film is going to introduce the heroes Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg (and maybe the Flash and Green Lantern) to the universe inhabited by Henry Cavil's Superman. That's a lot of world building, but the point of this is for the heroes to unite as a team in a future two-part Justice League movie, à la The Avengers. So what's the next DC movie after Batman v Superman ?
Technically, the next film to take place within the universe is Suicide Squad , which premieres on August 5 of this year. However, that movie probably won't do a lot of world-building, and will mostly function as a standalone film. The film focuses on a group of villains who are recruited by the government to stop an even greater threat than themselves, but connections to the heroes introduced in Batman v Superman aren't expected to be all that plentiful. In fact, only Batman is confirmed to have a cameo in the movie.
After that, Wonder Woman returns in her own solo film, to debut on June 23, 2017. The movie is believed to take place largely in the past, and will serve as an origin story for the character. With Wonder Woman's origin established, Justice League - Part One will premiere just a few months later on November 17, 2017. That film will reunite the five heroes introduced in Batman v Superman, along with the Flash and Green Lantern, and the seven will form the team of superheroes known as the Justice League.
Then, DC will fill out their universe more by giving solo movies to each of their Justice League heroes; which is the opposite strategy of rival Marvel, who generally give their heroes their own movies before adding them to others. The Flash premieres on March 16, 2018, and Aquaman on July 27, 2018. Then the universe again switches gears, with Shazam on April 5, 2019. That film will introduce the characters of Captain Marvel and his nemesis Black Adam, but like Suicide Squad, will likely only be loosely connected to the rest of the DC universe.
After Shazam, DC again shifts their focus back to the main universe, with Justice League - Part Two hitting theaters on June 14, 2019. This will be followed by two more solo films centered on heroes from the Justice League: Cyborg, premiering on April 3, 2020, and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020. Of course, all of this is likely to change. Batman will almost certainly have his own movie sometime between now and 2020, and depending on how well they perform, Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman may earn themselves sequels that would likely premiere before that date as well.
For now, the only films that are pretty much guaranteed to premiere at their currently-set dates are Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, but regardless of how closely the studio sticks to its current schedule, one thing is certain: There's never been a better time to be a DC Comics fan.
Images: Warner Bros.; giphy.com