James Gunn rolls out DC Studios slate of film and TV projects

DC Studios Co-CEO James Gunn finally releases the plans for the DC Universe and the 8 to 10-year slate of upcoming DC Studios projects.

James Gunn, DC Studios Co-CEO, finally makes good on the promise to announce the future plans for the DC Universe this January 2023.

James Gunn dc studios superman batman film television gaming FEATURED
DC Studios Co-CEO James Gunn finally releases the plans for the DC Universe and the 8 to 10-year slate of upcoming projects. (Images: DC Studios/Warner Bros. Discovery and James Gunn)

Sometime in December 2022, Gunn and his DC Studios Co-CEO confirmed that they would be confirming their roadmap for the DC Universe early the next year. In relation to that, entertainment news sources received word that this would come after presenting it to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. However, there was a long lull of any details and it seemed Gunn was holding off until the end of January to make the announcement public.

And that is exactly what happened, as January 31 marks when the filmmaker and top studio executive released the announcement on his social media channels. Read on for the details James Gunn revealed for the future of the DCU.

James Gunn shared the video presenting the DC Studios roadmap on his social media such as Instagram and Twitter.

The DC Studios Co-CEO begins with stating how the DC Comics properties on TV and film have been in a state of chaos and dissonance, and declares a major part of their plan is to ensure everything is connected in the new DC Universe:

So as many of you know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time. So it’s one of our jobs, mine and Peter’s [Safran], 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.

This appears similar to the approach Marvel Studios has taken, as in the case of the Disney+ series, particularly the What If..? animated series, where most of the live action actors reprised their roles by providing their voices.

Gunn went on to confirm that the DC Universe will be separate from the Elseworlds continuities. He mentions that any DC properties that work outside of the mainstream DC Universe will have a label indicating it is in the Elseworlds alternate continuities. These include Matt Reeves’s The Batman, Todd Phillips’s Joker, and the animated Teen Titans GO!

The next part of the video has James Gunn lining up the remaining slate of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU): Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. Gunn specifically states events in The Flash will serve as the reboot of the DCU and both Blue Beetle and Aquaman 2 will be part of the rebooted DCU, with the Aquaman sequel leading directly into the next few projects.

Gunn gives a brief rundown of the map the DC Universe will be taking, mentioning that this is an "8 to 10-year plan of what DC Studios will be in film, television, and gaming". Plus, he specifies this will be the first chapter and the initial stage will be called "Gods and Monsters". This confirms Gunn and Safran are breaking up the future of the DC Studios projects in a similar way that Marvel Studios uses Phases for their releases.

This leads to James Gunn revealing the DC Studios slate, a number of which he has written himself, setting the stage for what the DC Universe has in store for its fans:

  • Creature Commandos – An animated TV series based on the DC Comics of the same name. Originally, it was about characters inspired by the classic Universal Studios monsters (i.e. Dracula, Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, etc.) recruited into military service during World War II. The image depicted in the video indicates there will be modifications to the roster, including G.I. Robot and what seems to be the Weasel (last seen in The Suicide Squad).

    Gunn also confirmed that they will be trying something new by moving characters from animation into live action, starting with Creature Commandos.

  • Waller – A live action TV series with Viola Davis reprising her role as Amanda Waller. Gunn confirms she will be teaming up with the agents from Peacemaker. It will be a story from Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol).
  • Superman: Legacy – Gunn states this will be the "true beginning of the DCU". He confirms he is writing the story for Superman: Legacy and announces the theatrical release of July 11, 2025. Curiously, the image during this part of the video is the cover to the fan favorite All-Star Superman (written by Grant Morrison and art by Frank Quitely), which might be a confirmation of the rumor that it will take cues from that story as reported earlier.
  • James Gunn dc studios superman batman film television gaming LANTERNS
    Lanterns will be a buddy cop style TV series, with Earth as the "precinct" manned by Hal Jordan and John Stewart.
  • Lanterns – An HBO live action series based on the Green Lantern Corps. Gunn specified that this will be an Earth-based series, which stars Hal Jordan and John Stewart. It will have similarities to the show True Detective, with the Earth being their "precinct" and the events in this series will have ramifications to the entire DCU.
  • Authority – A live action film based on the Wildstorm comic book from the late 1990s. Although taking inspiration from the Justice League, the Authority are hyper-violent superheroes who are not above killing villains and being a proactive force. According to Gunn, this is a passion project and the characters will be interacting with the larger DC Universe.
  • Paradise Lost – This will be a live action TV series starring the Amazons of Paradise Island aka Themyscira, where Wonder Woman hails from. James Gunn compares it to Game of Thrones, but with warrior women.
  • James Gunn dc studios superman batman film television gaming PARADISE LOST
    Gunn compares the DC Studios planned TV series titled Paradise Lost to Game of Thrones... but with Amazons.
  • The Brave and the Bold – The project that will introduce the DCU version of Batman will be The Brave and the Bold. The title is a nod to the DC Comics team-up book, which had Batman often working with other characters to solve cases. The Brave and the Bold was notable for taking liberties with Batman’s timeline, as he could be working with World War II characters like Sgt. Rock in one issue and then with Superman during the modern day in another issue.

    Gunn also confirms that The Brave and the Bold will introduce the Damian Wayne version of Robin in live action. Damian is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul (daughter of Batman’s nemesis, Ra’s Al Ghul). The DC Studios Co-CEO also confirms the story will be based on Grant Morrison’s run on the Batman titles that brought Bruce Wayne’s son into the mythos. Gunn also mentions this will be the beginning of the Bat-Family in the DCU.

  • Booster Gold – This live action TV series will bring in the "greatest hero no one knows" into the DC Universe. Created by Dan Jurgens, Booster Gold is a time traveler from the 25th Century who steals his high-tech suit and robot Skeets. His initial goal was to become rich and famous in the current day thanks to his advanced technology and knowledge of historical events. However, he becomes a true hero, by fighting threats that no one will ever know because of the effects to the timeline.

    Gunn compares Booster Gold’s story as a superhero version of Impostor Syndrome. The series will be on the HBO Max streaming service.

  • Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – The story will be based on Tom King’s run on the Supergirl comic book. Gunn says it will be an epic live action film, differentiating her from Superman for being raised with Kryptonians and watching them die before escaping Argo City. Gunn calls her a "much more jaded character", compared to the Man of Steel who was raised by loving parents on Earth.
  • Swamp Thing – The final DC Studios project revealed is Swamp Thing. The muck-encrusted monster of a man created by both science and magic has had forays into live action film and TV before. But this time, James Gunn confirms the new Swamp Thing will be part of the DCU and will explore the darker side of this cinematic universe.
James Gunn dc studios superman batman film television gaming SWAMP THING
Swamp Thing has actually had multiple live action films and TV series. The new DC Universe version will be introduced in a film once again.

Gunn closes out the announcement by reaffirming his love for the DC Comics characters and stories:

I’ve loved the DC characters since I was a child. They’re incredibly important to me. I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something very different […] Storytelling is always king. That’s all that matters to us. And I want to be true to those stories. And I want to be true to you guys [the fans]and really give you something you’ve never seen before.

The DC Studios Co-CEO then thanked the fans and exclaiming his hope that this was exciting for those watching. But some fans have already called out James Gunn for falsely claiming this is a "fresh start", as the DC Universe is keeping some elements from the DCEU. Examples include Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller, Peacemaker, and The Suicide Squad being retained, but are also getting rid of the fan-favorites Henry Cavill as Superman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in this new DC Universe.

It should be noted that while the plans are for the DC Universe to be interconnected, only film and television projects have been announced. No details have been revealed for DC Universe games, as of the time of James Gunn's announcement.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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