At long last, it seems as though the DC Universe may finally have a well thought out plan. Making good on his promise to share the news by the end of the month, director and co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn revealed to the world that not only does DC Studios have a plan, but the studio is arguably headed in the best direction that it has in decades. After tenuous months of fans and audiences hoping and praying that Gunn would lead DC into the light, it seems as though it may just happen.
Yesterday, Gunn unveiled DC’s master plan to get their television, film, and gaming departments back on track by informing the world of 10 new projects all slated to debut within the next 8-10 years. Not only did Gunn’s announcement lay-out a very specific blueprint of what the future DCU would consist of, but he made it perfectly clear where other recent DC projects would stand amongst the collective media that the studio has produced.
Next 4 Projects Haven’t Changed
Despite Gunn being succinct about the fact that the DCU will absolutely include the collective combination of all future DC projects, he also revealed that the next 4 films on DC’s slate (Shazam: Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) will not be cut and are still set to hit theaters this year.
Now, despite this revelation, Gunn was silent on how exactly these 4 future projects would directly tie into the coming DCU that is being set up, but it was confirmed that they will be a part of it. In the announcement, Gunn was specific to say that The Flash will essentially “reset the DC Universe” and that Aquaman 2 will “lead directly” into all of the new projects that were announced afterwards. While the statements were short and vague, it was enough to get fans incredibly hyped that they won’t have to wait even a couple of years to see Gunn’s vision start to take shape.
As stated above, Gunn gave a clear outline of what the future of DC will contain but also cleared up where other standalone projects will reside among DC Studio’s productions, and honestly, the choice is probably the best one that DC could have made given the circumstances.
As a result of Gunn wanting to form a collective comic universe among DC characters (like the MCU) other DC projects like Matt Reeves’ The Batman, Todd Phillips’ Joker, or the animated series Teen Titans Go, will essentially exist in their own universe outside of the DCU mainstream that Gunn is creating. During the announcement, Gunn stated that this universe would be referred to as “DC Elseworlds” and would contain singular, stand-alone stories that aren’t connected to other DC projects.
All Announced DCU Projects
Finally, Gunn got to the moment that everyone was waiting for – the future of the DCU. After so much pleading from fans and audiences for a true collective DC media universe, Gunn has set his sights on being the right man for the job and made a very strong case with the announcement of 10 new projects to come over the next decade in what he called the DCU “Gods & Monsters” phase.
The majority of the following projects weren’t given release dates so we’ll be going over them in the order that Gunn announced them.
Creature Commandos (TV series) – the first new project that Gunn mentioned will revolve around a group of ‘heroes’ that will be recruited by Amanda Waller in a scenario very much like the Suicide Squad, only the heroes will be of the monstrous variety. Not only that, but the series is going to be animated (written by Gunn himself) and is still going to be connected to the other live-action projects that will follow it. Thus, the show will kind of relate to Marvel’s What If…? series that, while animated, was mostly voiced by the actors/actresses already playing the live-action characters in the MCU.
Waller (TV series) – after being the puppet-master behind several other DC projects dating all the way back to 2016, Amanda Waller is finally getting her own series in the DCU. Viola Davis was announced to be returning as the star of the series and that the show would also consist of Waller pairing up with a few of Peacemaker’s teammates. While fans can only speculate which characters will be making appearances (or just cameos), it has to be noted that Gunn didn’t explicitly mention whether or not Peacemaker himself (played by John Cena) would be one of said characters.
Superman: Legacy (Movie) – while it was always going to happen, this one still stings a little with the departure of Henry Cavill as Superman. Nevertheless, fans are excited to give Gunn’s new Superman a chance and the only upcoming project to get a release date (of July 11, 2025) is all set to reveal him. That said, the latest installment that will try to finally get Superman correct on the big-screen is arguably the most important of all the projects announced. Gunn gave no clues as to what the premise of the movie will be, but he did make it known that the film will be the “true beginning of the DCU”. With so much riding on Gunn making a successful collective DC Universe, Superman: Legacy will have a lot of heavy lifting to do.
Lanterns (TV series) – the third new series to be announced, fans are finally going to get a proper live-action rendition (sorry Ryan Reynolds) of one of DC’s most well-known and established stories, the Lanterns. While Gunn revealed that the show isn’t going to be about just one lantern (Green Lantern is the most popular and utilized among DC projects) but rather a surplus of them. Not only that, but Gunn revealed that the series will be terrestrial-based and have a True Detective vibe as the Lanterns act like space cops protecting Earth.
The Authority (Movie) – the second movie in Gunn’s DCU slate is about a group of characters that aren’t as well known among casual comic book fans about a group of enhanced individuals known under the WildStorm canon. In essence, these characters are probably closest to the evil X-Men in Marvel movies not only because of their less-than-ordinary super powers, but also due to the fact that they believe the world is broken and needs fixing. Gunn openly admitted that this show will be a “different look at super heroes”.
Paradise Lost (TV series) – taking place on Paradise Island, this series will revolve around the birthplace of Wonder Woman and was described by Gunn as having a Game of Thrones feeling to it. The most notable piece of information to take away from this announcement was that, while the series will center around Wonder Woman’s birthplace, nothing was explicitly stated on whether or not Wonder Woman would star (or even show up) in the show.
The Brave and The Bold (Movie) – while it has the title of a sappy, Oscar-bait, World War II film, The Brave and The Bold is going to be the introduction of the DCU’s version of Batman, as well as a proper live-action Robin in the form of Damian Wayne, Batman’s son. Very little was given about the possible plot or premise of the film, but Gunn made a point of acknowledging that this project would also set the foundation for the entire Bat family in the future.
Booster Gold (TV series) – James Gunn is known for bringing lesser-known characters into the fold, and the DCU will be no exception. The last new series that Gunn announced will focus on Booster Gold, a regular guy from the future who uses the advanced technology from his time-period to travel back in time and be a superhero. In other words, he’s a huge comedic relief in DC’s canon and will more than likely be a Deadpool-esque character for the DCU.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (Movie) – Superman isn’t the only alien from Krypton that will be getting their own DCU project. Gunn made a point of praising the Supergirl tv show during his announcement and revealed that the character will also have a future in the DCU. Gunn also made a point of noting that Supergirl has a much more tragic upbringing and backstory than her Kryptonian cousin and that the movie will be more jaded than audiences might expect.
Swamp Thing (Movie) – last but certainly not least, Gunn announced that Swamp Thing would be getting his own movie. Despite the Swamp Thing show failing miserably for DC previously, it seems as though Gunn believes the character is a perfect piece of the future DCU puzzle that he’s trying to build. Oddly enough, Gunn did make a comment that the Swamp Thing story would take place totally outside the rest of the DCU, but would still feed into the other projects in the universe.
Now, while Gunn gave fans plenty to speculate over for months to come, there were some notable DC character absences that fans are bound to ask questions about in the future. For example, one of the original members of the Justice League in Martian Manhunter, a character sorely ignored so far in live-action DC projects, still wasn’t given any kind of future project of his own. Another character that wasn’t mentioned at all was Cyborg, famously played by Ray Fisher in Justice League, despite the character being another core member of the Justice League in most DC canon story arcs.
A huge missing piece from Gunn’s announcement was anything regarding the character of Harley Quinn, or whether or not Margot Robbie would be reprising the role. It was announced back in September (from Gunn himself) that Robbie would be staying atop the Harley Quinn mantle for future DCU projects, but unfortunately no hints of a future Harley Quinn project/appearance were given.
Fans were also left empty-handed when it came to any information regarding a second season of Peacemaker or any future projects containing members of the Suicide Squad. Both projects were helmed by Gunn and were large success’, contributing to why he was given the reins of DC studios in the first place, but Gunn mentioned nothing about either.
Finally, there’s the case of Black Adam not being mentioned in either the DCU or the DC Elseworlds universe. The most recent DC film starred Dwayne Johnson as the titular character and contained several notable heroes in the DC universe. Not only that, but Viola Davis as Amanda Waller was in the film. So, with a character like Amanda Waller getting her own show, it would make sense that Black Adam ties back into the other upcoming DC movies that will eventually tie back into the future DCU. But then again, Amanda Waller was also in the original Suicide Squad movie and fans know that most of those characters won’t be returning anytime soon.