Before the DC Extended Universe, cinema took its time to explore the vastness of the DC Comic book library. Despite this, characters as diverse as Swamp Thing, Catwoman, Constantine, Green Lantern, and even Steel managed to get their own films amidst a sea of Superman and Batman films. Even though Aquaman, Shazam, and the Green Lantern Corps are pegged for adaptations, we reckon the universe could get even bigger.
Strap yourself in as we dream big from the comfort of a desk somewhere in suburbia. We wield no power, but the last time we did one of these lists, two of our picks were adapted into television series. Just sayin’. It’s the internet after all, and what kind of entitled fans would we be if we didn’t make listicles like this? If there’s anybody else you’d like to suggest, sound off in the comments below.
This one seems like a no-brainer. An origin story could very easily show this future-born character arriving in the present to use his powers for personal gain and showmanship. As a time traveller, he also acts a connective tissue between different strands of the DCEU. As recently as 2016, Arrowverse producer Greg Berlanti was in talks for producing/directing a film based on a script by Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor, The Flash TV series). This one would be fun.
A character with a long and sometimes complicated history, her depiction on the small screen has been a little bit fraught. If we’re being less generous, they really dropped the ball on her. A character that traces her origins back to 1947, she’s been a member of the Justice League, Team Arrow and the Birds of Prey. Yet if DC really want to start afresh with her cinematic portrayal, they could take a leaf out of the Cameron Stewart, Brenden, Fletcher, Babs Tarr, and Cameron Stewart run. Dinah goes by the stage name of D.D., and fronts the band Ashes on Sunday. As her powers develop, so do the number of her enemies. It would be a totally punk ride.
As one of the inspirations for Rorschach in Watchmen, he was originally a Charlton Comics creation of Steve Ditko. A highly outspoken journalist with a vigilante alter ego, the 1980s series written by Dennis O’Neil and primarily drawn by Denys Cowan is prime fodder for adaptation. Infused with an Eastern philosophy, and a definte dosage of noir, this could work just as easily as a television series. Even so, we really want to see the adventures of Vic Sage on the big screen.
Although Animal Man had been around since the 1960s, he remained something of second-stringer until Grant Morrison began his historic postmodern, metaphysical, and fourth-wall breaking run in the 1980s. Along with a strong environmentalist and animal rights stance, Morrison’s exploration of the nature of reality could make this a truly distinct film. Plus, a character with the power to ‘borrow’ the abilities of animals has a multitude of possibilities.
Although it took Wonder Woman 75 years to reach the big screen, DC Comics needs more heavy-hitting female superheroes in their cinematic universe. With Supergirl currently starring in her own TV show, her Earth-Two equivalent Kara Zor-L would make the perfect addition to the DCEU. Also Superman’s cousin, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti’s superb run – in which the creators spend as much time fleshing out the comedic adventures of her alter ego Karen Starr – would be the ray of light DC needs at the cinema right now.
Originally published under the WildStorm banner, and created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the character first turned up in Stormwatch. Once described by Ellis as “The Shadow by way of John Woo,” the character’s super-strength combined with a penchant for ultraviolence would land the movie right in the middle of Hollywood’s current obsession with R-rated superhero flicks. Plus, Midnighter also happens to be gay. If there was ever a hero that could break the current DC mould, it’s this one.
Once described by Out magazine as the “highest profile gay superhero to ever grace the pages of DC Comics,” this is a another way of expanding the Batman Family without actually making another Batman film. While her surface similarity to Batgirl (already slated for a film by Joss Whedon) may lead to some brand confusion, since her reintroduction in 2006 (following a long absence from the comic books) she has been a distinct and kick-ass character in the DCU. A recent storyline saw her leading a boot camp for new heroes, which is a perfect way of bookending a film with Batman without making him the focus yet again.