10 DC Movie Announcements Fans Hated At First (& Why They Were Wrong)


10 DC Movie Announcements Fans Hated At First (& Why They Were Wrong)

Over the years, many DC movie announcements have been met with backlash only to later turn out to have been the right decisions all along.


  • DC movie announcements often face backlash and criticism, but often the concern turns out to be unwarranted as the final product surpasses expectations.
  • Initial negative reactions to DC movie announcements are often based on fans’ passion for certain tropes and ideas, but sometimes the filmmakers’ vision exceeds what was initially hoped for.
  • The backlash to DC movie announcements is not always justified, as some of the most criticized decisions, such as casting choices or film cancelations, have turned out to be the best course of action in the end.



Long before the DC Universe, DC movie announcements were being met with hate and backlash, even though often the criticism turned out to be entirely wrong. Adapting beloved stories and iconic characters to the big screen is no easy feat, and those heavily invested in the characters will often have opinions about how these adaptations should be handled. When studios announce their plans to bring certain heroes and villains to the screen, there’s often a negative reaction to specific actors, directors, or ideas associated with the project. In particular, the movies of the DCEU and other DC projects have faced this specific challenge many times over.

Of course, the backlash to DC movie announcements isn’t always justified. Often, it proves to have been a case of false concern, as the once questionable announcements turn out to have been the best course of action all along. It’s usually a simple case of fans’ passion for specific tropes and ideas not clearly connecting with the announced plans of the studio, but in some cases, the filmmakers’ vision proves to be even more than was initially hoped. As it’s impossible to see into the future, those opposing such announcements are simply expressing concern, but occasionally, the negative reactions to DC movie announcements turn out to be completely wrong.

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Related: How To Watch DCEU Movies In Order (By Release Date & Chronologically)

10 Batgirl’s Cancelation

Though judgment usually waits until after the release of DCEU movies, Batgirl saw itself canceled before it ever saw the light of day. Warner Bros.’s decision to scrap a finished film was met with massive backlash from those who had been eagerly anticipating its release given its seemingly exciting place in the DCEU. However, soon after, James Gunn and Peter Safran were announced co-heads of DC Studios, and a reboot of the entire franchise was confirmed to be pending. With that information made public, the decision to cancel Batgirl suddenly made much more sense, rather than increase interest in a franchise that would imminently cease to exist.

9 Birds Of Prey’s Trailer Backlash

Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey

Upon release of the trailer for Birds of Prey, a significant amount of disdain was expressed for the film. Many felt that the trailer signified a film that looked terrible and poorly conceived, with some even anticipating that a female-driven story with no major male protagonists would feel like virtue signaling rather than a natural progression of the DCEU’s story. However, Birds of Prey‘s release proved these concerns entirely wrong: it was action-packed, well-crafted in both a narrative and visual sense, and also helped further cement Margot Robbie as one of the franchise’s most compelling characters.

8 Anne Hathaway Cast As Catwoman

Catwoman crouching in front of an open vault in The Dark Knight Rises

Although the creative decisions of Christopher Nolan are rarely challenged, some felt that Anne Hathaway was a particularly odd choice for the role of Catwoman. At the time, Hathaway was considered an actor with a penchant for romcoms and Disney-lite roles, such as those she played in The Princess Diaries and Love and Other Drugs. The Dark Knight Rises put these concerns to rest, as Hathaway’s Catwoman was a morally complex figure played to perfection, with plenty of impressively choreographed action sequences to offer as well.

7 Wonder Woman 1984’s Straight-To-Streaming Release

Gal Gadot running as Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 1984.

As one of the DCEU’s most powerful heroes, Wonder Woman is undoubtedly a major draw for any DC franchise. That’s why the announcement that Wonder Woman 1984 would be released directly to streaming platforms was met with significant backlash, as many felt it deserved a theatrical release. These concerns were relatively unfounded, as the film proved reasonably successful regardless of the manner of its release, but also many of those who initially felt it deserved a theatrical run were left underwhelmed as Wonder Woman 1984 was quickly considered one of the DCEU’s weaker efforts.

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6 Ezra Miller Cast As The Flash

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen in The Flash 2023 looking confused

One of the most contentious DCEU movie announcements was that of Ezra Miller being cast as the Flash in the franchise – with more recent controversies reigniting this debate anew. However, at the time, concerns about Miller’s casting instead revolved around the idea that another iteration of the hero was finding massive success within the Arrowverse, and fans of the show felt that Grant Gustin’s Flash would have been perfect in the DCEU. However, Miller did prove excellent in the role, with their performance contributing much of Justice League‘s comedic and emotional weight, even if the various issues that occurred around The Flash saw the role end on a sour note.

5 Christian Bale Wouldn’t Return For The DCEU

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises

Despite the massive popularity of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, it was announced that Christian Bale would not be reprising his role as Batman within the DCEU. The decision was met with significant backlash, as his iteration of the Dark Knight was considered by far the best version of the character. As the DCEU continued, however, it became clear just how poorly Bale’s iteration of the Caped Crusader would have fit into the franchise. Nolan’s more grounded take on the hero would never have held up besides the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, proving that the DCEU’s purpose-written Batman was a much better course of action overall.

4 Robert Pattinson Cast As Batman

robert pattinson as batman in matt reeves 2022 film

When it was announced that another Batman movie was being made to exist outside of the DCEU’s continuity starring Robert Pattinson, the decision was widely ridiculed. Many vocal detractors felt that Pattinson (whose biggest previous role had been that of Edward Cullen in Twilight) would fail to deliver a convincing performance as Batman. The actor turned out to be perfect for Matt Reeves’ movie, though, as he existed within a particularly gritty and grounded take on Gotham. Pattinson’s intensity translated to a brilliant Dark Knight, proving that the hate over his casting announcement was entirely ill-informed.

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3 James Gunn’s Suicide Squad Sequel

Polka-Dot Man, Peacemaker, Bloodsport, and Ratcatcher II in The Suicide Squad 2021

After 2016’s Suicide Squad proved to be the DCEU’s worst movie, the announced sequel failed to excite many fans. When James Gunn was announced as the film’s writer and director, many felt that he was a Marvel director and would bring the wrong energy to the franchise. Gunn’s light-hearted approach to The Suicide Squad‘s brutal violence turned out to be just what the DCEU needed, giving the franchise a much-needed boost and later earning him a spot as co-head of DC Studios – and those who initially felt Gunn wouldn’t do justice to the DC source material were promptly proven incorrect.

2 Ben Affleck’s Solo Batman Movie

Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder's Justice League

The initial announcement of a Batman movie starring Ben Affleck was met with disdain, largely owing to the divisive response to his debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, as the film’s production stretched on and Affleck reprised the role in Justice League, his performance as Batman found a new appreciation, with Zack Snyder’s vision for the DCEU leading to a massive amount of anticipation for Affleck’s Batman movie. The initial hate for the announced film slowly transformed into excitement, and by the time the film was canceled, many fans found themselves unexpectedly disappointed by the turn of events.

1 Heath Ledger Cast As The Joker

Heath Ledger as Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight

In hindsight, the backlash to Heath Ledger’s casting in The Dark Knight might be baffling, but at the time, discourse about the actor raged. He was considered far too good-looking to play the iconic villain, and his previous good guy roles only fed into this misconception. Upon the release of The Dark Knight, Ledger’s transformation won over every single one of his detractors, with many considering him among the greatest movie villains of all time. Not only did Ledger earn a posthumous Oscar for the role, but he proved that the backlash to his casting was one of the most needless responses to any announcement from a DC Universe movie.

Key Release Dates

  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Movie Poster Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Release Date: 2023-12-20
  • Joker: Folie a Deux Release Date: 2024-10-04
  • https___pictures.betaseries.com_films_affiches_original_122022 Superman: Legacy Release Date: 2025-07-11
  • The Batman 2 temp poster The Batman – Part II Release Date: 2025-10-03

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