DC Extended Universe
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is an American multimedia franchise and shared universe centering on a series of superhero films, distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and based on characters that appear in American comic books by DC Comics. The shared universe, much like the original DC Universe in comic books and the television programs, was established by crossing over common plot elements, settings, cast, and characters. The films have been in production since 2011, and in that time, Warner Bros. has distributed eight films, with several others in various stages of development. It is the eleventh-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $5.48 billion at the global box office. Its highest-grossing film is Aquaman, which earned over $1.15 billion worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing DC film to date.
The films are written and directed by a variety of individuals and feature large, often ensemble casts. Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Margot Robbie, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, and Zachary Levi, among others, star in several films. However, unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the franchise has loosely connected story-lines, with greater autonomy for the filmmakers who create each individual film. The first film in the DCEU was Man of Steel (2013), followed by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League (2017), Aquaman (2018), Shazam! (2019), and Birds of Prey (2020). The franchise will continue with Wonder Woman 1984 in 2020; Zack Snyder's Justice League, The Suicide Squad, and Black Adam in 2021; and The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Aquaman 2 in 2022.