If the Marvel Cinematic Universe is an intricate puzzle in which each piece finds its perfect place, the DC Universe is a Gordian knot, complicated by aborted overarching storytelling plans and less continuity in more recent films. There is certainly a way to watch the DC movies in order, but you’ll find some films make more sense than others, while some feel completely disconnected from the DCEU at large. This is no fault of the filmmakers, of course, as Warner Bros. was playing catch-up with the MCU and trying to build to their own team-up movie “Justice League” as quickly as possible, resulting in a bit of a slapdash approach to universe-building.
And yet, largely thanks to Zack Snyder, there’s an overarching story that’s been told, and one you can follow if you watch the films in a specific order. Below, we run down how to watch the DC movies in chronological order.
DC Movies in Chronological Order
The DC Extended Universe
When trying to watch the DC movies in chronological order, most people are talking about the interconnected universe of films that kicked off with Zack Snyder’s Superman reboot “Man of Steel.” From then on, a universe was constructed in which characters crossed over from one film to the next, only to be somewhat abandoned after the release of “Justice League.”
The theatrical cut of “Justice League” was finished off by Joss Whedon after Snyder left during post-production and after hefty reshoots that largely abandon teases for future DC films. “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” meanwhile, is Snyder’s epic four-hour version of the story that teases grand DCEU plans that will not be coming to fruition following his departure.
After either version of “Justice League,” you’ll find DC connectivity is more sparse.
“Black Adam” takes place after the events of “The Suicide Squad,” and the most recent film “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” takes place after “Black Adam.”
Without further ado, here’s how to watch all the DCEU movies in chronological order:
- Wonder Woman
- Wonder Woman 1984
- Man of Steel
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Suicide Squad
- Justice League // Zack Snyder’s Justice League
- Birds of Prey
- The Suicide Squad
- Black Adam
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods
DC Movies in Release Order
The DC Extended Universe
If you simply want to watch the DC movies in the order in which they were released — which, frankly, makes a bit more sense connectivity-wise — here’s a complete rundown of the DCEU movies in release order:
- Man of Steel (2013)
- Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
- Suicide Squad (2016)
- Wonder Woman (2017)
- Justice League – (2017)
- Aquaman – (2018)
- Shazam! (2019)
- Birds of Prey (2020)
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
- The Suicide Squad (2021)
- Black Adam (2022)
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)
Is “The Batman” Part of the DCU?
If you’re wondering why the new Robert Pattinson-led reboot “The Batman” isn’t on this list, it’s because it’s not part of the DCEU. Which means you could watch it at any time without worrying about where it fits on the timeline.
The Matt Reeves-directed box office hit takes place on “Earth-2,” meaning it’s in an entirely different universe than the one populated by Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman. It’s completely disconnected from any of these aforementioned movies, just like the Joaquin Phoenix-led “Joker.”
Upcoming New DC Movies
Now that James Gunn and Peter Safran are building out a new slate of DC movies, the interconnected DCEU is about to get even more complicated, with a handful of films that were greenlit under the previous regime still rolling out in 2023 and Gunn and Safran launching their new vision for the DCU — titled “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.”
All of this to say, here’s a list of the DC movies currently in the works that are set for release:
- The Flash – June 23, 2023
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods – March 17, 2023
- Blue Beetle – Aug. 18, 2023
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom – Dec. 25, 2023
- Joker: Folie a Deux – Oct. 4, 2024
- Superman: Legacy – July 11, 2025
- The Batman II – Oct. 3, 2025