A team of superheros stands poised for action in 'Justice League' Snyder Cut poster.

All DC Movies in Chronological Order

The timeline for the original live-action DC movies may be a little hard to keep track of, but we’ve figured out where all the DC movies take place chronologically, in their own universe.

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DC’s live-action movie series began back in 2013 with the Superman movie Man of Steel. Since then, DC has released 14 movies, featuring some of the most iconic superheroes. There have been several films featuring Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman. However, the vision of DC has been a little hazy, creating a muddled timeline with their films.

Late last year, DC announced James Gunn taking over as lead for the cinematic universe, rebranding it the DCU. It’s unclear how much the existing movies and characters will play into the future DC film arcs, but already, there has been a reboot announced for the Superman story. However, the existing movies are still a major part of the DC universe. We untangled the timeline and made a list to watch the DC movies in chronological order easily.

Wonder Woman (2017)

Diana Prince and Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman
(Warner Bros.)

Wonder Woman takes place over two time periods. It begins with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in the modern era, around the same time as Batman v Superman, going through old things. When she finds an old photo, she begins to remember the past. Most of the movie is a flashback of her life in the 1940s when she first met Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) and traveled to America.

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
(Warner Bros.)

Wonder Woman 1984 takes Diana to, you guessed it, 1984. Diana works in a museum dealing with ancient artifacts before a cursed item brings two new villains to her doorstep. This adventure is a middle story between the events of the first Wonder Woman movie and when she first meets Batman and Superman.

Man of Steel (2013)

henry cavill as superman in man of steel.
(Warner Bros.)

Man of Steel started the DC movie universe. It also began Henry Cavill’s time as the titular character. The story introducing audiences to Clark Kent/Superman takes place in roughly the year it was made, 2013.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

ben affleck batman
(Warner Bros.)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice takes place in the year it was created, 2016. It was the first time Ben Affleck appeared as Batman. It was also the first time Wonder Woman entered the DC movies, in real-world time. Batman and Superman go head-to-head in some knockout battles. The ramifications of this movie set up later films.

Suicide Squad (2016)

Will Smith, Jay Hernandez, Joel Kinnaman, Jai Courtney, and Margot Robbie in Suicide Squad (2016)
(Warner Bros.)

Suicide Squad takes place after the events of Batman v Superman. To rehabilitate and utilize supervillains, the government created the Suicide Squad to save the day in the absence of heroes. There wasn’t a lot to like about this movie, but it was the first time Margot Robbie put on her clown makeup as the iconic Harley Quinn.

Justice League (2017)

The members of the 'Justice League' in a promotional image for their movie
(Warner Bros.)

Justice League takes place after Batman v Superman. With the loss of Superman, a new team called the Justice League emerges. The film marked the first time Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and the Flash (Ezra Miller) were in a live-action DC movie.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

A team of superheros stands poised for action in 'Justice League' Snyder Cut poster.
(Warner Bros.)

Technically Justice League and Zack Snyder’s Justice League came from the same script and filming, so it takes place at the same time as the theatrical Justice League. However, the “Snyder cut” introduces more characters and is substantially longer.

Aquaman (2018)

Aquaman Jason Momoa with sharks
(Warner Bros.)

Aquaman takes place after the events of the Justice League. Now that people know he’s a hero, Aquaman/Arthur Curry must put his powers to use. He’s out there saving people and keeping the oceans in line.

Shazam! (2019)

Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer as Shazam and Freddy Freeman in DCEU's Shazam.
(Warner Bros.)

Like many of the other movies, Shazam! took place in the year of its release. Set in 2019, the movie follows a young boy looking for a home who finds superhero powers as well as a family.

Birds of Prey (2020)

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey
(Warner Bros.)

Birds of Prey is an unofficial sequel to Suicide Squad. After the events of Suicide Squad, Ms. Harley Quinn needs to get her groove back after ending things with Jared Leto’s terrible version of the Joker.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)

Shazam! Fury of the Gods, from left to right Ross Butler as Eugene Choi, Adam Brody as Freddy Freeman, Zachary Levi as Billy Batson, Meagan Good as Darla Dudley, and D.J. Cotrona as Pedro Peña
(Warner Bros.)

Although several movies came out between the first Shazam movie and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the two movies are supposed to be two years apart. So the setting would be 2021, not the year it was released.

The Suicide Squad (2021)

The Suicide Squad poster.
(Warner Bros.)

After Birds of Prey, Harley Quinn joins back up with a new and improved version of the Suicide Squad. This was the introduction of King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) and everyone’s favorite new random hero: Peacemaker (John Cena).

Black Adam (2022)

black adam is a rock showcase
(Warner Bros.)

Black Adam happens in a world where the Justice League already exists. Black Adam was supposed to connect, at some point, to Shazam, but with the changes at DC, that looks like that probably won’t be happening.

The Flash (2023)

A close up of Erza Miller as The Flash
(Warner Bros.)

After Justice League, The Flash takes us on a solo adventure. The Flash/Barry Allen tries to change his own story with his powers. However, he ends up creating his own version of the multiverse in the process. There are characters from DC’s past and present films, all in one movie.

Blue Beetle (2023)

Xolo Mariduena as Jaime Reyes in Blue Beetle
(Warner Bros.)

Blue Beetle introduced a new hero from the DC comic books. The movie is about a teen boy accidentally getting the power of alien technology, much to his close-knit family’s dismay. The movie is set around the year it was released, 2023.

With Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom arriving in theaters soon, we’ll have more to add to the list soon, and a whole new DCU in the future!

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.