The destruction has stopped, and DC Studios is finally moving forward. Today James Gunn and Peter Safran, the new leaders of DC Studios, unveiled their plans for the future of the world’s most popular superheroes in movies and TV (live action and animated), and there are a lot of them — ranging from Superman Legacy and Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow to Creature Commandos and Lanterns. The studio seems to be taking a page from Marvel and planning out different phases, though it’s calling them “chapters,” which will result in a large, interconnected film and TV universe spanning at most a decade. The overall plan features two movies a year alongside two TV shows on HBO Max, and it will all connect, including to some extent the four films that were already on the slate when the pair took over (The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and Blue Beetle). However, The Flash will “reset” everything, basically.
Everything with the DC universe is going to kick off with Chapter One, “Gods and Monsters,” which will feature a slew of content from major films to animated series. The shows and films in this chapter will range from major characters to those minor gems that Gunn likes to turn into franchises and are planned to drop between 2025 and 2027. They include Gunn’s Superman Legacy, a new Batman and Robin film called The Brave and the Bold, a Swamp Thing feature, a Supergirl movie called Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and a film about The Authority, which features some deep pulls from the DC comics. For streaming, there is the animated, Gunn-written Creature Commandos, Peacemaker‘s spinoff series called Waller, a Lanterns show, Booster Gold, and Paradise Lost. It is definitely a lot and it feels like it’s pulling at a plethora of B-to-C-grade level heroes, but Gunn promises that the big boys are still around to play.
“One of our strategies is that we take our diamond characters — Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman – and we use that to help prop up other characters that people don’t know,” he explained. “Like what happened with the Guardians (of the Galaxy) in some way. Like taking teams like The Authority, which is I know is just as spectacular idea for a film that is a completely different take on superheroes. Because it’s really connected to Superman. It’s about using those well-known properties to help lead into lesser-known properties.”
Yes, all the pre-transition films that are still on the schedule will be included and none of those actors are officially leaving the universe, nor, it seems are any of the creatives, with Gunn espousing how he’d love to work with the likes Flash director Andy Muschetti and Aquaman director James Wan again. In fact, he called The Flash, which is going to reset everything, “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made.” He also re-confirmed that Joker: Folie a Deux and Matt Reeves’ Bat-verse will not be part of this new universe and will be clearly branded as “DC Elseworlds” stories. After praising what had come before, however, Gunn went on a bit of a tirade explaining why DC’s content had failed for so long.
“As everyone here probably knows, the history of DC is pretty messed up,” he said “There is the Arrowverse. There (was) the DC EU which then split became the Joss Whedon Justice League at one point, became the Snyder-verse at the other point. There was Superman and Lois, there’s the Reeves-verse. There’s all these different things.” He continued to say, “Even us, we came in and did Suicide Squad and that became Peacemaker and all of a sudden Bat-mite is real guy that’s never been set up.”
“No one was minding the mint,” Gunn concluded. “They were just giving away IP like they were party favors to any creators that smiled to them.”
They’re harsh words, though given that basically everyone who headed up those projects and guided DC Films before this is now gone, he probably doesn’t have much to worry about. As such, he’s got detailed plans already for all the announced shows, though no creative teams or actors have been announced for them outside of Waller, which will obviously feature Viola Davis in the lead role and has its team too. Here’s Gunn’s breakdown of each new series:
Waller – Gunn is working on Superman Legacy right now, so that’s putting a stopper on Peacermaker’s second season. But he’ll work on this in-between Superman duties. No release date.
Creature Commandos – An animated series that will connect with the live-action projects, with both “leading in” to each other. It’s written by Gunn, and he has completed it already. Weasel from Suicide Squad will feature in the show alongside a human leader, a werewolf, a vampire, Frankenstein’s monster, and a gorgon.
Superman Legacy – Written by Gunn, the film is scheduled for release on July 11, 2025 and will feature a new Superman but is not an origin story. The film will “kick off” Gunn and Safran’s universe. Per Safran, “It focuses on Superman’s balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He’s the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way(;) he’s kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned.”
Lanterns – A Green Lantern series that will hopefully finally get the property on track. It is a key part of the upcoming chapter and will focus on Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Safran related it to True Detective in style.
The Authority – The film will include The Engineer (Angela Spica), Jeroen Thornedike (the latest Doctor), Apollo, and Midnighter and tells the tale of a group of anti-heroes who take matters into their own hands. A story is being created but no one is attached at the time to write.
Paradise Lost – Taking place before the birth of Wonder Woman, this will be a Game of Thrones-style show that looks into her homeland of Themyscira.
The Brave and the Bold – A Batman and Robin story that will feature a different Batman from Reeve’s Batverse. The story will focus on Batman and his son Damian Wayne, who takes up the mantle of Robin. The film is based on Grant Morrison’s run on Batman.
Booster Gold – It’s a Booster Gold TV series. Not many other details.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – An adaption of the very recent Tom King comic book run for the character. This Supergirl is much more “hardcore” and not the version we’re use to seeing.
Swamp Thing – The movie will be an origin story looking into the dark beginning of the character. Though tonally different from the other films, it will not be separate.