It’s been three months since James Gunn and Peter Safran officially started running the newly created DC Studios within Warner Bros. Discovery, the co-chiefs have now announced the first 10 film and TV titles within the rebooted DC Universe.
On Monday, Gunn and Safran met with press on the Warner Bros. studio lot to present what they said was the first part of Chapter 1 of the DCU, which they are calling “Gods and Monsters,” reports ‘Variety’.
There are titles based on marquee DC heroes – including the previously announced Superman feature written by Gunn, now officially titled ‘Superman: Legacy,’ a Batman and Robin movie, a Wonder Woman prequel series and a Green Lantern mystery series – as well as titles featuring lesser known characters, including Booster Gold and Swamp Thing.
The DCU exists as a multiverse, Safran said, but the titles will exist in one singular universe.
Overall, the slate represents the most robust vision for DC’s future in scripted entertainment since Warner Bros.’ first attempt in 2014 to build a universe to rival that of Marvel Studios.
“DC Studios is unprecedented,” Safran said. “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.”
Given that the DCU is still very much in its earliest stages, the execs were light on some specifics: No directors have been attached to any projects (although they said they’re “very close” on signing at least a couple), and no actors are attached, either.
The exception is Viola Davis, who will star in the HBO Max series ‘Waller’ as the amoral, self-imposed superintendent of the DC universe, Amanda Waller.
She originated the role in 2016’s ‘Suicide Squad’. Similarly, Safran and Gunn left the door open for Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Zachary Levi to continue playing their respective DC superheroes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Shazam, but Gunn reiterated that Henry Cavill will not continue as Superman. Otherwise, the execs said, they will be casting new actors in the roles.
To build the overarching story for the DCU, Gunn brought together a writers room of Drew Goddard (‘The Martian’), Jeremy Slater (‘Moon Knight’), Christina Hobson (‘The Flash’, ‘Batgirl’), Christal Henry (‘Watchmen’) and comics writer Tom King (‘Batman’, ‘Mister Miracle’). Gunn indicated that at least some of these writers would continue working on DCU projects, including Henry, who is co-showrunning ‘Waller.’
“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.”
The plan, Safran and Gunn said, was to release roughly two films and two TV series per year into the DCU. That output will not, however, sacrifice quality to meet deadlines. Gunn and Safran were adamant that films and series will not go into production until scripts are finished, which is not the norm for pricey tentpoles that need to create awareness by planting flags on the calendar.
All in, the slate that the co-leads announced on Monday will run through 2027. Only ‘Superman: Legacy’ and ‘The Batman Part II’ have set release dates.
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