Back in October 2022, James Gunn and Peter Safran were named the co-Chairmen and CEOs of the newly established DC Studios and would oversee all DC film, television, animation, and video game projects for Warner Bros. moving forward. In simple terms, they would be to DC what Kevin Feige is to Marvel. The two have no doubt been busy at work over the past few months laying the foundation for the DC Universe (DCU) moving forward. Today, Gunn and Safran have announced the initial plan for the DCU, and it begins with Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters that is comprised of 10 DC properties across film, TV, and animation.
“What we’re starting with today is the first part of the first chapter of our universe,” reveals Safran. “That first chapter’s called ‘Gods and Monsters.’ Many of the following projects are already being worked on, but we’re remaining flexible and we’re going to adjust because we’re never going to put a project into production before the script is right. This is a general timeline, but there will be flexibility within it.” Gods and Monsters includes films Superman: Legacy, The Authority, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Swamp Thing, and television series Creature Commandos, Waller, Lanterns, Paradise Lost, and Booster Gold.
Creature Commandos is an animated series for HBO Max written by James Gunn that will feature Rick Flag, Sr, Nina Mazursky, Doctor Phosphorus, Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, G.I. Robot, and Weasel, who previously appeared in Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. The show is already in production, with Gunn having finished writing all seven episodes. No casting has been announced, but Sean Gunn is expected to reprise his role as Weasel. Gunn made a point to mention that they plan on casting actors who will be able to play their characters across all film, television, and gaming. Everything will intertwine within the same universe no matter the medium.
That brings us to Waller, with Viola Davis reprising her role as Amanda Waller. The live action series is being handled by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol) and will be set between the first and second season of Peacemaker. Members of the Peacemaker team are expected to make regular appearances on the show as well.
Superman: Legacy is being called the true launch of the DCU and will be the first live action film under the Gunn and Safran. Gunn is currently in the process of writing the film, and Safran hopes that he will direct it as well, although a director has not been confirmed. Superman: Legacy will not be an origin story and instead focus on “Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.” It is also the only one of the 10 projects announced that has a release date; July 11, 2025.
Lanterns is an upcoming live action HBO Max series that involves Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Safran likens the series to a True Detective-type mystery with Gunn calling them supercops on “Precinct Earth” who discover an ancient horror. Lanterns is said to lead into the overarching story that the DCU intends to tell across film and tv.
The Authority is a live action film that will focus on a group of superheroes who take things into their own hands to fix a broken world by any means necessary. They have good intentions to make the world a better place, but their methods are questionable and includes killing people, destroying heads of state, changing governments, etc. The Authority will be comprised of Wildstorm characters, comics imprint that was bought by DC.
Paradise Lost is a live action HBO Max series said to be a Game of Thrones-type story set in the world of Themyscira/Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman. It will be an origin story that “involves all of the darkness, drama and political intrigue behind this society of only women,” says Safran. Wonder Woman will not be involved in the series as it takes place before her birth.
The Brave and the Bold is the next big tentpole film and will introduce the DCU version of Batman. This will be a new Batman who is separate from Robert Pattinson or Ben Affleck. Matt Reeve’s is still on work with Pattinson for The Batman – Part II, which is separate from the DCU and being classified as an Elseworlds story. The same goes for the upcoming Joker: Folie à Deux from Todd Phillips. The Brave and the Bold will also introduce Damien Wayne, Batman’s young son, as Robin and lay the groundwork for bringing in the whole extended Bat-Family.
Booster Gold is an upcoming live action comedy series for HBO Max that follows a loser from the future who travels back in time to become a superhero. Gunn calls it a “story of a superhero’s imposter syndrome.” They’re currently in talks with an actor for the lead role, but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is a live action film based on Tom King’s comic. Unlike Superman who was sent to Earth and raised by loving human parents, Supergirl lived on a chunk of Krypton that drifted away from the planet where she spent the first 14 years of her life in a horrible situation where she witnessed everyone around her die. No doubt she will be a very different Kara than we’ve seen before.
Finally, the final announcement of the day is Swamp Thing. The film will explore the dark origins of Swamp Thing and while still connected to the overall DCU, it will be tonally different than any of the other properties.
This is only the beginning of the DCU and the newly formed DC Studios. Only time will tell if James Gunn and Peter Safran will be successful in bringing all of DC together, but so far it sounds like they know what they want and where they’re headed. Not everything is set in stone and there may still be a few surprises ahead as well. Regardless, the future of the DCU is already looking bright.