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Making sense of James Gunn's new DC movie & TV slate: From a new Batman, to Booster Gold
There's plenty to unpack here!
After so many years of uneven storytelling, DC Studios is finally headed for a more cohesive approach across all forms of entertainment. In a 6-minute video message posted to social media today, James Gunn laid out a small chunk of the 8-10 year plan he has cooked up with studio co-chief, Peter Safran for the worlds of film, television, and gaming. The first "Chapter" (Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios already called dibs of the term "Phase," after all) of the DC Universe will be called "Gods and Monsters."
“As many of you know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time," Gunn explained. "One of our jobs ... is to come in and make sure the DCU is connected in film, television, gaming, animation. That the characters consistent, played by the same actors, and it works within one story. And if something is outside of that — like Matt Reeves’ Batman or Todd Phillips Joker or Teen Titans GO! — that it is clearly labeled as ‘DC Elseworlds’ outside of the mainstream DCU continuity."
Per Variety, the Elseworlds label also applies to the previously-announced Superman film project hailing from producer J.J. Abrams and writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (the latter is currently hard at work on the screenplay). In addition, Reeves' sequel to The Batman (currently titled The Batman Part II) now has an official release date of Oct. 3, 2025.
“I’ve loved the DC characters since I was a child, they’re incredibly important to me, [and] I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something very different," Gunn continued during his pre-recorded presentation. "One of the things that’s very important for me in all of these movies and TV series is that the director’s vision and the vision of the writers — all of the creators — is unique and something special. Storytelling is always king, that’s all that matters to us. I want to be true to those stories and I want to be true to you guys and you really give you something different than you’ve ever seen before."
Head below to see what we know about "Gods and Monsters" so far...
The leftover projects:
By "leftover," we mean the theatrical films green-lit under the previous studio regime: Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17), The Flash (June 16), Blue Beetle (Aug. 18), and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 25).
Gunn explained that all of these movies lead directly into each other, with The Flash serving as major "reset" point for the entire onscreen continuity. Speaking to a number of journalists on the Warner Bros. lot Monday, the filmmaker described Barry Allen's standalone outing as "probably one of the greatest superhero movies ever made" (via Variety).
Moreover, the new studio heads are open to working with Ezra Miller again following their public apology and a pledge to better themselves in the wake of several public controversies.
“Ezra is completely committed to their recovery,” Safran said. “And we are fully supportive of that journey that they’re on right now. When the time is right, when they feel like they’re ready to have the discussion, we’ll all figure out what the best path forward is. 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.”
Gunn will return to the world he created with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker in a pair of television spinoffs. The first is a seven-episode animated show entitled Creature Commandos, in which Amanda Waller creates a black ops-style team of incarcerated monsters, including Weasel. Gunn has already written all seven installments. The second series — Waller — finds the titular leader of Task Force X reuniting with "Team Peacemaker." Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) are running point on that.
Viola Davis is set to return for both small screen outings, which prompted Gunn to reveal that while the DCU may flit between live-action and animation, the casting will remain consistent. "Something we’re gonna do that’s a little bit different at DC is 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.”
The DCU begins in earnest:
- Gunn and Safran's major creative overhaul will be felt in a rebooted Superman movie focused on the Man of Steel's younger years. Officially titled Superman: Legacy, the movie is being written by Gunn and slated for a wide theatrical release on July 11, 2025.
- Next up is an HBO series entitled Lanterns, which revolves around Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and several other members of the Green Lantern Corps operating on Earth. Gunn described the show as "True Detective with a couple of Green Lanterns who are space cops watching over Precinct Earth. In it, they discover a terrifying mystery that ties into our larger story of the DCU." The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that this will replace the previously-announced Green Lantern show from Arrowverse architect, Greg Berlanti.
- Then comes The Authority, a blockbuster film based on the Wildstorm characters introduced by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch in the late 1990s. This "passion project" for Gunn follows "a group of superheroes who think the world is broken and they want to fix it by any means necessary," he teased. "I think it’s a very different look at superheroes."
- While Gal Gadot is most likely out as Wonder Woman, fans of Diana Prince can still look forward to a return to Themyscira in the HBO series Paradise Lost (named after Paradise Island, an alternate monicker for the home of the Amazons), which will apparently have a "Game of Thrones" vibe, Gunn hinted.
- Of course, you can't have a DC cinematic universe without the Caped Crusader, which brings us to Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This big screen revamp of the Gotham City vigilante will be based upon the Batman comic book run by writer Grant Morrison and focus on the relationship between Bruce Wayne and his son, Damian. “Damien Wayne is my favorite Robin," Gunn added. "He’s a little assassin who Batman tries to get in line. And so, this is the story of the two of them and the beginning of the Bat Family in the DCU.”
- Then we're headed to the future for "the superhero story of Imposter Syndrome" in a Booster Gold-centric series on HBO. “He is a fascinating guy," Gunn said. "He is a loser from the future who uses future technology to come back to present day and become a superhero so that people will love him." Gold was previously portrayed by Eric Martsolf in Smallville and Donald Faison in Legends of Tomorrow.
- The penultimate project revealed today was a feature-length standalone for Supergirl, subtitled Woman of Tomorrow and seemingly inspired by the Tom King run of the same name. Described as a “big science fiction epic film" by Gunn. The movie will follow a "more jaded" version of Kara Zor-El, who was “raised on a chunk of Krypton" and forced to watch "everybody around her perish in some terrible way." Right now, it's unclear if this version of the hero will be the same one played by Sasha Calle in this summer's The Flash.
- Lastly, DC Studios has decided to take another swing at Swamp Thing following the short-lived television show from 2019. Alec Holland and his bog-based counterpart are set to take center stage in a big screen story that sounds like it'll be DC's answer to Werewolf by Night. Gunn called it a “very dark horror story" that explores the "origins of the monster who is Swamp Thing." And while "it’s tonally outside of the rest of the DCU, it will still feed into the rest of the stories."
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