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James Gunn and Peter Safran line-up the beginning of the ten-year DC plan – movies, animation, TV, writers, goals… it’s pretty exciting

January 31st, 2023 by Marc Comments

So, we finally have a taste of what Warner Bros/DC have ahead as they reboot the DCEU, turning it into the DCU – DC Universe.

DC Studios Co-Chairmen and CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have finally announced the beginning of their 8-10 year plan for DC, the first stage of which they’re calling Gods and Monsters. The plan kicks off with live-action shows, animated shows and movies, with the plan being that across tv, movies, games and animation, one cohesive story will be told with the same actors playing the characters across all media.

“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 One 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 himself is writing the return of Superman, Superman Legacy, the first appearance of the character in the NEW DCU now that Henry Cavill is no longer in the role.

“Superman: Legacy is the true foundation of our creative vision for the DC Universe,” Gunn says.

“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.”

In introducing the video below, Gunn tells us that The Flash, which comes out this summer, will be the end of the previous DC Universe and the beginning of the new. However, moving forward, will the troubled Ezra Miller still be Flash? Gunn says Miller is focused and recovery – he’s had a troubled and troubling few years – and when the time is right, they will have that discussion. Personally, I would be very surprised if Miller came back but what do I know?

However… there will still be standalone movies, but Gunn makes it clear that these, movies like Matt Reeves’ The Batman or Todd Phillips’ Joker movies will be clearly signposted as Elseworlds tales – different takes on familiar stories, saying:  “Not that we’re not always going to have a high bar, but it’s got to be something really special for us to tell that story outside of our regular continuity and to spend the money to make it.”

So, who is doing all the writing? Telling the stories within the grand story? We know that Gunn doesnt’ have time to do it all himself.

“We had basic ideas for what the story could be. That were very basic,” Gunn says, “And then I grabbed a group of writers that I really respected who have all done marvelous work. We sat down in a room for a few days and like any writers room, we started to bash out what the basic overall plan could be. Not so much that it ties your wrist, but enough that we know what the basic story is, where we’re going, and it’s something that we’ll continue to do.”

This writers room consists of some truly heavy-hitters with Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), Jeremy Slater (Moon Knight), Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey), Christal Henry (Watchmen) and comics writer Tom King.

But Gunn is clear why he wanted to take on this gig and give the DCEU a direction for once: “The history of DC is pretty messed up,” he said, “It was f–ked up. There was the Arrowverse, there was the DCEU, which then split into the Joss Whedon ‘Justice League’ at one point and the Zack Snyder version.”

He added that under he and Safran’s plan “everything from our first project forward is going to be unified”.

So, without further ado, here’s Safran and Gunn’s Gods and Monsters Phase I lineup:

Creature Commandos – TV Series

Kicking off the new DC Universe, this new animated series, Creature Commandos, is based on the comic which is kinda Suicide Squad-like and features vampires, werewolves, zombies, so it’s jumping straight in with the monsters side of Gods and Monsters.

Gunn stressed that “animation will lead into live-action and will lead back into animation again,” meaning that the animated series will be set in the same universe/reality as the movies and fans of Gunn’s The Suicide Squad will note that the character of Weasel is there (far right).

Weasel was played by Gunn’s brother Sean in The Suicide Squad, so he may be back to voice (?) the character here. Gunn also stressed that they will be casting actors to voice the characters and, should they appear in live-action, play them too. I love this idea.

RIck Flagg Snr – Rick Flagg was played by Joel Kinnaman in both Suicide Squad movies – will feature in the show too.

The whole series was written by Gunn.

Waller – TV Series

We’ve known for the best part of a year (here) that Amanda Waller, played by the wonderful (and returning for this) Viola Davis) in Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker and Black Adam was getting her own series and now it’s confirmed and we’d imagine with all that’s going on at WB/DC it has been slightly retooled.

Addressing the return of Davis, left, to the role, despite the DCEU now being fully rebooted, Gunn said: “Some of the characters that we’re doing we’re changing out – this is a multiverse – some of the characters we’re using the same actors.

“Viola is still playing Waller and she has Team Peacemaker with her.”

The series will take place between Peacemaker season one and two, meaning that, as suspected, Peacemaker is part of the new DC. Probably. We’re still pretty confused about much of this.

Because Gunn has been writing Creature Commandos and the new Superman movie – -more on that soon – Peacemaker season 2 has been delayed. If it is as good as season one, we can wait.

Waller is being written by Chrystal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol).

Superman Legacy – Movie

Kicking off the new DCEU on the big screen is Superman: Legacy, penned by Gunn (as mentioned above).

Likely the biggest test for Gunn and Safran’s new DC universe after Henry Cavill’s bizarre return and departure from the Superman role (here), there’s still a lot of anger from fans of Cavill, Superman and the Snyderverse – that’s almost every corner of the DC universe, so winning everyone over with the new Superman will be tough.

“We didn’t’ fire Henry [Cavill],” Gunn has said (here), “Henry was never cast. He was in a cameo, and that was the end of his story.

“A lot of people made assumptions which weren’t true. But for me, it’s about who do I want to cast as Superman and who do the filmmakers want to cast.”

Wait, Cavill was to have a cameo and wrap up his story? What does that mean? We’ll get to that at the end.

Gunn goes on: “I like Henry. He’s a great guy. I think he’s gotten dicked around by a lot of people, including former regimes of this company. But this Superman isn’t Henry for a number of reasons.”

As for the movie, Safran seems aware of how important it is, saying: “This is really the start of the DCU. It’s currently being written by James and I sincerely hope that he can be persuaded, perhaps, to direct it as well.”

So, Gunn might direct too? Hmmmmmmm…

“It is not an origin story, it focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.

“He is the embodiment of Truth, Justice and the American Way. He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned.”

Superman: Legacy is set for July 11th, 2025.

Lanterns – TV Series

We’ve been waiting a long time for this one. The highly anticipated Green Lantern series, now called Lanterns is finally coming to HBO Max (is Finn Wittrock even still playing Guy Gardner? No, he is not).

Speaking about the series, Gunn said: “It’s a huge HBO-quality TV event. It’s already in development, and our vision for this is very much in the vein of True Detective.

“It’s terrestrial-based, it’s got two of our favorite Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart, star[ring] in a ‘True Detective’-type mystery and it plays a really big role leading into the main story that we’re telling across our film and television.”

So, we said this was long-awaited but it seems that, no, this is not the same series that was planned before but is a whole new take on the story. The original series was a ‘space opera’ while this is more, as said above, terrestrial-based.

The Authority – Movie

We didn’t see this coming, that’s for sure. Based on the Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch comic book series of the same name, this movie will feature characters from DC’s Wildstorm imprint for the first time.

“One of the things with the DCU is 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, giant thing from the sky comes and good guy wins,” Gunn said about this project.

“There are black hats, white hats and gray hats. There are people that are anti-heroes, and 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 sort of take things into their own hands.”

While I am, I must admit, a bit of a stranger when it comes to these characters, I have to admit that, much like Creature Commandos above, this all has a Suicide Squad feel to it and has us wondering if Davis’ Amanda Waller will become like the DC answer to Nick Fury at the start of this new universe?

Paradise Lost – TV Series

While we last heard that Wonder Woman 3 is scrapped (here), it seems that the Amazons and Themiscyra will play a big part in the DC universe moving forward.

Paradise Lost takes place on Paradise Island, also known as Themiscyra, the birthplace of Wonder Woman but is set long before the birth of the heroine we’d know as Diana Prince.

“It’s gonna be a ‘Game of Thrones’-ish story about Themiscyra, Paradise Island, the home of the Amazons – and it’s also the birthplace of Wonder Woman,” Safran said. “This drama is really about the political intrigue behind a society of all women.”

Gunn said of the series: “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?”

The series will not feature Wonder Woman but certainly leaves no question that she will be in the DC Universe moving forward.

The Brave and the Bold – Movie

Not The Brave and the Bold you might be thinking of, this is based on Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and will introduce the Dark Knight into the new DC Universe and he’s not alone.

After Man of Steel, this is a big test for the fandom. Gunn made it clear that Batman in this story will not be played by Robert Pattinson, so we will still have at least two Batmans/Batmen.

The new movie will feature Batman’s son and Robin, Damian Wayne: “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman, Bruce Wayne, and also introducing our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch assassin murderer,” Gunn said, adding that this will be the beginning of the Bat-Family in the new DC Universe.

In the comics, Batman was ten years into his career before he learned of Damien’s existence, so this doesn’t mean that Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Jason Todd don’t already exist… in fact, it opens the door to Nightwing and Red Hood and a lot of fantastic stories to be told.

Booster Gold – TV Series

So we finally have a Booster Gold series coming!

Ah, for the time when we had hopes of seeing Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (here)…

“It’s about a loser from the future who uses basic future technology to come back to today and pretend to be a superhero,” Gunn says.

“It’s basically Imposter Syndrome as a superhero.”

It’s interesting that we are getting a Blue Beetle movie as the character of Beetle and Booster Gold are linked in so many fun ways – although not this Beetle we’re getting in the movie.

In the movie Blue Beetle is Jaimie Reyes, played by Cobra Kai star Xolo Maridueña but in the comics the Beetle who hung out with Booster is Ted Kord… although interestingly, Susan Sarandon plays the villainous Victoria Kord, so the link could still exist.

Recently Gunn confirmed that Booster Gold was a character that fans really wanted to see onscreen, saying: “Booster was the MOST requested character when I asked people on Mastodon what character they’d most like to see on screen. I’m not creating stories by public vote, but I found it fascinating nevertheless.2

Hmmmmmmm… methinks that was a lie, James 🙂

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – Movie

The next big movie is Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow based on Tom King’s comic series.

Gunn promises this is a very different Supergirl than we have seen onscreen before: “In our [DCU] we see the difference between Superman who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant vs. 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.”

Should the story follow the comics, it will see Supergirl along with a dog and another girl’s adventures in space.

No word yet if this will be Sasha Calle’s Supergirl who we will see debut in The Flash movie later this year.

Swamp Thing – Movie

Bringing Swamp Thing to the big screen is an unexpected move as the fantastic TV series in 2019 was scrapped after one season much to the disappointment of the fandom of which we were a part.

Gunn promises that while this will certainly explore the more adult, horror aspects of the comics and be very different tonally, it will still belong in the wider DC Universe.

“These stories, although they’re interconnected, they’re not all tonally the same,” Safran said, “So each set of filmmakers brings their own aesthetic to these films, and the fun is seeing how these tonally different works will mash up in the future.”

Swamp Thing’s introduction is no small thing however as he is the doorway to the Justice League Dark world which has characters like John Constantine, Etrigan the Demon, Deadman and so many others.

Here’s Gunn giving the presentation:


Ok, so, I hate the idea that the DC Universe is being rebooted (more on that soon) but this all sounds very, very exciting and with the new series opening with Creature Commandos, Gunn and Safran aren’t messing around  they’re telling us from the off that this world has monsters, supernatural creatures and demons walking among us and I love this appraoch.

What I see and hear here feels a lot like the previous DC Animated Universe in which some of the movies were suitable for kids and others were… not.

But we are confused.

What of the other actors in the (former) DCEU? Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Zachary Levi and others? are they all gone? Gunn addressed this rather vaguely recently, saying: “There’s no reasons why all the people you mentioned, 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.”

We already know that the Peacemaker cast are returning and Viola Davis is back as Amanda Waller, so what gives?

Well, at the start of the presentation, Gunn said that this year will see Shazam! Fury of the Gods lead into The Flash which will fully reboot the DCEU before the release of Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. My guess is that Blue Beetle will, after The Flash, be set in the new continuity and the Aquaman sequel will see the ripples from The Flash movie change things… how much? No idea.

We were convinced Momoa was done with Aquaman and heading to play Lobo – a character who would very much fit into Gunn’s lineup – but then today Safran said the plan was always for Aquaman to be a trilogy and then added: “I will say we won’t have an actor playing two different roles.” This includes different mediums  – so you can’t play Batman in live-action and Superman in a new game.

Yeah, we’re very confused.

I assume we will see a similar approach as to the return of Charlie Cox’s Daredevil in the MCU – he’s still Daredevil, just not the Daredevil you know. This means that some actors can return because in this new universe they look the same and some will not because in this universe they, well, don’t look the same.

If we’re confused, I’d hate to be the average viewer who’s not into multiverses or comics…


Source: DC, Deadline, The Wrap,

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….