Since the birth of Warner Bros' DC Extended Universe, or whatever it's called, we have heard about numerous films being in pre-production, talked about, considered or even scrawled on a bar napkin. From Nightwing to Deathstroke to the thirty-six Harley Quinn spinoffs (we may be exaggerating), it's hard to keep track. There is an aspect to this that is very exciting. DC Comics has a long history full of different takes on characters, as well as compelling heroes and villains who don't quite have Justice League-level name recognition. Unfortunately, it looks like DC may have pulled the plug on two of the films that were in some stage of development. Both Lobo and the Deadshot solo film, from the looks of it, are not happening. At least not anytime soon.
First, with regards to a Deadshot solo film. Will Smith is a true movie star, and as Netflix's Bright recently showed, audiences still love watching him. Along with Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, his portrayal of Deadshot was one of the standouts in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, and the character seemed like the obvious choice to get his own movie. It just makes sense and we've even championed the idea of him getting his own franchise. But according to a Twitter post from Discussing Film, Will Smith is not currently attached to appear in a Deadshot solo film, and instead his next appearance as the character is likely to be in Suicide Squad 2. In response to this news, Mario-F. Robles wrote on Twitter that Deadshot now joins Lobo as a DC film that was happening, but now isn't. Now it is important to note that neither of these cancellations have been officially confirmed, so take this with a grain of salt. But given how little movement we've heard on these, it certainly seems possible.
It is a pity that Will Smith's Deadshot will not be getting his own film, but he is already a part of the DC film universe and will likely continue to be going forward. He would provide a great foil for The Batman when the caped crusader finally gets his Matt Reeves-directed solo film. But even if that doesn't happen, we can still look forward to seeing him in Gavin O'Connor's Suicide Squad 2. If that movie features Black Adam as the main antagonist, seeing The Rock and Will Smith, two huge movie stars, mixing it up will be a blast. Either way, we're expecting to see Will Smith's Deadshot again.
Lobo is a different story. The Lobo film has been discussed for ages, with everyone from Guy Ritchie to Brad Peyton attached to direct. Even The Rock was rumored to be playing the character for a time. With the success of Fox's R-rated comic book movies Logan and Deadpool, you would think the time would never be better to take a crack at DC's alien bounty hunter. The character is both violent and hilarious, and would naturally capitalize on the same audience that loved those Fox films.
While these possible cancellations are a bummer to fans who want as much comic book movie content as possible, they reflect a rethinking of strategy on DC's part. Instead of just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks, the company has to try a different tack. Whether you love the DC films, hate them or are somewhere in between, they haven't succeeded the way Warner Bros. wanted them to. A lot of behind the scenes changes have taken place in the wake of Justice League, and now there is a new President of DC film production. So while we may not be getting solo outings for Deadshot and Lobo now, the more successful DC is in the future, the better chance there is that these characters get the screen time they deserve.