DC Films’ president Walter Hamada broke down how the studio’s slate will work going forward, including four movies every year starting in 2022, two HBO Max exclusives annually, and a ton of HBO Max TV shows.

Prepare for the DCEU, the DC Films multiverse, and HBO Max
There are about to be way, way, way more DC movies and some will be released as HBO Max exclusives.
Following the release of Wonder Woman 1984 last week, DC Films president Walter Hamada sat down with the New York Timesto talk about the studios more aggressive release strategy. Starting in 2022, DC Films plans to release up to four films theatrically every year, with one or two extra as HBO Max exclusives.
Currently, DC releases about one or two movies a year, and seen mixed success. Birds of Prey and Shazam! failed to perform well, while Aquaman and Wonder Woman saw impressive box office return. In 2019, Warner Bros. also saw tremendous success with Joker a movie not tied into the greater DC universe that nonetheless became an unexpected hit.
Under the new strategy, there will be two cinematic universes under the DC banner: the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and the DC Films multiverse. Films like Joker and The Batman will exist as part of DC Films multiverse, which will be comprised of individual stories based on DC characters that do not tie into a bigger narrative arc.
Under the new strategy, there will be two cinematic universes, essentially, under the DC banner
Movies like Wonder Woman, Shazam!, Aquaman, Flash, and likely future Superman and Green Lantern movies will fall under the DCEU. Wonder Woman and the gang will have their own stories and then come together in some kind of Justice League setting again. This means there can be two different Batman (Batmen?) around the same time: Robert Pattinson can have his own adventure in Matt Reeves The Batmanand Ben Affleck or a new actor can play Bruce Wayne in the DCEU.
Its a familiar concept in comic books, where standalone series like Superman: Superman: Red Son can offer a new take on a popular character without affecting overall continuity. And of course, different universes can cross over whenever DC wants, like how Afflecks Batman might encounter Michael Keatons Batman in the upcoming Flash movie in 2022.
If youre confused, its understandable. In comics, multiverses play out over several issues and series, so theres more room to get used to the idea. They also tend to work better on TV because the medium allows for longer-form storytelling that can navigate the intricacies of multiverse mechanics. As Hamada told the Times, no one else has ever attempted this.
But audiences are sophisticated enough to understand it, Hamada said. If we make good movies, they will go with it.
DC Films also plans to release one or two movies directly onto HBO Max. These are considered to be riskier projects, which may not generate the necessary revenue needed to justify a $200 million production budget and another $100 million on marketing. They will, however, help bolster HBO Max subscribers if they work as intended. The Times notes that Batgirl or Static Shock are possible candidates for the straight-to-streaming treatment, but those arent confirmed yet.
The studio will also use theatrical releases to launch spinoff TV shows, which will stream on HBO Max. GCPD will stem from The Batman, while Peacemaker is a John Cena-led spinoff based on his character of the same name in James Gunns Suicide Squad. With every movie that were looking at now, we are thinking, Whats the potential Max spinoff? Hamada told the Times.
Whats the potential Max spinoff? is a fun sentence to read about a film studios development plans for the next decade, and Hamada isnt the only studio executive with that line of thinking. Studio heads Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy are employing the strategy with their respective studios, Marvel and Lucasfilm, over on Disney Plus.
With every movie that were looking at now, we are thinking, Whats the potential Max spinoff?
Its an ouroboros strategy: a never ending cycle of content based on popular characters and IP company executives think can drive people to theaters, then streaming services, and back again to theaters. Think of Marvels strategy: Doctor Strange as a character ties into WandaVision, which ties back into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The same for Yelena in Black Widow (theatrical release)appearing in Hawkeye(Disney Plus show).
There are a lot of questions about how this will all work. What about Greg Berlantis Arrowverse, for example? And all those other DC shows on the CW? Will they just continue existing in their own space the same way DC Universes original series (Titans, Doom Patrol, Harley Quinn) do on HBO Max? What if DC Films decides it wants to make a Batgirl spinoff do two Batgirl TV shows just co-exist alongside each other? Remember when Jeph Loeb created an entire Marvel universe on Netflix, Hulu, and ABC and then Marvel Studios effectively scrapped all of it?
All we know for certain is there are going to be way more DC films and TV shows than what we currently have. Include Marvels ramped-up production on Disney Plus series alongside its film slate, and fans will be facing a sea of superhero titles practically every month.