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.
Speedy hero The Flash will be played by 22-year-old “Perks of Being a Wallflower” actor Ezra Miller in a standalone film in 2018, and “Game of Thrones” actor Jason Momoa will take the lead in “Aquaman” that same year.
Captain Marvel, who has the power to transform into six mythical heroes, will lead new film “Shazam” in 2019, and stage actor Ray Fisher will play the lead in 2020’s “Cyborg,” the superhero alter-ego of Victor Stone and one of the founding members of the Justice League.
Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Frances Kerry