That Justice League Movie You’ve Been Hearing About For Years Is Officially Happening

After years of rumors, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have officially announced plans to spin their properties into an expansive film franchise, a la the Marvel universe.

For those unfamiliar with the comic book world, the Justice League is a supergroup of DC Comic superheroes that includes, among others, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It is similar to Marvel’s Avengers which includes Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and Thor. For years, there have been rumors that Warner Bros. and DC planned to beef up their film universe the way Marvel has, with each film serving not as a true sequel, but occupying the same space in which the events of each film impact further films. Now it’s really happening.

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Warner Bros.’ president of worldwide production says that director Zack Snyder will move directly from Batman vs. Superman to a Justice League movie, with both using last year’s Man of Steel as a jumping off point. “It will be a further expansion of this universe,” Greg Silverman tells WSJ. “Superman vs. Batman will lead into Justice League.”

Similar to the Marvel universe, Warner Bros. and DC’s film universe will employ the same actors throughout each film. Henry Cavill is back as Superman for both films, while Ben Affleck has signed on as Batman for at least a couple films, making his debut in Batman vs. SupermanGal Gadot was cast late last year to be introduced in Batman vs. Superman as Wonder Woman. As for who else will show up in Justice League, it’s anyone’s guess. Though it’s safe to assume this universe will ignore the Ryan Reynolds-starring Green Lantern.

The move puts Warner Bros./DC in direct competition with Marvel, as each will begin churning out superhero movies that build upon each other and expand into a vast world populated with masked crusaders and sinister villains. For Marvel, it’s been a lucrative plan as most of its films have become bona fide hits. The last three–Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3–each made more than $600 million individually.

If Joss Whedon, who is directing The Avengers: Age of Ultron and has consulted on most Marvel scripts, is the guiding light behind the Marvel universe, it seems that Snyder will serve as the same in the DC Comics universe. Of course, Justice League won’t be out until 2017 at the earliest. From there, it’s anyone’s guess which superhero will get a standalone film, but if it’s Aquaman, Vinnie Chase will be there with bells on.