The five year head start and meticulous planning the MCU enjoyed at the beginning has led to a situation where they essentially dictate the direction of travel of the biggest genre in film-making, with the DCEU lagging behind. This has forced the DCEU to make creative changes just to be contrarian - Marvel has their TV and Film universes crossover, so DC does not; Marvel has leaned into the light and colourful side of comic books, so DC has gone grim and gritty; and Marvel built up for a while to their first big team up movie, whereas DC put it out second.
So as I alluded to above, DC are on the ropes. But one of the advantages they do have is that, unlike Marvel, DC and Warner Bros have all of their toys to play with. Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman weren’t sold off to different companies, so a Fox/X-Men situation can’t happen.
With that in mind, here are 9 DC characters yet to make an appearance on the big screen (or little screen, for that matter).
What?: Booster Gold is essentially what would happen if Gilderoy Lockhart became a superhero. Using his futuristic tech, he is able to appear for all the world to be a true hero. But for one thing he is a sell-out, with corporate sponsors galore. Secondly, he’s actually not that great at being a hero - he’s cocky, cowardly, and way in over his head.
Likelihood?: High. I can’t tell you how much I like Booster Gold. He is such a good idea for a superhero character that it is obscene to me that the most exposure he has enjoyed so far was on freaking Smallville. He may be a little stupid and a little bit of a weasel, but his heart is in the right place. This, over and above Shazam, should be the “out there” comedy vehicle on the horizon for the DCEU. That being said, it is too unique and delightful a premise to pass up forever.
What?: Ted Kord was actually the second Blue Beetle, having been handed the mantle by his mentor Dan Garrett. He was a tech based hero, with a spaceship called the Bug and an intellect apparently higher than Batman. He met a grizzly end though, and was replaced by Reyes. Jaime is slightly different, as he gets his powers from an alien device called The Scarab. The Scarab was devised by an alien race called The Reach for nefarious reasons, but Reyes strives to use its many gadgets for good.
Likelihood?: Low (Ted Kord) / High (Jaime Reyes). Superhero movies in general do not need more rich white dudes, so Kord is probably out. He did have a great partnership with Booster Gold, but that can easily be transferred to Jaime Reyes. The third incarnation of the Beetle is much more unique amongst DC’s cast of characters, and again can be used to cosmically expand the DCEU.
What?: This one is out there even for DC. Deadman is basically a superhero ghost. He has no physical body, and is stuck with the same look as the day he died - a face painted pure white all over, and a red leotard with a big D on the front (steady now). Although he has long since discovered his killer, Deadman has chosen to stick around to aid the innocent and hinder the guilty.
Likelihood?: Low. Deadman would be a difficult fit in the DCEU right now. Grim and gritty is hard to mesh with Casper the Friendly Ghost. Could you really see Batfleck interacting with a ghost in red spandex? His most likely entry point would come as part of Justice League Dark, the long in development paranormal Justice League. Prepare for more copout “Justice League Dark” answers coming right up.
Who?: “The one who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it”, AKA Lobo, the intergalactic biker bounty hunter.
What?: The last of his species (because he killed them all), Lobo’s real name in unpronounceable. He’s all kinds of psychotic, to the extent that both Heaven and Hell have banned him from entering. He spends his time collecting bounties across the universe on his Spacehog motorbike, all the time sticking to his slightly warped moral code. Though he was created in the 80s, Lobo is basically every 90s comic book brought to life - he screams “X-TREME” in every way possible.
Likelihood?: Even. DC will soon be introducing their cosmic level stuff with Green Lantern Corps in 2019. If they want to then skew more for a zany, planet hopping adventure with an anti-hero, Lobo is the logical next turn. His moral code gives him enough scope to be a protagonist, and his lust for creative, planet wide violence could also make this DC’s first 18/R rated movie.
Starting to get the feeling DC would be too stupid to pass up on a premise that is essentially “Deadpool in space”.
What?: DC and Marvel have a lot of similar characters with one big difference, and Plastic Man is no different - he is Mr. Fantastic, but with Johnny Bravo’s brain. The funniest man in the the otherwise dour DC, Plastic Man is often used for comic relief more than actual superhero-ing. But he has earned a place in the hearts of many fans, sticking around for almost 30 years where other comedy characters have fell by the wayside.
Likelihood?: Low. Plastic Man straight up doesn’t fit into the DCEU, especially not right now. It would take someone like a Lobo to introduce such abstract concepts as “smiling” and “fun” to Warner Bros. movie universe long before Plastic Man ever got a look in. But stranger things have happened - we’ve had a LEGO Batman movie for crying out loud.
What?: Jason Todd was a character so despised, that fans voted for him to be killed off in 1988. But no one in comics stays dead forever, so in 2005 he was brought back as Red Hood, a moniker previously used by the Joker before he became the clown we all know today. He is a hardline anti-hero akin to the Punisher, opting to shoot first and ask questions later.
Likelihood?: High. Though we may be getting ahead of ourselves with these assumptions, it stands to reason that the ruined Robin costume in the Batcave in BvS belonged to Jason Todd, as Dick Grayson (the first Robin) will appear in the Nightwing movie. So we know Todd is knocking around, and Red Hood has gained popularity year on year in comics since his re-debut over a decade ago. If Deathstroke is out of the Batman solo movie, they might well bring Red Hood in as the replacement (unless, you know, Jason Todd has already turned up in the DCEU . . .).
What?: I say “kind of” because Alec Holland didn’t transform into Swamp Thing in the same way Bruce Banner transforms into the Hulk. Swamp Thing is actually a chemically altered plant imbued with Holland's’ memories, and the actual Holland died shortly after the explosion. Swamp Thing has now all but thrown off his “human ties”, be they non-existent or otherwise, and is now an agent of “The Green”, an elemental life force that connects all plants on Earth.
Likelihood?: Even. Swamp Thing has benefited from having very talented writers work on his comic over the years. This has propelled him high and above his Marvel counterpart Man-Thing into the superhero genre’s prime “green swampy dude who talks to plants”. He’d be a unique film for sure, but again he is most likely to get a look in via Justice League Dark.
What?: Combining two classic comic book tropes - namely a dysfunctional team format and horny, unsure teenagers struggling with their powers - the Teen Titans have excelled by being much more flexible than their rather “stuck in stone” contemporaries in the Justice League. They’ve enjoyed truly legendary comic book arcs over the years, and a highly-acclaimed TV series, but a proposed live-action TV show failed to materialised.
Likelihood?: High. Can I get real with you? No one gives a care about Cyborg. DC having been trying to make him happen for years at this point, in the name of diversity. Which is a very important cause for sure, but Cyborg is such a nothing of a character. What would be cool, though perhaps narratively hard to do at this point, is to use him as a gateway for the other Titans. He can supplant Robin as the leader in light of the upcoming Nightwing movie, and explore a lighter side of superhero team up movies.
What?: As the premium magic user in DC, alongside Doctor Fate, Zatanna stands out from the likes of Doctor Strange by smartly combining the mystical arts with the flair of a stage magician, complete with top hat and tails. She’s flirted with the Justice League, and although she is always on the side of light, she occasionally operates in grey areas - she’s not above altering people’s minds, for example
Likelihood?: High. Wonder Woman kicking the door down for female fronted movies has changed the game for many characters. Doctor Strange didn’t set the world on fire, but it was successful, so DC may want to follow suit with their Supreme Sorcerer. But - someone ring the bell - she’s still most likely to debut in a Justice League Dark movie. Hell, with usual leader Constantine somewhat flopping on TV, Zatanna may be used as the de facto protagonist in the group.
And that’s everyone I could think of. Is there anybody you feel could be thrown into the DCEU in the coming years that I missed? Let us know below!
Darren is a columnist and a co-host on almost all our podcasts, including PopScorn and Gotta Cast 'Em All. He is a long time blogger, known for his previous website The Gutteridge Log, and his in-depth analysis and explanation of pop culture media.