James Gunn is dishing on all the upcoming plans for the DC Universe.
Gunn, 56, and Peter Safran, 57, officially started running the newly created DC Studios within Warner Bros. Discovery three months ago, and now the co-CEOS have announced the first titles to come out of the studio.
Gunn explained that the titles will exist in one universe and one story, and if something is outside of that story — such as Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” Todd Phillips’ “Joker” or “Teen Titans Go!” — then it would be explicitly labeled as DC Elseworlds.
“As many of you know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time,” Gunn explained in a video posted to Twitter. “It’s one of our jobs to come in and make sure that DCU is connected in film, television, gaming and animation. That the characters are consistent, played by the same actors, and it works within one story.”
He revealed that four projects will come out over the next year, kicking off with “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which he explained has always been in part of his own area of the DCU but connects very well and moves directly into “The Flash.”
He said that “The Flash,” starring embattled actor Ezra Miller, resets the entire DCU and is “a fantastic movie that I really love.”
“The Flash” moves into “Blue Beetle” — a “fantastic film” about a Mexican teenager in the DC Universe — which then goes into “Aquaman 2.”
“Aquaman 2” — a k a “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” starring Jason Momoa — leads into the next projects, which involve an eight- to 10-year plan of what DC Studios will be that Gunn, Safran and a group of writers have started to map out.
The first chapter is called “Gods and Monsters,” and Gunn shared details on the slate of projects.
‘Creature Commandos’ (TV)
Part of the first chapter includes “Creature Commandos” — an animated series written by Gunn for HBO Max.
“Something we’re gonna do that’s a little bit different at DC is we’re going to have characters move into animation, out of animation, usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live-action,” Gunn said.
The show is already in production.
The next project is “Waller,” which is the story of Amanda Waller, the “Suicide Squad” honcho who will be played by Viola Davis.
“Waller” will be a continuation of HBO Max’s “Peacemaker,” which had its Season 2 put on hold for the foreseeable future.
“It is a fantastic story that’s out of this world, and I can’t wait for people to see it,” Gunn shared.
‘Superman: Legacy’ (movie)
Gunn shared “a big one” that marks “the true beginning of the DCU”: “Superman: Legacy.”
“It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing,” Safran said while meeting with the press on the Warner Bros. studio lot, according to Variety. “He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old-fashioned.”
Gunn shared that he’s currently in the middle of writing this one, and it tentatively will be released in theaters on July 11, 2025.
An HBO television series called “Lanterns” was next up on the slate and is the story of a couple of Green Lanterns — Hal Jordan and John Stewart — who are “space cops watching over Precinct Earth.”
Safran described the series as “very much in the vein of ‘True Detective.’”
‘The Authority’ (movie)
“The Authority” comes next and is described as a “passion project” of Gunn’s, based on the “Wildstorm” superhero characters, which were launched in 1992 as their own entity and eventually folded into the main comics universe.
“It isn’t just a story of heroes and villains, and not every movie and TV show is going to be about good guy versus bad guy,” Gunn said. “There are people that are very questionable, like the Authority, who basically believe that you can’t fix the world in an easy manner, and they take things into their own hands.”
“Superman: Legacy” will lead directly into the film, which is currently being written.
‘Paradise Lost’ (TV)
The television series “Paradise Lost” is the story of Paradise Island — the birthplace of Wonder Woman.
He described it as “Game of Thrones” but with the inhabitants of Paradise Island.
“It’s really about the political intrigue behind a society of all women,” Safran said.
‘The Brave and the Bold’ (movie )
“The Brave and the Bold” is the “introduction of DCU’s Batman” and is the story of the Caped Crusader and his biological son, Damian Wayne, and introduces “the Bat family.”
“Damian Wayne is my favorite Robin,” Gunn shared about the character, which is based on comics by Grant Morrison.
‘Booster Gold’ (TV)
Next up is a TV series called “Booster Gold,” who is a popular “cult hero” and a “loser from the future” who uses future technology to become a superhero in the present day.
“It’s basically the superhero story of imposter syndrome,” Gunn explained.
‘Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow’ (movie)
Gunn also discussed turning “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow,” based on Tom King’s comics, into a science-fiction film.
“We see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he’s an infant, versus Supergirl, who was raised on a rock chip off of Krypton, and watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life,” he shared.
‘Swamp Thing’ (movie)
The last project he shared was “Swamp Thing”: a dark horror film — “horrific,” according to Gunn — that centers around Swamp Thing’s origin story.
Gunn explained that while this is outside of the rest of the DCU, it will still feed into the rest of the stories.
“DC Studios is unprecedented,” Safran said. “It is a standalone production entity and studio. It is the first time ever that everything DC related — film, television, live-action, animation, gaming — is all centralized under one creative vision, that of James and myself.”
Gunn stressed in his social media video how “incredibly important” the DC characters are to him.
“Storytelling is always king. That’s all that matters and I want to be true to those stories,” he said. “I want to be true to you guys and really give you something that you’ve never seen before.”
It was stressed that the characters will be played by the same actors consistently, leaving the door open for Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Zachary Levi to continue playing Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Shazam, respectively — though Gunn reiterated that Henry Cavill will not return as Superman.
However, the DC bosses neither confirmed nor denied Miller’s possible return as the Flash.
Miller — who is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns — made headlines in 2022 stemming from assault and abuse allegations on top of other legal woes. They pleaded guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor unlawful trespass in a Vermont burglary case.
Back in August, Miller, 30, broke their silence in a statement provided to Variety, saying they would seek treatment for “complex mental health issues.”
“Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment,” Miller said in the statement. “I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life.”
Safran and Gunn expressed their support for Miller but left unspoken whether they’d reprise the role.
“Ezra is completely committed to their recovery. We’re fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now,” Safran said.
“When the time is right, when they feel they are ready to have the discussion, we’ll all figure out what the best way forward is,” he added. “But right now, they are completely focused on their recovery. And in our conversations with them over the last couple of months, it feels like they’re making enormous progress.”
Levi, 42, also faced backlash this week after sharing an anti-Pfizer tweet on Sunday, in which he wrote, “Hardcore agree,” in response to a tweet that read: “Do you agree or not that Pfizer is a real danger to the world?”
Many people interpreted that as being anti-vaccine, which sent the internet into a frenzy, as “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is set for release on March 17, 2023.
When Gunn was asked about the situation, he replied: “Just real simply: Actors and filmmakers that I work with are going to say things that I agree with and things that I don’t agree with.
“And that’s going to happen. I don’t have a list of things that somebody should say because of what I think. And you know, I can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with,” he added.
“By the same token, if somebody’s doing something morally reprehensible then that’s a different story. We have to take all that stuff into account. It’s a balance. It’s modern world and it’s a different place.”
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