While Warner's DC film universe always seems to be in a constant state of flux, we're going to do our best to explain the entire DCEU timeline. DCEU stands for the DC Extended Universe, and it kicked off back in 2013 with Man of Steel. While there are rumors that the upcoming Flash movie will essentially reset the DCEU timeline entirely - just as the "Flashpoint" event relaunched DC Comics into the "New 52" era - there is no point in talking about the future of the DCEU without combing through its past.
So, we're running through all the events - from that time Darkseid tried to take over Earth thousands of years ago, up to the point where Task Force X stopped Starro from using its mind-control madness on humans in 2021's The Suicide Squad.
3000 BCE: Darkseid Tries To Take Over EarthPhoto: Zack Snyder's Justice League / HBO Max
Thanks to comic book legend Jack Kirby - the "King," himself - the central antagonist of the DC Extended Universe is Apokolips' ruler with an iron fist, Darkseid. Created back when Kirby jumped ship from Marvel over to its distinguished competition in the early 1970s, Darkseid was a vital cog in the creator's "Fourth World" saga. While he may not be as iconic as the Joker or as popular as Lex Luthor, Darkseid has become an integral part of the DC landscape over the decades, as he has essentially been made into the Justice League's chief villain.
As such, where else would the DCEU start? Zack Snyder's Justice League shows the big bad invading the Earth in 3000 BCE with legions of heroes coming together to stop him from doing so. Teasing the Green Lantern Corps in the flashback scene was a bit of a slap in the face to dedicated fans of the Emerald Knight, but Darkseid's incursion proved to be one of the truly exhilarating moments in the DCEU thus far.
November 1917: Wonder Woman Leaves Themyscira And Helps End WWIPhoto: Wonder Woman / Warner Bros. Pictures
It's incredible that it took DC and Warner Bros. until 2017 to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. She's a member of the Trinity, for goodness sakes! Lynda Carter made her a big deal all the way back in the 1970s! Anyway, Diana's DCEU story begins in earnest when Steve Trevor accidentally finds himself on the shores of the mythical island of Themyscira in 1917.
Diana is then introduced to the world of humankind, completes her mission to stop both a power-hungry German general as well as Ares, the God of War, and falls in love with Steve just in time for him to perish in the service of saving countless lives. Heartbroken by the loss of Steve, Diana lives among humanity in secret for decades, waiting to be broken from her apathetic stupor and become a hero again.
1946: Nazi Scientists Flee To Corto Maltese, Where They Eventually Start Project JotunheimPhoto: The Suicide Squad / Warner Bros. Pictures
Have you heard about WWII? Of course you have. It is only the deadliest conflict in the entirety of human history, and that really is saying something. In the fictional timeline of the DCEU, a horde of Third Reich scientists fled to the fictional island of Corto Maltese to seek asylum. Upon being granted refuge, the Nazis continued their outlandish experimentation in a continuing program known as "Project Jotunheim."
A massive structure, itself named Jotunheim, was built to house the endless experimentation. The Corto Maltese government eventually betrayed the Nazis and did away with them, leaving Jotunheim intact for its own uses. Years later, Jotunheim would become home to another secretive project: "Project Starfish."
Christmas 1974: Thaddeus Sivana Visits The Rock Of Eternity And Is Found WantingPhoto: Shazam! / Warner Bros. Pictures
In all fairness to Thaddeus Sivana, the winter of 1974 would completely alter the trajectory of his life - and not for the better. Some might argue he only became the villain of 2019's Shazam! because of the events of the fateful evening he was snatched by the titular wizard and shown a world he would never forget. While riding in the car with his father, Thaddeus was magically summoned by Shazam to see if the boy was a suitable candidate to become the wizard's champion.
Unfortunately for the boy, he was almost immediately tempted by the Seven Deadly Sins of Men and was shuttled back to the backseat of his father's car by Shazam. Thaddeus then flipped out and caused his father to crash, leaving the man crippled in the process. Cue a lifelong obsession with all things magic and an eventual turn to malevolence for young Thaddeus.