Writer-director James Gunn, who serves as DC Studios co-chairman and CEO with Peter Safran, outlined the duo’s plan for a new chapter of the DC Universe on Tuesday — a plan that will span eight to 10 years across 10 initial projects, and will attempt to unify DC’s comic properties across film, television, gaming, and animation. The new DCU slate includes a cinematic reboot of the Superman franchise and a brand-new Batman movie that’s not a sequel to 2022’s The Batman.
But Gunn and Safran’s new plan doesn’t nullify the worlds of the four still-to-be-released DC Studios movies (Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) nor will it apparently alter plans for sequels to Matt Reeves’ The Batman and Todd Phillips’ Joker. Gunn explains how the ambitious plans are all going to work in the video above, and provides more color on newly revealed projects starring Supergirl, Green Lantern(s), and Booster Gold.
In his announcement video, Gunn says the goal at Warner Bros. Discovery is to “make sure the DCU is connected in film, television, gaming, and animation” and that “characters are consistent, played by the same actors, and it works in one story.” Anything that doesn’t work within that DCU continuity, including The Batman – Part II and Joker: Folie à Deux, will have its own brand: DC Elseworlds. (That label is familiar to many DC fans, as it’s where creators tell alternate universe “What if…?” stories outside of the comics’ continuity.)
Gunn also explains that the remaining DC movie slate, which draws on characters borne of the Zack Snyder-led era at DC, will lead directly into Gunn and Safran’s new projects. “Shazam has always been off kind of in his own part of the DCU so he connects very well,” Gunn says. “That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that […] resets the entire DC universe, and then […] into Blue Beetle, about a kid who’s a marvelous part of the DCU, and then into Aquaman 2.”
The first of Gunn’s new DCU projects is Creature Commandos, a team of monstrous misfits who will operate under Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis in The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker). We’ll see Davis return as Waller here, as Gunn explains, “We’re gonna have characters move into animation, out of animation, usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live-action.” That will be a major change for the DCU, in which multiple actors portray heroes like Batman, The Flash, and Superman across media formats.
Gunn goes on to explain some of his other projects, including Lanterns, likened to True Detective but with “Green Lanterns who are space cops overseeing precinct Earth;” The Authority “a passion project” for Gunn that will welcome the superhero team to the DCU for the first time; and Booster Gold, a Very Gunn character in that he’s “a loser from the future” who becomes a superhero in the present day so that people will love him — “basically the superhero story of imposter syndrome,” Gunn says.
Other projects, including new movies Superman: Legacy, The Brave and the Bold, and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, get a bit more color as well, because Gunn namechecks the comic book writers and series that those films will draw from, including Grant Morrison’s and Tom King’s runs on Brave and the Bold and Supergirl. (Interestingly, Gunn’s video breakdown shows artwork from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman when discussing the Superman film he plans to deliver in 2025.)