Image via James Gunn/Twitter/Netflix
James Gunn‘s DCU promises to be a new kind of shared universe as its interconnectivity is set to exceed even that of the MCU. The franchise will be a true multimedia experience, with even video game releases feeding into its canon, and the same stars are confirmed to play their characters across the different mediums (which is a policy that hasn’t gone down well with everyone). Of course, at the same time, there are the DC Elseworlds projects that will remain standalone.
While the likes of The Batman movies and Joker have been confirmed as Elseworlds projects, there’s one DC production whose status in the brand-new universe has yet to be clarified. Thankfully, we know Netflix is moving ahead with The Sandman, Neil Gaiman’s fantasy epic that made such a splash on streaming last summer, but the fact that it’s based on a DC/Vertigo comic series means it’s possible Gunn could include the world of the Endless in his plans. And the perfect way to do so has just fallen in his lap.
It’s currently unclear exactly what’s going on with Keanu Reeves’ long-awaited Constantine sequel, as first we heard it was happening, then we heard it wasn’t, and then we were told it was again. As we’ve argued before, if Reeves is back in the Hellblazer’s trenchcoat, then the perfect place for him to debut in the DCU is James Mangold’s Swamp Thing film, as per the two characters’ shared history in the source material. But if Reeves’ return doesn’t ultimately come together, then The Sandman‘s Jenna Coleman could easily take his place as Johanna Constantine.
Coleman’s female take on the occult detective went down a storm with fans, with Gaiman particularly hoping for much more of her in the future. While The Sandman very much occupies its own sphere in the DC franchise, much like in the comics, having the occasional crossover with the DCU would delight fans and also reflect the way Death or Dream will now and again drop into a mainstream DC comic. Imagine how mind-blowing it would be if Kirby Howell-Baptiste appeared to a DCU character who was near death.
Having Reeves back as Constantine would be a big win, of course, but if it does end up falling through, James Gunn should embrace the opportunity to live up to the DCU’s promise that everything — unlike Marvel — really is connected.