The DC movie universe is not quite as expansive as Marvel’s, but with seven films under their belt, it’s already become quite expansive.
Below will be a running list of each film’s placement in the timeline.
The majority of Wonder Woman takes place in 1917, towards the end of World War I. Although by this point, Diana of Themyscira is already at least hundreds of years old. The film is book-ended by segments that take place sometime after the events of Batman V. Superman, but before Justice League.
Wonder Woman 1984
The Wonder Woman sequel unsurprisingly takes place in 1984, placing it into the timeline between the first film and the rest of the DCEU. It follows Diana Prince during her time working at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., while also secretly protecting the city as Wonder Woman.
Aquaman opens in 1985, when Queen Atlanna of Atlantis washes ashore in Maine. There she meets Thomas Curry, and the two fall in love, eventually resulting in the birth of Arthur Curry.
Man of Steel
Man of Steel takes place in 2013, with General Zod’s invasion taking place towards the end of that year. Coincidentally, this is the same year that Deadshot was captured by Batman in Gotham, as shown in Suicide Squad.
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Batman V. Superman opens during the events of Man of Steel, but most of the film takes place 18 months after the battle in Metropolis. The film also reveals that Batman had been operating in Gotham for the past 20 years, marking the start of his superhero career in 1994 (the same year that Victor Stone, the future Cyborg, was born). During that period, at some point the Joker killed Robin.
Suicide Squad takes place less than a year after the end of Batman V. Superman, with the titular squad being formed as a direct reaction to Superman’s death.
It’s not explicit when Justice League takes place, but context clues seem to indicate that it takes place sometime in 2017. The film centers around an invasion of Earth by Steppenwolf, and the founding of the Justice League, including a resurrected Superman. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor has escaped custody and is putting together his own team, including the assassin Deathstroke.
The fabled “Snyder Cut” will finally be released in 2021 as a four-hour epic now titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League. While things are always subject to change, at the moment the official line is that this is a non-canon story, with the theatrical version remaining the “official” version of events.
Aquaman takes place an uncertain amount of time after the events of Justice League, and follows Arthur Curry as he takes his place as King of Atlantis.
Official plot descriptions of Shazam! indicate that the film takes place roughly a year after Justice League. It introduces the titular hero to the timeline, and alongside the Wonder Woman films, helps to firmly establish the role of magic in the world of the DCEU.
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Birds of Prey takes place some time after the events of Suicide Squad. The official plot description mentions that Batman has disappeared from Gotham, possibly indicating that it could take place concurrently with Justice League, but as of now, its exact place in the timeline is unclear.
This film is rumored to take place before Batman V. Superman, during Batman’s heyday as Gotham’s protector. It will feature Robert Pattinson as Batman, and will be released on June 25, 2021.
The Suicide Squad
At the moment, all we know is that it will take place after the original Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Viola Davis will all reprise their characters from the first film. It will be released on August 6, 2021.
There are currently no confirmed plot details for this story, although at one point it was being developed as a Flashpoint movie, which may give some clues as to where it is heading.
An Aquaman sequel is in early development, and will explore the other Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis. It will be released on December 16, 2022.
Shazam!: Fury of the Gods
This Shazam! sequel is currently scheduled for a June 2, 2023 release date.
An origin story for Black Adam, featuring Dwayne Johnson in the titular role, will begin production in early-to-mid 2020.
Wonder Woman 3
A third Wonder Woman film was greenlit just a few days after the release of Wonder Woman 1984. Patty Jenkins revealed that the third installment would bring Diana Prince into the present continuity.
This James Gunn written series will follow the titular character played by John Cena, who will be introduced in the upcoming film The Suicide Squad. It is unknown when in the timeline this is expected to take place.
Justice League Dark
Quite a few years ago, Guillermo del Toro was developing a film based on this DC superhero team, but it never escaped development hell. Now, J.J. Abrams is working on re-developing it as an HBO Max series.