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How to watch DC movies in order

DC movies in order
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Trying to watch the DC movies in order? You don't need to be faster than a speeding bullet. Unlike in years past, you can grab most of adventures of Batman, Superman, Wonder Man and the rest from the same place, now after WarnerMedia launched its own streaming service in HBO Max.

Watching DC movies in release order is a pretty straightforward process, but things get a bit more complicated if you want to see them in chronological order. Not to mention Zack Snyder's Justice League — though it isn't canonical.

For this guide, we're focusing on the DC Extended Universe movies, which began with 2013's Man of Steel. But there are a ton of prior films adapted from DC Comics, beginning in 1951 with Superman and the Mole Men. So, this list does not include any of those titles, nor recent movies like 2019's Joker with Joaquin Phoenix or the forthcoming The Batman with Robert Pattinson.

DC and its sibling studio Warner Bros. have been making various Batman and Superman movies for decades, but the DCEU is the first shared cinematic universe spanning multiple superhero characters. 

DC movies in release order

As of March 2021, there are 10 DC movies that take place in the extended universe. 

The lead characters include Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Zachary Levi as Shazam and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Here are the DC movies in release order, along with where you can find them streaming online.

(Note that the movies' availability on streaming services fluctuates month to month.)

1. Man of Steel (2013)
Cast: Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon as General Zod, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Kevin Costner as Jonathan Kent, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White and Russell Crowe as Jor-El
Streaming on HBO Max

DC movies in order: Man of Steel

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

2. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Cast: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane
Streaming on HBO Max

3. Suicide Squad (2016)
Cast: Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jared Leto as the Joker, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag
Streaming on HBO Max

4. Wonder Woman (2017)
Cast: Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Robin Wright as General Antiope and David Thewlis as Ares
Streaming on HBO Max

DC movies in order: Wonder Woman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

5. Justice League (2017)
Cast: Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash and Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg
Streaming on HBO Max

6. Aquaman (2018)
Cast: Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane / Black Manta and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna
Streaming on HBO Max

7. Shazam! (2019)
Cast: Zachary Levi as Shazam, Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Silvana, Jack Dylan as Freddy Freeman and Djimon Hounsou as Shazam
Rent/buy on Amazon or Apple

8. Birds of Prey (2020)
Cast: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Dinah Lance/Black Canary, Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya, Ella Jay Basco as Cassandra Cain, Chris Messina as Victor Zsasz and Ewan McGregor as Roman Sionis / Black Mask:
Streaming on HBO Max

DC movies in order: Birds of Prey

(Image credit: Claudette Barius)

9. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Cast: Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva/Cheetah, Pedro Pascal as Max Lord, Robin Wright as General Antiope and Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta
Rent on Amazon or Apple

10. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
Cast: Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Willem Dafoe, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lanee, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons
Streaming on HBO Max

DC movies in chronological order

If you want to watch the DC movies in chronological order, you'll find it's very different than the release order. You start with ...

1. Wonder Woman
Set mostly 1918 during World War I; flashbacks to ancient era of the gods

2. Wonder Woman 1984
Set in 1984; prologue during indeterminate time period on the island of Themyscira

DC movies in order: Wonder Woman 1984

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

3. Man of Steel
Set circa 2013; prologue on Krypton about 20 years prior; flashbacks to Clark Kent's childhood in Smallville

4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Set circa 2015, about 18 months after Man of Steel; flashbacks to Bruce Wayne's childhood in 1981; flashforwards to post-apocalyptic Earth

DC movies in order: Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

(Image credit: Warner Bro.)

5. Suicide Squad
Set circa 2016, about a year after Batman v Superman; flashbacks to events pre-Man of Steel 

6a. Justice League
Set circa 2017, about two years after Batman v Superman and a year after Suicide Squad; flashback of Steppenwolf's takeover attempt thousands of years prior

6b. Zack Snyder's Justice League
Director's cut and alternate version of the film

7. Aquaman
Set circa 2017, several months after Justice League; flashbacks to 1985 and Arthur Curry's childhood

DC movies in order: Aquaman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

8. Shazam!
Set during Christmas 2018; flashback to 1974 of Thaddeus Sivana's origin story

9. Birds of Prey
Set circa 2020, about four years after Suicide Squad

DC movies in order: Latest news

DC movies in order: Coming soon

Here are the upcoming DC movies on the Warner Bros. slate over the next few years:

The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6, 2021)
Director: James Gunn
Cast: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Idris Elba as Robert DuBois/Bloodsport, John Cena as Peacemaker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Viola Davis as Amanda Walker, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang and Peter Capaldi as Thinker

Black Adam (July 29, 2022)
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Cast: Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodg as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Marwan Kenzari

The Flash (Nov. 4, 2022)
Director: Andy Muschietti
Cast: Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman and Sasha Calle as Supergirl

Aquaman 2 (Dec. 16, 2022)
Director: TBD
Cast: Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as David Kane/Black Manta

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (June 2, 2023)
Director: TBD
Cast: Zachary Levi as Shazam, Michelle Borth as Mary Marvel

There are also several DC movies in development, including:

Superman reboot: Ta-Nehisi Coates is attached to write the script, with J.J. Abrams producing. It's unclear if Henry Cavill will play the lead role again.

Supergirl: A film centered on Kara Zor-El / Supergirl, starring Sasha Calle, who will be introduced as the character in The Flash (2022).

Wonder Woman 3: Patty Jenkins will return to write and direct, with Gal Gadot on board to reprise her role as Diana Prince. It will be set in the present day.

The Amazons: A spinoff of Wonder Woman focusing on the residents of Themyscira.

The Trench: A horror spinoff of Aquaman