A new era of DC universe is upon us! Today, James Gunn and DC Studios announced their highly anticipated plans for the new films and television projects that will make up the “DC Universe” (not to be confused with the DC Expanded Universe, or DCEU).
Back in October 2022, it was announced that James Gunn and Peter Safran were set to take over as co-CEOs and co-chairs of DC Studios, a newly formed division of Warner Bros. Since then, fans have constantly wondered about the future of DC films and shows, and how the already scheduled projects like Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Blue Beetle and Aquaman 2 would fit into the new plan. The first DC film to be released after the change in leadership, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, was an early casualty. The Rock announced on social media that following a meeting with Gunn, he was told that Black Adam was not currently part of their plans. Later, director Patty Jenkins confirmed reports that a third Wonder Woman film was not moving forward.
With Shazam! Fury of the Gods set to release in March, and Gunn’s promise on Twitter that a formal announcement would be made in January, the hype heading into today, the last of of the month, was intense.
As promised, the first slate of DCU projects was announced today, which includes ten film and TV projects, as well as some clarification on previously announced films and an overarching vision for the DCU going forward.
In a video, Gunn provided a helpful summary of the state of the DCU. First, he acknowledged that in the past, DC film and television have been disconnected, and explained that the plan going forward is to create one connected universe across film, TV, games and animation. Certain projects, like Matt Reeves’ Batman and Todd Phillips’ Joker, are clearly outside of that connected universe and thus labeled “DC Elseworlds” (comic fans will recognize the elseworlds designation as one that DC Comics has used regularly to tell stories outside of the comics canon like Superman: Red Son).
Addressing the four films that were already in development before Gunn and Safran took over, Gunn was a little more ambiguous. He said Shazam! “has always been off in his own part of the DCU, so he connects very well.” It’s not exactly clear what that means. Separately, Safran told Deadline that “[t]here’s no reasons why all the people you mentioned (like Zachary Levi and Jason Momoa), couldn’t be part of the DCU, we just haven’t decided what the story is that we want to tell that incorporates Shazam or Aquaman.”
Later in the announcement video, Gunn said that The Flash will reset the entire DC Universe, and confirmed that Blue Beetle is indeed a part of the DCU. Gunn only mentioned Aquaman 2 as a film coming after Blue Beetle and did not clarify its future status.
It’s no surprise that Gunn is vague about the future of most of the films that he wasn’t involved with, but are still being released. It wouldn’t make good business sense for Gunn to torpedo their potential profits by declaring them irrelevant. At the same time, it’s notable that the only film that Gunn specifically designated as part of the DCU is Blue Beetle.
With that housekeeping out of the way, Gunn went on to formally announce Chapter One: Gods and Monsters, the first part of what he called an “8 to 10 year plan of what DC Studios will be.” The incredibly ambitious 10 film and TV slate starts with a new Superman film that Gunn is writing, a Wonder Woman prequel series, a Green Lantern TV series starring Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and DCU canon Batman film that will introduce Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian Wayne, and other members of the Bat-family.
The live action introduction of Damian Wayne and the Bat-family is something that many fans have been hoping for. Damian, who Gunn described as his favorite Robin, is a really fun character with an intriguing background. In the comics, Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul (daughter of Ra’s al Ghul). That makes Damian a mixed-race character who is part Asian and Arabic. We can only hope that The Brave and the Bold will honor Damian’s comic roots and cast an Arab actor.
One of the most interesting announcements is The Authority, a film about a team of anti-heroes from Wildstorm comics. The Authority is almost the “anti-Justice League” – a team of super powered beings who use brutal methods and aren’t overly concerned about being heroic. First created for Wildstorm, the characters were brought over to the DC comics universe following the events of Flashpoint. It makes sense then that with The Flash film resetting the DCU, The Authority will make their DCU debut. There are many interesting ways that The Authority can be used in the larger DCU, and in contrast to the DC Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, and I’m sure Gunn has some interesting plans for them.
Another notable omission was clarity on Gunn’s own Peacemaker series. After a smash hit of a first season, many expected that Gunn would be sure to include the series in his future plans. Instead, the only mention was that Waller, a series starring Viola Davis, would include Amanda Waller teaming up with “Team Peacemaker.” It’s very possible that Waller will end up being the de facto sequel to Peacemaker Season 1. Regardless, having Viola Davis play a larger role in the DCU is an excellent decision.
Check out additional details on all the announcements below and get ready for James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DCU!
DC Studios Announces Slate of 10 New Film and Television Projects
James Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” Anchors New Slate; Film Set for Theatrical Release on July 11, 2025
Studio also sets October 2025 release for highly anticipated “The Batman – Part II” from Matt Reeves
January 31, 2023 – Los Angeles, CA – DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran today announced plans for their first 10 film and television projects under the new DC banner they lead across film, television, and animation. Gunn and Safran are designing and implementing a long-term interconnected story for the iconic franchise and characters, and today announced the beginning of “Chapter 1” focused on “Gods and Monsters” with five new films and five television series for HBO Max already in development.
“As we craft the plan for DC Studios, we are thrilled to share with fans the first 10 stories they can expect from the unified DC Universe featuring some of our most well-known characters as well as the next generation of marquee characters” said Safran. “Chapter 1 tells cohesive stories that highlight love, compassion, and the innate goodness of the human spirit, all designed to minimize audience confusion and maximize audience engagement across platforms.”
Gunn is writing Superman: Legacy, the first film of the new slate, which will be released in theaters globally on July 11, 2025. The highly-anticipated sequel The Batman – Part II is slated for release on October 3, 2025, it was also announced by Gunn and Safran today.
Gunn added: “Superman: Legacy is the true foundation of our creative vision for the DC Universe. Not only is Superman an iconic part of DC lore, he is also a favorite character for comic book readers, viewers of earlier movies, and fans around the world. I can’t wait to introduce our version of Superman who audiences will be able to follow and get to know across films, movies, animation and gaming.”
The upcoming slate of projects includes:
- Superman: Legacy – written by Gunn, the film will hit theaters on July 11, 2025, and focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.
- The Authority – WildStorm characters will join the DCU as members of The Authority take matters into their own hands to do what they believe is right
- The Brave and the Bold – the DCU will introduce its Batman and Robin in this unusual father-son story inspired by Grant Morrison’s comic series
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – this science fiction adventure, which will be based on Tom King’s amazing, award-winning recent comics stories, presents a Supergirl viewers are not used to seeing
- Swamp Thing – the film will investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing
Television Projects for HBO Max
- Creature Commandos – a seven-episode animated show in which Amanda Waller creates a black ops team out of monstrous prisoners; Gunn wrote all the episodes of the first season
- Waller – starring Viola Davis, this series features Team Peacemaker and will be written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural)
- Booster Gold – Booster Gold uses basic technology from the future to pretend to be a superhero in present day
- Lanterns – this enormous TV event series follows intergalactic cops John Stewart and Hal Jordan as they uncover a dark mystery
- Paradise Lost – set in Themyscira, home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman, this drama focuses on the genesis and political intrigue of an island of all women
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Ron is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of POC Culture. He is a big believer in the power and impact of pop culture and the importance of representation in media.