Warner Bros. Discovery revealed last year that Guardians of the Galaxy and Peacemaker director James Gunn and Aquaman producer Peter Safran had been hired to lead as co-CEOs of DC Studios. Since that reveal, DC fans have speculated what Gunn and Safran’s new DCU, as the duo is calling the new DC cinematic universe, will look like in the coming years.
Gunn has teased on Twitter multiple times that he, Safran, and others were formulating their long-spanning plan for the DCU and now, today, the duo has pulled back the curtain on the first 10 projects. All 10 of these projects, which span across movies and TV, will be in Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.
Here are just a few of our plans. Up, up, and away! #DCStudios #DCU @DCComics pic.twitter.com/8XNDNLUEPq
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 31, 2023
“DC Studios is unprecendeted,” Safran told press during a private conference where he and Gunn revealed what’s in store for Gods and Monsters, as reported by Variety. “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.”
Before diving into the 10 individual projects that make up the DCU’s first chapter, it’s important to note that no directors are attached to any of the following projects, nor have any actors been cast (except Viola Davis, who is returning to play Amanda Waller like she did in both Suicide Squad movies and Peacemaker). Variety reports that Gunn and Safran also left the door open for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Zachary Levi’s Shazam, without confirming exactly that they’d have roles in the new DCU. Unfortunately for Man of Steel fans, though, the duo confirmed that Henry Cavill would not be returning to the role of Superman.
Gunn and Safran gathered up writers like Drew Goddard (The Martian), Jeremy Slater (Moon Knight), Christina Hobson (The Flash, Batgirl), Christal Henry (Watchmen), and comics writer Tom King (Batman) to help build the DCU’s slate of movies and TV.
“We sat down in a room for a few days and we started to bash out what the basic overall plan could be,” Gunn said. “Not so much that it ties your wrists, but enough that we know what the basic story is, where we’re going. And it’s something that we’ll continue to do.”
Safran and Gunn want to release roughly two films and two TV series into the DCU each year, according to Variety, but the duo says it will not sacrifice quality in writing or production to meet this timeline.
“People have become beholden to [release] dates, to getting movies made no matter what,” Gunn said, Variety reports. “I’m a writer at my heart, and we’re not going to be making movies before the screenplay is finished.” He added, “Writers have been completely left out of the loop in favor of actors and directors [in Hollywood], and making the writer more prominent and more important in this process is really important to us.”
The 10 Movies And TV Shows In Chapter 1 Of The DCU
Superman: Legacy will hit theaters on July 11, 2025, and is “the start of the DCU,” according to Safran, as reported by Variety. It is being written by Gunn, and while it is the formal start of the DCU, it will not be an origin story. Safran says it will focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing, before harkening to a decades-old theme of the hero: “He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks kindness is old-fashioned.”
No director is attached, but Safran hopes Gunn will direct it. Meanwhile, the Superman movie produced by JJ Abrams and written by Te-Nehisi Coates is still in development, and will exist outside the DCU.
Superman: Legacy will lead directly into The Authority, Variety reports, and is an ensemble movie about superheroes who “basically believe that you can’t fix the world in an easy manner, and they take things into their own hands,” according to Gunn. Originally Wildstorm comics characters, they were brought into DC with DC’s New 52 comics line that launched in 2011.
The Brave and the Bold
The Brave and the Bold will introduce the Bat family to the DCU, and will feature a Batman completely separate from Matt Reeves’ “Elseworlds” Batman universe starring Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne. The first Batfamily character will be Damian Wayne as Robin, who Gunn describes as “our favorite Robin,” “a little son of a b***h,” an “assassin,” and a “murderer,” according to Variety.
The Brave and the Bold will be based on Grant Morrison’s run of Batman comics, and will be a father-son story about Bruce and Damian Wayne.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow will be based on King’s run of comics of the same name that spanned across 2021 and 2022. It will feature Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El.
“We see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he’s an infant, versus Supergirl, who was raised on a rock chip off of Krypton, and watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life,” Gunn said, according to Variety.
The DCU’s Swamp Thing will “investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing,” according to Safran, and it will do so through the lens of horror. The movie will also aim to provide the excitement fans experienced when Guardians of the Galaxy brought the cosmic side of the MCU to life to DC, a universe otherwise rooted in life here on Earth.
Animated TV Show
Creature Commandos will be an animated TV show for HBO Max and is the first project greenlit by Gunn and Safran. Gunn has written every episode and the show is now in production. Featuring characters like Frankenstein’s monster, a vampire, a gorgon, and a werewolf, the original Creature Commandos that launched in the 1980s banded together to fight Nazis in World War II, according to Variety. Gunn’s Creature Commandos will feature Weasel from his 2021 movie The Suicide Squad alongside Rick Flag Sr., the father of the Rick Flag seen in the same movie.
Gunn said the voice actors that voice the characters in the animated show will also play the roles in live-action later in the DCU’s life.
Creature Commandos is expected to debut before Superman: Legacy.
Live Action TV Show
Season 2 of Peacemaker has been put on hold as Gunn works on Superman: Legacy, Variety reports, and in its place will be Waller. This series will take place between the first and second seasons of Peacemaker and will see Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller return.
Waller is expected to debut before Superman: Legacy.
Live Action TV Show
According to Variety, Lanterns will be “a huge HBO-quality event…very much in the vein of True Detective.” It will focus on Hal Jordan and John Stewart as the titular Green Lanterns who will investigate a mystery that Safran says “plays a really big role leading us into the main story that we’re telling across our film and television.” He added that “[Lanterns] is a very important show for us.”
The long-in-the-works Green Lantern series developed by Greg Berlanti for HBO Max is no longer moving forward. Safran said Berlanti’s series was more “space opera,” whereas Lanterns is more of a “True Detective, terrestrial-based investigation story.”
Live Acton TV Show
Paradise Lost will be a Game of Thrones-esque story set on Themyscira, the island birthplace of Wonder Woman. Safran says “it’s really about the political intrigue behind a society of all women,” before Gunn added, “How did that come about? What’s the origin of an island of all women? What are the beautiful truths and the ugly truths behind all of that? And what’s the scheming like between the different power players in that society?”
Live Action TV Show
Variety writes that Booster Gold will allow the DCU to inject comedy into its story. Safran said Booster Gold is “a loser from the future who uses basic future technology to come back to today and pretend to be a superhero.” Gunn added that “[Booster Gold] is imposter syndrome as a superhero.”
And that’s the 10-project lineup for Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters of Gunn and Safran’s new DCU.
What do you think of this lineup? Let us know in the comments below!