The Batman has just released and has been hugely successfully both critically and comercially so you could say the DC extended universe (or the DCEU for short) is thriving, right? You'd be wrong, so wrong. Yes, The Batman is incredible, yes The Suicide Squad was very good and a huge imprvement on Suicide Squad (maybe adding 'The' to the title is the key here) but the DCEU is still a but of a hot mess.
Two days ago Discovery announced that the 2022 DCEU slate was being pushed back. Black Adam is being delayed yet again from July to October and DC League of Super-Pets (also with the Rock) has been pushed back from May to July. This doesn't seem so bad, does it? These changes make sense, one becomes a summer family blockbuster and the next becomes a holiday season hit. Shazam Fury of the Gods even got moved up to a December release putting it in line for a Christmas box office smash, Star Wars style. So far so good. That's not everything though, both Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and The Flash have been dumped out of 2022 entirely and relegated to 2023 with Aquaman falling from December to March and The Flash falling from November all the way to June. Delays this big are rarely the sign of something good.
The Flash was set to be the film that defined the current DCEU and determined which parts of the 'Snyderverse' remained canon so to delay it by six months and leave fans in limbo seemingly makes no sense. It's thought that the long delay to The Flash's release (bearing in mind this movie was supposed to come out shortly after Batman v Superman) are to accomodate reshoots that would see Ben Affleck play a larger role and allow him to return with Discovery's takeover of Warnermedia being the reason that the Snydercut happened in the first place, they seem to be pushing for a revival of sorts. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen but stranger things have definitely happened.
The delays could also be to combat a packed box office slate. Avatar 2, Jurrasic World Dominion and five Marvel properties will be hitting cinemas so spreading the DCEU slate over the next two years may actually be quite a smart move to avoid blockbuster congestion, there's a very good chance that if they had to directly compete with the moneyprinters that are the Marvel films the DCEU movies might struggle to keep up.
It's most likely a combination of the two and nothing to worry about for DC fans but the decision to delay The Flash yet again is baffling, by the time the film comes out it will have been in production for about eight years and it's amazing to me that in that time they still haven't managed to get it right. Since the Flash was announced we have seen a whole Spider-Man trilogy with both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield returning, since the movie was announced in 2013 we have seen five Star Wars movies with two live-action Star Wars series and two more set to release before The Flash drops. To say The Flash is in development hell would be putting it lightly. The delays for Aquaman, Black Adam don't feel so significant, it's very likely that they were just being moved to give themselves a bit of breathing room more than anything else but I really can't see this being the case for Ezra Miller's solo outing.
On a different note though, the future of the DCEU is looking much brighter than it did a year ago. The Batman is sure to get several sequels, Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad were massive hits too and are looking to generate several sequels and spin-offs each, Shazam! was a fan favourite and is getting a major spin-off in Black Adam and a sequel in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The DCEU's future is confusing to say the least but it has promise for the first time since Zack Snyder's take on the DC world was axed. In the last couple of years we've seen four different universes explored (albeit a little confusingly) with Joker, The Batman, the Snyderverse, and the regular DC timeline so anything is possible and chances are that their has been and will be something for everyone to enjoy in the DCEU's vast slate of films and TV shows.
To wrap up here's the the complete list of date changes to the upcoming movies:
DC League of Super-Pets has gone from May 20 2022 to July 29 2022
Black Adam moves from July 29 2022 to October 21 2022
The Flash has been pushed from November 4 2022 to June 23 2023
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom falls from December 16 2022 to March 17 2023
Shazam! Fury of the Gods actually moves up from June 2 2023 to December 12 2022
In the meantime if you're wanting more DC content why not pick up The Flashpoint Paradox using Cloven Hoof's amazon affiliate link (just click the hyperlink), it's a great book that changed the whole DC comics universe and seems to be what the Flash movie is heavily based on!
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