DC superheroes, Lego and Harry Potter spin-off get new Warner Bros. films

Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:05pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The superheroes of DC Comics will battle the Marvel heroes at the box office, as Warner Bros. confirmed plans for upcoming films on Wednesday that include new installments of "The Lego Movie" franchise and expansions of the "Harry Potter" world.

Masked hero Batman will get a starring role with Ben Affleck's portrayal in Zack Snyder's anticipated 2016 release of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice." Affleck will reprise the role for Snyder's 2017's "Justice League Part One" with Henry Cavill returning as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane. Snyder will also direct "Justice League Part Two" for release in 2019.

Actress Gal Godot will debut as Wonder Woman in "Batman v Superman," and helm her own "Wonder Woman" film in 2017.

Lego Batman, voiced by Will Arnett in this year's hit animation "The Lego Movie," will get his own spotlight in "The Lego Batman Movie" in 2017, and will also return in "The Lego Movie 2" in 2018. The Lego franchise will also include "Ninjago" in 2016.

The new release dates and casting details were issued by Time Warner Inc's Warner Bros. studios at the company's investor conference. They come at a time when Disney's Marvel superheroes such as "Captain America," "Iron Man" and "Avengers" are ruling the box office.

"The demand for high quality video content is growing fast - in the United States and around the world - as new technologies have created new platforms and millions of new connected consumers," said Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara.

While the "Harry Potter" franchise concluded with its eighth installment in 2011, three new films from the fantastical world of magic created by author J.K. Rowling will be released every two years from 2016, starting with "Fantastic Beasts."

The new film will feature characters from the fictional textbook written by Newt Scamander at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and will be directed by David Yates, the filmmaker behind the final four "Potter" movies.

A new band of DC heroes, the "Suicide Squad," will get their own film in 2016, directed by "Fury" filmmaker David Ayer. The Suicide Squad are ruthless incarcerated villains who work for the government in high-risk missions.   Continued...

Cast member Henry Cavill poses for pictures after his arrival to the Australian premiere of "Man of Steel" in central Sydney June 24, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz