There’s a lot of excitement around DC’s New Gods movie right now, but the thing is, it might not exist within the DC Extended Universe. After spending decades producing standalone comic book movies, Warner Bros. Pictures tried their hand at creating a shared universe on the big screen (unofficially titled the DCEU), beginning with Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, which was a follow-up to the filmmaker’s 2013 film, Man of Steel.
While Warner Bros. expanded the newly-formed universe with David Ayer’s Suicide Squad in 2016 and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman in 2017, it was always about getting to Justice League this past November. The studio spent several years trying to adapt DC’s mainline superheroes into live-action, and Justice League finally brought the world’s finest heroes together – Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) – for an ultimate showdown with the supervillain Steppenwolf. As one of DC’s New Gods and a servant of Darkseid, Steppenwolf introduced a whole new world to DCEU fans, one that will be explored further in an upcoming film from Selma and A Wrinkle in Time filmmaker Ava DuVernay.
Several trade outlets reported that Warner Bros. had hired Ava DuVernay to direct DC’s New Gods movie, based on the species and comic book series of the same name by comic book legend Jack Kirby in the 1970s. However, where the reports differed on is whether or not New Gods takes place within the DCEU or not. Deadline seems to indicate that New Gods will remain separate from the DCEU and all the other DC movies in development. Meanwhile, Variety reports that New Gods DOES exist in the DCEU. So, which is it?
So, for the moment, it’s unclear where DC’s New Gods movie stands as part of Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC film slate. And since this wasn’t an official announcement from the studio, fans may have to wait until WonderCon, San Diego Comic-Con, or a Time Warner investors call to find out more information. But it stands to reason that both outlets may be right in their own ways and that the movie does take place within the DCEU… sort of.
For instance, Steppenwolf’s introduction in Justice League confirmed that Darkseid, the planet Apokolips, and the New Gods species all exist in the DCEU. In fact, Darkseid was supposed to appear in Justice League to set up an inevitable sequel, but that was cut… for various reasons. Since audiences only got a taste of that expansive world Jack Kirby created all those years ago, it would make sense for the studio to greenlight a New Gods movie to develop that part of the shared universe while still focusing on solo movies for their superheroes, as well as the formation of the Legion of Doom. That way, when the time comes to bring Darkseid into the fold, he and his world will already be known to general audiences. To not do that would be counter-intuitive.
And even if the movie exists within the DCEU, that doesn’t mean it has to connect directly to every other movie right away. Aquaman can still go about his life bridging the gap between the Atlanteans and the surface dwellers, and Flashpoint can still happen on its own. But, again, by the time Justice League 2 (or Justice League 3) rolls around, the world’s finest heroes will be able to take on Darkseid and the rest of the New Gods, and audiences won’t be lost in the mix. Until then, DC fans can look forward to seeing Kirby’s Fourth World on the big screen in Ava DuVernay’s New Gods.