The co-chiefs of the newly formed DC Studios within Warner Bros. Discovery have announced the first 10 films and television series for this rebooted DC Universe. On Monday, James Gunn and Peter Safran met with press on the Warner Bros. studio lot to present the first part of Chapter 1 of the DCU, titled “Gods and Monsters.”
It’s clear that DC Studios is taking a page from Marvel Studios’ playbook by coming up with a loose but structured plan for their upcoming slate of content and universe-building over the next 8 to 10 years.
“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.”
“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.”
But before discussing the future of DC under Gunn and Safran’s leadership, it’s worth going over what is to be expected with the films still scheduled for production and release that aren’t part of this next chapter.
The DCEU and Other Films from Before DC Studios
With delays and pushbacks, 2023 will end up being the year that fans and audiences will see the last of the previous DC Extended Universe in theaters.
“Peter and I have gotten pretty lucky in terms of the four projects that are coming out over the next year. First we have Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Shazam! has always been off, kind of in his own part of the DCU, so he connects very well. That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that I really love that resets the entire DC Universe,” Gunn said. “And then to move into Blue Beetle, a fantastic film about a kid who’s a marvelous part of the DCU and then into Aquaman 2, which leads directly into our next few projects.”
Outside of this slate of films, there are self-contained stories such as the Batman films by Matt Reeves and the upcoming sequel to Joker which will now be branded as DC Elseworlds films outside of the DCU canon. One of the major updates from this event includes October 2025 being set as the release for The Batman – Part II.
“DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time and it’s one of our jobs, mine and Peters, is to come in and make sure the DCU is connected in film, television, gaming and animation, that the characters are consistent, played by the same actors and it works within one story,” Gunn explained. “And if something is outside of that like Matt Reeves’ Batman or Todd Phillips’ Joker or Teen Titans Go! that it is clearly labeled as a DC Elseworlds outside of the mainstream DCU continuity.”
The Beginning to DCU Chapter 1 – “Gods and Monsters”
Superman: Legacy is scheduled for release on July 11, 2025 marking the start of the DCU without being an origin story for the Man of Tomorrow. But there are a number of projects from DC Studios that will precede this film as Chapter 1 begins.
“The first project is Creature Commandos. Creature Commandos is an animated series. I’ve written all the episodes, something we’re going to do that’s a little bit different at DC is we’re going to have characters move into animation, out of animation, usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live action,” Gunn shared.
Starting off with animation will allow for the DCU to really feel unconstrained by budgetary limits as the creators will be able to bring to life anything within the confines of modern animation tools.
“The next project up is Waller. This is the story of Amanda Waller, played by Viola Davis. Viola Davis is going to team up with members of Team Peacemaker, and this is a story that’s been created by Christal Henry, who did Watchmen and Jeremy Carver, who created the Doom Patrol,” Gunn said. “It is a fantastic story that’s out of this world and I can’t wait for people to see it.”
With some familiar faces from the DCEU, the stage is set for a new face to embody one of the most iconic heroes of DC, Superman.
“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,” Gunn said.
“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.”
Following this new Superman film, will be the television series Lanterns.
“This is a story of a couple of Green Lanterns, John Stewart and Hal Jordan, and we have a few other Lanterns peppered in there, but this is really a terrestrial-based TV show, which is almost like True Detective with a couple of Green Lanterns, who are space cops watching over precinct Earth,” Gunn said. “In it, they discover a terrifying mystery that ties into our larger story of the DCU.”
Then, the DCU returns to the silver screen with The Authority. This will hopefully give the DCU some of that edge that Amazon’s The Boys is known for, as these characters work in the morally grey with their belief that the ends justify the means.
“The Authority is a passion project of mine. It’s based on the marvelous Wildstorm characters we are now bringing into the DCU and will interact with all of our primary DCU characters,” Gunn said. “The Authority are a group of superheroes who think the world is broken and they want to fix it by any means necessary. I think it’s a very different look at superheroes.”
In a more historic expansion of the DCU, there will be a tv show about the island where Wonder Woman came from.
“We’re doing a television series called Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost is the story of Paradise Island, usually known as Themyscira, which is the birth place of Wonder Woman,” Gunn said. “It’s almost like Game of Thrones with Westeros, but with all of the inhabitants of Paradise Island.”
Then, the DCU will introduce not only its Batman but also his son in the movie, The Brave and The Bold.
“The Brave and The Bold is the story of Batman and his actual son Damian Wayne. This is based on Grant Morrison’s great comic book run,” Gunn said. “Damian Wayne is my favorite Robin. He’s a little assassin who Batman tries to get in line. And so this is the story of the two of them and the beginning of sort of the bat family in the DCU.”
This next series is important to me, as for anyone who has played online video games with me will know, I’ve based my online moniker on this character.
“Next up is a TV series called Booster Gold. Booster Gold is one of comics’ really popular cult heroes,” Gunn said. “He’s a fascinating guy. He’s a loser from the future who uses future technology to come back to present day and become a superhero so that people will love him. It is basically the superhero story of imposter syndrome on an HBO Max series.”
Imposter syndrome? Get ready for a superhero that countless working professionals will find themselves related to.
“One of my favorite comic book series from last year was Tom King’s run on Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. And so we’re going to turn that into a big science fiction epic film,” Gunn said. “Now, Superman is a guy who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents, while Supergirl in this story, she is a character who was raised on a chunk of Krypton. She watched everybody around her perish in some terrible way. So, she’s a much more jaded character.”
It’s exciting to hear that the DCU will be looking for inspiration from recent storylines as modern as from 2022. This version of Supergirl will certainly feel distinct from Melissa Benoist’s portrayal on tv’s Arrowverse.
“And that brings me to Swamp Things, the last thing we’re going to talk about is a very dark horror story in the origins of the monster who is Swamp Thing. And although it’s totally outside of the rest of the DCU, it will still feed into the rest of the stories,” Gunn said.
Whereas the previous and somewhat current DCEU began its storytelling in a linear path that divulged into different branches led by separate casts of characters with little overlap or crossover, besides sequels; this time around the DCU truly feels like an epic universe full of potential is being carefully planned and developed.
“We’re also creating a universe that’s like Star Wars; different times, different places, different things. Or like Game of Thrones where characters are a little bit more morally complex,” Gunn said.
With films like The Authority and series involving Amanda Waller (Waller, Creature Commandos), the morally gray is an area that will certainly be explored by DC Studios.
“It isn’t just a story of heroes and villains, and not every movie and TV show is going to be about good guy versus bad guy,” Gunn said. “There are people that are very questionable, like The Authority, who basically believe that you can’t fix the world in an easy manner, and they take things into their own hands.
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