Last year, things were looking pretty bleak for the DC Universe with the announcement that DC newcomer and filmmaker James Gunn – who also runs the Warner Bros. Discovery division with Peter Safran – was scrapping any future projects associated with Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, among other titles.
While plans for the future of the DC franchise are still uncertain, Gunn and Safran today announced the first ten projects to be unveiled under the newly created DC Studios, or, the first part of “Chapter 1” of the DCU titled “Gods and Monsters.”
“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.”
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 31, 2023
“As you might know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time,” Gunn said via video. “It’s one of our jobs to come in and make sure that the 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.”
Gunn goes on to say that projects that fall outside of the DCU, like Matt Reeves’ The Batman or Todd Phillips’ Joker, are to be clearly labelled as “DC Elseworld” – they won’t have any connection to the continuity of the DCU.
While it might sound like a lot to digest, the structure and clear direction for the DCU is a promising sign for the failing franchise; something the DC Universe has lacked since its first attempt to rival that of Marvel Studios back in 2014.
The ten titles unveiled are, of course, based on marquee DC heroes, which will include: the previously announced Superman feature written by Gunn, now officially titled Superman: Legacy; a Batman and Robin movie – something we haven’t seen since the ill-fated 1997 film, Batman and Robin; a Wonder Woman prequel series and a Green Lantern mystery series; as well as titles featuring characters you may never have heard of, like Booster Gold and Swamp Thing.
While today’s announcement is a positive sign for things to come, Gunn and Safran were overly light on the specifics; no directors have been announced or tied to any future project, nor have there been any actors mentioned to play specific characters within the DCU.
given that the DCU is still very much in its earliest stages, the execs were light on some specifics: no directors have been attached to any future projects, nor has there been any mention of actors taking on specific superhero roles. The only announcement worth mentioning, besides the ten future projects, is that Superman: Legacy and The Batman Part II will respectively have 2025 release dates.
The plan, as Safran and Gunn said, is to release roughly two films and two TV series per year into the DCU, with the quality of each title the utmost of importance – Gunn and Safran are adamant that films and series will not go into production until scripts are finished.