James Gunn and Peter Safran Unveil DC Universe Plans, Announce New Superman Movie

  • March 20, 2023

James Gunn and Peter Safran, the newly appointed bosses of DC Studios, have revealed their ambitious plans to create a unified DC Universe, spanning movies, TV shows, and gaming.

This new era, dubbed “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters,” aims to breathe new life into the DC universe, focusing on both popular and lesser-known characters.

Gunn’s Superman: Legacy movie has generated significant buzz since it was announced as part of the upcoming DC slate.

A major announcement from the duo is that James Gunn is officially set to direct the upcoming Superman: Legacy movie.

The announcement comes after Gunn and Safran took over and combined the film and television slate of DC properties three months ago.

Since then, they have been busy revamping the way the movie and TV sides do business, cutting ties with projects and creators.

A writers room was formed to find an overall story that will launch the unified DC Universe, and a slate of projects was put into development.

New Projects and Collaborations

Among the new projects announced are several exciting titles.

A Batman movie, which will not feature Robert Pattinson, will instead focus on Bruce Wayne’s murderous son.

There’s a Superman movie set for release on July 11, 2025. Additionally, a Game of Thrones-style drama will take place on Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira.

Finally, an animated series called Creature Commandos is already in production.

In order to establish a cohesive vision for the slate, Gunn brought together a team of writers, including friends and narrative artists he respects.

This team features The Martian’s writer Drew Goddard, The Flash’s Christina Hodson, Moon Knight’s lead writer Jeremy Slater, Watchmen’s Christal Henry, and the renowned comic book writer Tom King.

Upcoming DC Releases

Prior to the debut of these fresh endeavors, the 2023 lineup of films must be addressed, commencing with Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which was released just a week ago, followed by The Flash (June 16), Blue Beetle (August 18), and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 25).

These movies were made under the previous film regime and the aegis of DC Films, run by former head Walter Hamada.

Gunn and Safran are optimistic about these upcoming releases, stating that the leads of those films could potentially return to their roles in future DCU projects.

Ezra Miller, the beleaguered lead of The Flash who has been embroiled in multiple criminal inquiries, is one of those performers.

Safran conveyed optimism regarding Miller’s recuperation and advancement in addressing their mental health challenges.

Casting Strategies and Controversial Topics

Gunn and Safran’s approach to casting involves casting actors for TV series who will also play the parts on the big screen.

This strategy aims to maintain consistency and quality across different mediums.

The duo also addressed the sensitive topic of Henry Cavill, who was rumored to return as Superman but ultimately will not.

Gunn clarified that Cavill was never cast for the role in the upcoming Superman movie, and their decision was based on the story and the filmmakers’ preferences.

The executives also touched upon the challenges of dealing with actors who step into controversy, such as Shazam!’s Zachary Levi, who recently faced backlash for his tweets against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Gunn, who was temporarily fired by Disney in 2018 due to old, offensive tweets, stated that they have to consider the actions and statements of actors but cannot change plans based on differing opinions.

DC Elseworlds and Emphasizing Strong Screenplays

While Gunn and Safran work in a unified DC Universe, some stories will stand apart.

Reeves’ Batman movies, Todd Phillips’ sequel to Joker, and the Black Superman project, among others, will fall under a banner titled DC Elseworlds, which will house alternate universe stories and characters that won’t necessarily connect to the larger DC Universe.

James Gunn Directing Superman: Legacy

Gunn’s Superman: Legacy movie has generated significant buzz since it was announced as part of the upcoming DC slate.

Gunn initially passed on directing a Superman film because he hadn’t found a unique and emotionally resonant story that would do justice to the iconic character.

However, he has since developed an intriguing concept that explores Superman’s dual Kryptonian and Middle American heritages.

Superman: Legacy is set to be the lynchpin of the “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters” era, and Gunn aims to portray the character as “the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way,” with a focus on kindness.

This depiction seems to lean more towards a traditional portrayal of the superhero, rather than the darker, more angst-ridden version seen in Zack Snyder’s films.

Gunn shared the personal significance of the film’s planned July 11 release date, explaining that it coincides with his late father’s birthday.

His father supported his love of comics and film, and Gunn credits him as a major influence on his career.

A Busy Schedule for Gunn

In addition to his work on the DC Universe, Gunn has a packed schedule, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, his final Marvel project, set for a May 5 release.

He is also involved in Coyote vs. Acme as a screenwriter and producer. Despite the busy schedule, Gunn is clearly passionate about helping to reshape the DC Universe for a new generation.

With Gunn and Safran at the helm, the DC Universe looks set to undergo a major transformation.

As the duo work to create a cohesive, engaging world for fans to explore, it’s clear that exciting times lie ahead for DC fans.

Article In a Snapshot

  • James Gunn and Peter Safran have revealed plans for a unified DC Universe, including movies, TV shows, and gaming, under the banner “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.”
  • Gunn is confirmed to direct the upcoming Superman: Legacy movie, which will explore the character’s dual Kryptonian and Middle American heritages.
  • New projects announced include a Batman movie focused on Bruce Wayne’s son, a Game of Thrones-style drama set on Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira, and an animated series called Creature Commandos.
  • The duo will adopt a casting strategy that maintains consistency across different mediums by casting actors for TV series who will also play the parts on the big screen.
  • Some stories, such as Reeves’ Batman movies and the Black Superman project, will fall under a separate banner titled DC Elseworlds, housing alternate universe stories and characters not directly connected to the larger DC Universe.


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