Every New Upcoming DC Show We Know About So Far
For all the ups-and-downs of DC on the big screen, the studio has a long and successful track record on TV. From the classic Batman and Wonder Woman shows in the '60 and '70s to Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville in the '90s and '00s, the company's legendary superheroes have found a natural home on the small screen. And that's not to mention its animated output; many fans consider the '90s show Batman: The Animated Series one of the best-ever screen versions of the Dark Knight.
In 2012, a new series focused on the Green Arrow--simply titled Arrow--premiered on The CW. The success of this show helped inspire an entire connected universe, as it was joined by The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman. The so-called Arrow-verse even featured annual comic book-style "crossover events" where the characters teamed up. Then, the launch of DC Universe in 2018 saw the premiere of DC shows aimed at an older audience, such as Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, and the animated Harley Quinn.
However, a lot has changed on the TV landscape in the last couple of years. With rivals Marvel on the verge of launching a series of shows connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Disney+, the focus of DC has shifted to parent company Warner's streaming platform HBO Max. Several new DC shows were announced in advance of the service's launch in May last year, and there have been others reported since then, including spin-offs of big upcoming DC movies.
Not every new DC series is being made for HBO Max of course--the Arrow-verse is still going strong, and animated shows made for younger viewers are more likely to end up on Cartoon Network. But there's no denying HBO Max is the focus. The service needs big shows to grow its subscriber base, and the iconic heroes of the DC universe are perfect for this. So here's every new upcoming DC show we know about so far--most of these don't have premiere dates yet, and many are still in development. There have also been some shows that have been recently cancelled before they even reached the pilot stage, such as Wonder Girl and Green Arrow and the Canaries. But it is nevertheless an exciting time to be a DC fan, and once you've read this, check out our guide to all the DC movies on the way over the next few years.
1. Y: The Last Man
FX on Hulu
Unusually, this adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra's classic post-apocalyptic Vertigo title Y: The Last Man isn't going to end up on a Warner-owned network or service at all. Instead it's been made for FX on Hulu, which is now part of Disney's entertainment empire. The show was in development for many years, but it finally arrives in September 2021. Ben Schnetzer plays Yorick Brown, one of only two remaining male mammals (the other being Yorick's pet capuchin monkey) left alive on the planet. The cast also includes Diane Lane, Olivia Thirlby, and Ashley Romans, and the showrunner is playwright Eliza Clark.
2. The Sandman
After various failed attempts to adapt Neil Gaiman's classic DC comic book, The Sandman has become a Netflix show. The first season has already finished production, and while we're yet to see any footage, this behind-the-scenes video released in June gave fans a tantalizing glimpse at what to expect when it arrives. The cast list includes Tom Sturridge as Dream, Gwendoline Christie as Gwendoline Christie, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Mason Alexander Park as Desire, Donna Preston as Despair, Vivienne Acheampong as Lucienne, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian, and Charles Dance as Roderick Burgess. Netflix hasn't announced a release date yet, but anticipation couldn't be higher.
3. Green Lantern Corps
Green Lantern hasn't faired so well on screen in the past, but expectations are high for this next attempt. It'll be an HBO Max show and will feature several Lanterns, including Finn Wittrock as Guy Gardner and Jeremy Irvine as Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern. Marc Guggenheim and Seth Grahame-Smith are co-writing the 10-episode series, and Grahame-Smith will serve as showrunner. Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti is executive producing. Fingers crossed they do this classic superhero right this time.
4. Gotham P.D. Show
This upcoming series was announced in July 2020 and will focus on the police department in Gotham City. It's a spin-off prequel from Matt Reeves' upcoming movie The Batman, which will star Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight and hits theaters in March 2022. According to HBO Max, the show will "explore some of the more compelling and complex characters in the city." During DC FanDome in August 2020, Reeves revealed that the series will be set a year before the movie, during Batman's first 12 months in Gotham. "The idea is we go back to year one," he said. "Year one is the first appearance of this masked vigilante that starts to unsettle the city, and you start to see the story through the point of view of these corrupt cops and one in particular. The story is actually a battle for his soul." Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter was initially announced as showrunner, but he quit the series in November 2020 due to creative differences with Reeves and other producers. In January this year, it was confirmed that Giri/Haji creator Joe Barton will take over in the showrunner role.
The Batman isn't the only upcoming DC movie getting a TV spin-off. Peacemaker will follow the exploits of the titular character from James Gunn's recent movie The Suicide Squad. John Cena plays Peacemaker, a character he describes as "a superhero/supervillain/and world's biggest douchebag." The show will be written by Gunn, and he'll helm several episodes, including the pilot. Several other cast members have been announced too, including Robert Patrick, Danielle Brooks, Steve Agee, Jennifer Holland, and Chris Conrad. Patrick and Brooks will appear in new roles, while Agee, Holland, and Conrad will play the DC characters John Economos, Emilia Harcourt, and The Vigilante respectively. In February, Gunn revealed that the show will premiere in January 2022.
It's not all superhero shows heading to HBO Max. DMZ is an adaptation of Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli's Vertigo comic book, which ran between 2005 and 2012. It's a dark futuristic story, set during the new Civil War that has turned Manhattan into a demilitarized zone between two factions fighting for the future of America. Production on the pilot episode wrapped in March, shortly before work on shows and movies was shut down across Hollywood. The pilot was directed by Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) from a script by showrunner Robert Patino (Westworld), and it stars Rosario Dawson and Benjamin Bratt. Dawson described the experience of shooting the episode as "one of the most phenomenal work experiences of my life." In November 2020, it was confirmed that the series had been given a full series order. DMZ will be a four-part limited series, with production set to begin later this year.
HBO Max/Cartoon Network
This animated show is aimed at pre-school viewers and will air on both Cartoon Network and HBO Max. Rather than focus on superheroes themselves, Batwheels will center on a team of heroic vehicles, which help the likes of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl fight crime and defend Gotham City. The Batwheels are Bam (The Batmobile), Bibi (The Batgirl Cycle), Red (The Redbird), Jett (The Batwing), and Buff (The Bat Truck), and DC states that the show will "thrill and entertain as well as demonstrate to kids the value of self-confidence, friendship and teamwork."
DMZ isn't the only DC show that Ava DuVernay is currently involved with. She co-produced the pilot for the teenage superhero adventure Naomi for the CW. The series is based on the character of Naomi McDuffie, a seemingly ordinary girl who discovers she has amazing energy-based powers and is not from the Earth. In May, DuVernay confirmed that the series had been given a full series order, with Kaci Walfall in the title role.
9. Aquaman: King of Atlantis
Aquaman is the most financially successful movie in the DC Universe so far, and unsurprisingly the studio is looking for ways to expand the franchise. As well as the direct sequel and a horror-themed spin-off titled The Trench, an animated show titled Aquaman: King of Atlantis is in the works. The three-episode mini series series was announced in January 2020, and will be produced by Aquaman director James Wan. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show will focus on Aquaman as he "takes the throne of the underseas kingdom for the first time, and has to deal with a half-brother trying to take Atlantis for himself, surface dwellers causing problems under the sea, and ancient evils threatening danger perpetually." The first image from the series was revealed in February, and the show is expected later in 2021.
10. Strange Adventures
Strange Adventures will be an anthology series based on the classic sci-fi/fantasy comic series which was first published in 1950 and was revived in 2020. The show is to be produced by Greg Berlanti, who has worked on a wide variety of DC series, including Arrow, Supergirl, Titans, and Doom Patrol as well as the upcoming Green Lantern series. Berlanti has described Strange Adventures as "an anthology series of cautionary tales set in a world where superpowers exist."
The CW has previously used existing shows to introduce characters that go on to get their own series, such as Batwoman's first appearance in the 2018 crossover event Elseworlds. The character of Painkiller has appeared several times in Black Lightning, played by Riverdale's Jordan Calloway, and he's set to get his own show. The upcoming seventh episode of Black Lightning Season 4 will be a so-called backdoor pilot for Painkiller, with the full series set to follow later in the year. Painkiller is a "super-enhanced killing machine" who attempts to put his dark past behind him by using his powers to fight crime.
Alan Moore's occult detective John Constantine first appeared in the Hellblazer comics in the '80s and has since been portrayed on both TV and in movies. Most notably, Keanu Reeves played him in 2005's film Constantine, and Matt Ryan appeared as the character in both NBC's short-lived Constantine show and The CW's Arrow. He's about to get yet another version in an HBO Max show produced by JJ Abrams. Reportedly, the series will focus on a slightly younger version of Constantine and will explore the horror roots of the original comics. Newcomer Guy Bolton is writing the pilot script.
13. DC Superhero High
Charlie's Angels and Pitch Perfect 2 director Elizabeth Banks is set to produce this teen comedy series. It will follow a group of students attending a high school for gifted kids, who will one day become legendary DC Super Heroes, but right now have to navigate the pressures of school life. While it sounds like a live-action spin on the Cartoon Network's animated DC Super Hero Girls, Banks' gift for comedy as both a director and actor should make it stand apart from that series. There's been no news about the show since it was first announced in October 2019.