It just wasn’t meant to be. After ten years of existence and struggles to find the right path, DC Extended Universe ran out of its chances, and it’ll be closed for good in December 2023 with the release of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.’ However, since cinematic universes are still a great money-maker in Hollywood, DC wanted to try the whole thing again from the ground up.
Following the critical and commercial failure of Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Black Adam,’ all new plans for DCEU, which included a long-awaited ‘Man of Steel’ sequel, were scrapped, and James Gunn and Peter Safran were hired to take over DC Studios and plan a new cinematic universe, which will officially start next year with ‘Creature Commandos’ on streaming, and ‘Superman: Legacy’ on the big screen in 2025.
Gunn recently said that nothing before these two projects is canon to DCU, although some familiar faces from DCEU will return. Let’s take a look at which DCEU actors we’ll see reprising their roles in DCU. We’ll update this article as new information arrives.
John Cena as Christopher Smith / Peacemaker
John Cena is one of those WWE stars who wanted to establish another career in acting. Although he starred in prominent franchises such as ‘Transformers’ and ‘Fast & Furious,’ the role of Peacemaker became the role of his career. He debuted in 2021’s ‘The Suicide Squad,’ and he reprised the role in his own spin-off, the ‘Peacemaker’ series, which premiered in 2022 on HBOMax (now known as Max).
Although it was initially expected that ‘Peacemaker’ would have only one season, the series’ success granted it a second-season renewal. Therefore, Cena’s return as Christopher Smith is a certain thing. However, Gunn announced that the development of the second season won’t begin before he finishes his work on ‘Superman: Legacy,’ so we’ll wait for Cena’s return for quite a while.
Xolo Maridueña as Jaime Reyes / Blue Beetle
The former regime of DC Films (now known as DC Studios) led by Walter Hamada wanted to expand the DCEU through streaming movies for the then-HBOMax streaming service, which led to the development of ‘Batgirl’ and ‘Blue Beetle.’ However, ‘Batgirl’ was ultimately canceled, and ‘Blue Beetle’ was changed to have a regular theatrical release, and it was released in August 2023.
Although the movie was developed by the former regime and turned out to be a box-office failure, James Gunn announced Xolo Maridueña’s Blue Beetle as the first DCU hero, announcing his return in the upcoming franchise. Due to its commercial failure, it’s hard to believe we’ll see ‘Blue Beetle 2,’ but there’s always a chance his story could be further developed through crossover events, which there will certainly be.
Viola Davis as Amanda Waller
Unlike Peacemaker and Blue Beetle, Amanda Waller debuted in DCEU long before James Gunn did. Viola Davis first played the character in David Ayer’s ‘Suicide Squad,’ which was released in 2016. The movie was commercially successful, but it was negatively received by critics and the audience, ultimately bringing James Gunn to develop his own take on the titular team.
Davis reprised the role in Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ in 2021 and in the first and last episode of ‘Peacemaker’ in 2022. Earlier this year, Gunn announced the ‘Waller’ spin-off series, which is currently in development. Davis will also voice her character in the ‘Creature Commandos’ animated series, which will premiere next year.
Freddie Stroma as Adrian Chase / Vigilante
Following his debut in ‘The Suicide Squad,’ John Cena’s Peacemaker returned in his own spin-off series, in which DCEU’s Adrian Chase, aka Vigilante, debuted. Freddie Stroma played the character that was depicted as Peacemaker’s friend who looked up to him and therefore became a self-proclaimed vigilante known as… Vigilante.
Gunn recently said that Vigilante will eventually return, which is definitely expected since the ‘Peacemaker’ series is set to return for Season 2. Will we see Peacemaker and Vigilante in some other DCU projects? Maybe, but ‘Peacemaker’ Season 2 is the only project they are certain to return for now.
These are the only characters that are 100% assured to return to DCU. There are still some other characters that might or are expected to return. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn is one of those characters. Gal Gadot recently expressed her interest in playing Wonder Woman in DCU, but her return is still under a big question mark. It’s known that Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck will not return, but we still can’t know for sure about Jason Momoa or Ezra Miller, although the latter isn’t expected to return given his legal problems.
What do you think about these returning characters? Which other DCEU actors would you like to see again in DCU? Share your opinions and expectations with us in the comments below.