Now that DC FanDome 2021 has officially finished, we at Soundsphere magazine are rounding up all the news, trailers, reveals, sneak peaks and more, right here! FanDome launched in 2020 in place of a series of panels between San Diego and New York Comic Cons, with Warner Bros. pushing for a virtual event with pressures of the Covid-19 pandemic causing concerns. The fan event was so successful, DC Comics appear to be throwing a lot of money at it, giving 2021’s FanDome an even bigger platform for their products. We can only assume FanDome is here to stay, irrespective of the pandemic. The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, Shazam 2, Peacemaker, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and many more were all showcased, with trailers, behind-the-scenes featurettes and panels broadcast to fans globally.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson gave an electrifying look at his long-awaited cinematic entry into the DC Extended Universe, Black Adam. The clip shows Black Adam in action, this year showing actual footage, in addition to the gorgeous artwork by famed DC artist and executive Jim Lee that we saw last year. Black Adam looks to be a far more brutal counterpart to Shazam, with the properties (so far) not being connected. Check it out!
Black Adam is expected to hit cinemas in the UK in July 2022.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Universal heart-throb Jason Momoa presented a deep dive into Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, the second Aquaman movie and fifth cinematic appearance of the character. Stunning concept art was showcased, with behind the scenes shots and brief snippits of conversation with director James Wan. Amber Heard was seen in a fleeting clip, confirming the actress’ involvement in the movie as Mera, despite recent controversies.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is expected to hit cinemas in the UK in December 2022.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Asher Angel and Zachary Levi addressed fans in a first-look at the sequel to 2019’s Shazam!. Everything about this movie seems bigger and better than the first, which shocked moviegoers with just how enjoyable it was. Bigger and more exotic sets, more intense action, Hellen Mirren and Lucy Lui playing the villains, and the Shazam! family returning, what’s not to love?
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is expected to hit cinemas in the UK in June 2023.
One of the most eagerly awaited movies due out of DC Comics’ incredible lineup is easily Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Many found the casting choice of Robert Pattinson an odd one at first, but just like Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Ben Affleck before him, fans were quickly silenced upon seeing the actor in action. This new trailer also gives us Zoë Kravitz in her full glory as Catwoman, and a better look at Paul Dano’s Riddler, Jeffrey Wright’s Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis’ Alfred and Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Certainly one to watch, but we do hope this doesn’t displace Ben Affleck’s portrayal as the character, as he deserves his own film if nothing else.
The Batman is expected to hit cinemas in the UK in March 2022.
The ever-beautiful Ezra Miller stunned audiences with their unique sense of style, assuring fans that the teaser trailer is definitely not a teaser, nor a trailer, despite definitely being a teaser trailer. Andy Muschietti’s The Flash looks absolutely insane, with Michael Keaton’s Batman and Batmobile heavily teased but sadly not quite shown. The clip is short, but oh so exciting. Behind the obvious reveals, a careful watch will show a second, potentially evil(?) Flash, again played by Miller, with our first glimpse of this universe’s Supergirl, played by Sasha Calle. The film looks like it could be a loose adaptation of Flashpoint, but that remains to be seen.
The Flash is expected to hit cinemas in November 2022.
DC’s League of Super-Pets
DC presents a fun, comedic animated adventure starring Krypto the Super-Dog and Ace the Bat-Hound. The film stars Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, with Vanessa Bayer, John Krasinski, Diego Luna, Natasha Lyonne, Kate McKinnon and Keanu Reeves, and looks a lot more fun than we should probably admit!
DC’s League of Superpets is expected to hit cinemas in the UK in May 2022.
Many fans were shocked to find the upcoming movie, directed by Angel Manuel Soto and Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Blue Beetle, actually exists. The Latin American duo promise a highly authentic vision of the Latin American superhero, portrayed by Latin American Xolo Maridueña. Concept art was shown and the movie looks to be a bold and bombastic entry into the DC Extended Universe.
Blue Beetle has yet to be given a date, but is expected to hit cinemas in the UK around 2023/2024.
Batgirl actress Leslie Grace, writer Christina Hodson and directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah spoke about bringing Barbara Gordon to life as the lead of her own live action film for the first time. FanDome 2021 marks the very first time the team behind Batgirl, which previously had Joss Whedon at the helm, has openly discussed the project. The film appears to still be in early development, but we did receive confirmation that Barbara Gordon will have a full cowl and red hair in the movie, and a concept image was shown for Batgirl’s new suit. Leslie Grace revealed how hard she has been training in an effort for the fight scenes to look gritty and realistic. The film was long speculated to feature Michael Keaton, in a sort of Batman Beyond inspired plot, but that remains to be seen. Colour us excited for this one!
Batgirl has yet to be given a date, but is expected to hit cinemas in the UK around 2023/2024.
Supergirl is sadly coming to an imminent end, with the show in its final season, but fans were treated to an emotional tribute to the beloved show.
John Cena dropped by FanDome to present the first teaser trailer for Peacemaker, and provide commentary. Fans also saw a bonus behind-the-scenes look at the Peacemaker cast joined famed writer and director James Gunn, to discuss The Suicide Squad spinoff, which is due to air January 2022. The series stars John Cena as Peacemaker, Danielle Brooks as Adebayo, Freddie Stroma as Vigilante, Jennifer Holland as Harcourt, Steve Agee as Economos, Chukwudi Iwuji as Murn and Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith. Apparently Eagley is the true star, though…
Surprise! Smallville is to finally get a long overdue blu ray release, featuring all ten seasons of the show. What’s more, Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling sat down to discuss the show on its premiere’s 20th anniversary. The 42-disc blu ray box set released yesterday in the States (19th October 2021), and, as with all Warner Bros. blu rays, is region free.
Fans keeping up with Stargirl on Amazon Prime were treated to an exclusive clip of this week’s episode, which looks set to be a real game changer for Brec Bassinger’s Courtney Whitmore, also known as Stargirl.
Superman & Lois
The cast of Superman & Lois were gracious enough to give fans a behind the scenes tour of the Kent homestead.
Matt Bomer, who plays Larry Trainor (Negative Man) in Doom Patrol, looked absolutely ecstatic as he boasted his multiple roles throughout the DC Multiverse, before presenting an absolutely awesome mid-season trailer, though. The greater cast then jointly announced Doom Patrol’s renewal for a fourth season, which what we all want. Doom Patrol stars Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, Diane Guerrero, April Bowlby, Joivan Wade, Timothy Dalton, Skye Roberts and Michelle Gomez, and is easily the best show to come out of the ill-fated DC Universe streaming service over in the States.
Batwoman recently returned for its third season, and star Javicia Leslie teased some very exciting news about what we have to look forward to in the series. Classic Gotham villains such as Mad Hatter and Poison Ivy were teased, and Camrus Johnson broke down the character he’s bringing to the show, Batwing!
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will shortly smash its 100-episode milestone, and in celebration Fandome took us through one hundred episodes in one hundred seconds!
Brenton Thwaites, who plays Dick Grayson on Titans, joined the show from Australia to officially confirm the popular show’s fourth season, and present a new clip from an upcoming episode of season three. We are a little behind in the UK, with Titans airing exclusively on Netflix. Expect season 3 to be added to the streaming service’s library within a few months of the season finale, and season four to be added after the season ends over on HBO Max in America.
Executive producers Ava DuVernay and Roberto Patino appeared at DC FanDome to furnish our noggins with exclusive insights into DMZ, the four-part limited series adaptation of the highly acclaimed DC Vertigo series, by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli. Superstar Rosario Dawson stars with Benjamin Bratt and Hoon Lee in this mature story, about a civil war between the secessionist Free States of America and the United States of America, and the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that exists between them. Alma (Dawson) comes in to shake things up a bit. Alma is an original character, but based on Zee Hernandez of the original comic series. Expect a dystopian sci fi of sorts, and certainly keep an eye out for when the four episodes drop.
Executive producer Ava DuVernay is rather busy; in addition to DMZ she is also working on Naomi for The CW over in the States. Naomi is the brainchild of Brian Michael Bendis, previously exclusive writer for Marvel who joined DC’s ranks a few short years ago. Naomi McDuffie, named in tribute after the late Dwayne McDuffie, only debuted in Naomi #1 back in 2019, and became a massive hit. The CW seems a natural choice for the show, especially with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo eleven seconds from the video’s end. That said, we suspect this show may end up on Amazon Prime as it could potentially be a great sister-show to the already established Stargirl.
Netflix’s Sweet Tooth has proved a huge hit, produced by Robert Downey Jr., the show has been officially greenlit for a second season. The show isn’t quite as gritty as the dark DC Vertigo comic series by Jeff Lemire of the same name, but it’s certainly thoroughly enjoyable. Christian Convery joined DC FanDome to answer fan questions about the series and give fans a unique insight into the popular show.
Pennyworth, the origin series we had no idea we needed, is deep into production on its third series. Jack Bannon and Ben Aldridge, two of the stars of Pennyworth, dropped by DC FanDome to “serve” (butler pun!) up some exciting announcements for American fans. British fans can watch the series so far on Starzplay, much like Doom Patrol, but we’re sure the news that season three will debut on HBO Max next year will be appreciated by fans across the pond. Pennyworth is another hidden gem that hasn’t had the viewership of other similar shows, but is absolutely worth watching. Alfred Pennyworth (Bannon), years before serving Bruce Wayne as his faithful butler, forms a security company in 1960s London and collaberates with a young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Aldridge). Season three is set to fast forward five years from season two, and promises to usher in a new age of superheroes and super-villains.
The Flash (The CW)
Grant Gustin made a speedy appearance at FanDome, to discuss playing the father figure in the last season of The Flash. Whilst on the panel, Gustin dropped some gossip, including news that his iteration of Flash will receive a bit of a makeover for the show’s eighth season. Specifically, Barry Allen will finally don the iconic gold boots, with Gustin telling us, “It’s just always been the final element that I think has been missing from our suits.” Exciting stuff!
Harley Quinn’s animated series has managed to somehow elude the attention of many fans in the UK, perhaps because of its extremely mature content. That said, the series is one of the best examples of adult-themed animation we have ever seen. Kaley Cuoco, best known as Penny on Big Bang Theory, lends her voice effortlessly to Harley and also jumped in on the action at FanDome, voicing the character for a behind the scenes look at season 3, which is still in production.
Batman: Caped Crusader
Matt Reeves, J. J. Abrams, Bruce Timm and James Tucker shared early insights into Batman: Caped Crusader, the exciting new animated series which promises to be “more Batman: TAS than Batman: TAS“. Batman The Animated Series, spearheaded by Bruce Timm in the early 1990s and still a prominant part of Batman lore today, is universally popular with Batman fans, with some going as far to call it the quintessential Batman across all media. Given Timm’s involvement with the new animated series, along with Reeves, Abrams and Tucker, many fans are naturally on the edge of their seats in anticipation. Expect sophisticated storytelling, nuanced characters and striking visuals in what we expect to be a character-defining product that will be remembered for decades to come.
Batman: Caped Crusader is expected to debut in 2023, and is rumoured to be broadcast on Cartoon Network in the UK.
Young Justice: Phantoms
WB spared no expense with FanDome, announcing live that the first two episodes of the hotly anticipated sequel to the long running Young Justice animated series was available on HBO Max. No such luck in the UK, with no word as yet for when an international broadcast will occur, and on which network. Our bet would be Cartoon Network or Sky, but don’t quote us.
The first of two animated features to be showcased on DC Fandome, Injustice takes the fight from video game and spin-off comic series to animated movie. Inspired by Tom Taylor’s Injustice: Year One, the movie features Smallville’s Justin Hartley as Superman and Star Trek: Discovery’s Anson Mount as Batman, with Injustice co-creator Ed Boon as consultant. Mount discussed the Injustice franchise as a whole, before presenting a clip from the film that’s lifted straight from the comics.
Injustice released internationally on digital platforms and home media on the 19th of October 2021.
Dynasty’s Elizabeth Gillies dropped by DC FanDome to discuss her all-new movie, Catwoman: Hunted, which faces Catwoman off against a powerful consortium of villains, Interpol, and Batwoman. Gillies shared the movie’s stylish new trailer, which offers an anime-inspired look that’s distinctly different from other recent DC animated movies.
Catwoman: Hunted will release internationally on digital platforms and home media on the 8th of February 2022.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League turned a few heard at last year’s FanDome event, and the highly anticipated video game from Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkam Asylum, City and Knight) was back for FanDome 2021 with a bang. The hilarious new trailer gave fans a new glimse at the game’s story and tone, even if it did ruffle a few features at the end.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is set to release on Windows, PlayStation5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2022.
Gotham Knights, developed by Warner Bros. Montréal (Batman: Arkham Origins) is set to pit the Bat-family, albeit without Batman, against the legendary Court of Owls. Fans heard from DC Comics’ Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jim Lee and WB Games Montréal’s Ann Lemay and Patrick Redding about the unique challenge and thrill that comes with adapting the secretive Gotham organization – and their soldiers, the Talons – to the world of console gaming.
Gotham Knights is set to release on Windows, PlayStation4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S in 2022.
No Dirk Maggs produced Sandman Audible reveals at FanDome, although volume 3 is well underway. We do, however, get Batman: Unburied, an original narrative podcast executive produced by David S. Goyer and coming next year to Spotify. Fans got to hear the final cast members to be announced straight from Barbara Gordon herself, Gina Rodriguez. Rodriguez joins the dramatic and psychologically thrilling take on Batman, as the daughter of former police commissioner Jim Gordon and star detective for Gotham Police Department. Rounding out the cast will be Sam Witwer (The Mist, Supergirl) as Gotham’s blood-chilling, cannibalistic serial killer, The Harvester; Emmy Raver-Lampman (The Umbrella Academy, Central Park) as Kell, a sultry medical student helping Bruce while hiding a few secrets of her own; Jessica Marie Garcia (Diary of a Future President, How to Get Away with Murder) as Barbara Gordon’s partner Renee Montoya – she’s smart enough to pick up Barbara’s bullshit, but begrudgingly puts up with her shady behavior; and Jim Pirri (Penguins of Madasacar) as Arnold Flass, a corrupt cop who uses his badge for his own person gain.
Denys Cowan and Reggie Hudlin chatted with Echo Kellum at FanDome, discussing several upcoming Milestone projects, including a Milestone animated feature in development by Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, new “seasons” for Static, Hardware and Icon and Rocket, the return of a Blood Syndicate comic book series, and the 1,300-page softcover compendium collecting classic Milestone runs of Static, Icon, Hardware and more. To learn more about Milestone, be sure to read our article here.
DC’s Monkey Prince
Monkey Prince will return February, 2022 in a new twelve-issue comic book series from writer Gene Luen Yang and artist Bernard Chang. For fans that can’t wait for February to read more about DC’s Monkey Prince, a new Monkey Prince short story is now available here to read for free.
Wonder Woman at 80
2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman, and DC are celebrating in style of the 21st of October. FanDome hosted a conversation between Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and Wonder Woman (’78) herself, Lynda Carter, about what the universally adored heroine means to them and why she’s so important to the world. Jenkins put it best when she said, “We find ourselves to be in such a lucky place as it relates to Wonder Woman, because I actually think she is the most relevant superhero of our times.” Inspiring stuff.
Along with the discussion – which also promised that a third Wonder Woman movie is on its way – we were treated to a video featuring some of DC’s biggest stars sharing their love and appreciation of Diana.
Wonder Woman: Trial of the Amazons
DC announced a huge crossover event that will affect the future of the Amazons: Trial of the Amazons. This event promises to affect all aspects of Wonder Woman’s world, with Diana and Queen Hippolyta leaving Nubia to lead the Amazons of Themyscira. Yara Flor (Wonder Girl) and Nubia find themselves in the heart of a power struggle that will redefine the future of all the Amazonian tribes. Writers on the event series include Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams, Joelle Jones and Jordie Bellaire. The action kicked off yesterday in Nubia & The Amazons #1, which went on sale 19th October.
Finally, DC Chief Creative Officer and Publisher Jim Lee introduced a new, modern slogan for the iconic Man of Steel. “Truth, Justice and the American way!” is to be left behind as Superman’s bold new mission statement ditches “and the American way!” for a more inclusive, global “and a Better Tomorrow”.
Words: Graeme Small and DC Entertainment