'The Batman,' 'The Suicide Squad' Set 2021 Release Dates

A newly announced film called 'DC Super Pets' will open in summer 2021, while the studio also dates Anne Hathaway's 'The Witches' for fall 2020 and moves up the debut of 'Doctor Sleep.'

Warner Bros. is staking out dates for some of its tentpoles, including a slew of DC films.

A newly announced film called DC Super Pets will open on May 21, 2021, followed later that summer by Matt Reeves' The Batman on June 25 and The Suicide Squad on Aug. 6. In the meantime, genre fans won't have to wait as long to see the Stephen King adaptation Doctor Sleep, which is moving up from Jan. 24, 2020, to Nov. 8, 2019.

DC Super Pets, from directors Jared Stern and Sam Levine and producer Patty Hicks, started life as a children’s series from Capstone Publishers combining the pets of a number of DC superheroes — including Superman’s dog, Krypto; Batman’s dog, Ace the Bat-Hound; and Supergirl’s cat, Streaky — into a crime-fighting team of their own. The property also appeared as a short on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation animated block.

The Suicide Squad, a sequel to 2016's Suicide Squad, has enlisted Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn to pen the script and direct. Gunn moved over to Warner Bros./DC after Marvel Studios fired him as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in July. News that he'd write the Suicide Squad sequel broke in October. 

Reeves' The Batman has been one of the most closely watched superhero movies in development. Ben Affleck is the most recent actor to play the Dark Knight in movies such as Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and Justice League (2017), but his future as the character has been in doubt since July 2017, when sources told The Hollywood Reporter he was unlikely to continue on in the role after Justice League. On Wednesday, with the announcement of The Batman release date, Affleck shared a tweet that THR has confirmed is the actor saying goodbye to the role. 

"Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life," Affleck wrote. 

In an interview published before the release-date news broke Wednesday, Reeves laid out his vision for The Batman, telling THR: "It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional."

Reeves also said it will be Batman "more in his detective mode than we've seen in the films."

Reeves will produce The Batman alongside Dylan Clark.

In other changes to its release calendar, Warners dated Robert Zemeckis' The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway, for Oct. 16, 2020.