DC Extended Universe
The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) is a media franchise and series of superhero films and television series, 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 related 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 nine films, with several others in various stages of development. It is the eleventh-highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $5.6 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. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, 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), Birds of Prey (2020) and Wonder Woman 1984 (2020). The franchise will continue with The Suicide Squad in 2021; The Flash and Aquaman 2 in 2022; and Shazam! Fury of the Gods in 2023. Additionally, the DCEU will expand to the streaming service HBO Max with Zack Snyder's Justice League, a director's cut of Justice League, in 2021, and the series Peacemaker in 2022.