It is already a fact: James Gunn plans a reboot at all levels of the Extended Universe of the new DC Studios. After being named co-CEO with David Zaslav of the franchise division at Warner Discovery, the filmmaker made some decisions. The first and most controversial, discarding a good part of the narratives made into movies so far. That, under the promise that a whole new set of them will arrive during the next five years in a renewed stage of the saga.
Without a doubt, an ambitious decision, taken a decade after the arrival of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel at the cinema. James Gunn will have to reconfigure the context of each character that appeared in a movie. At least the ones he’ll try to add to a single, interconnected timeline, in the Marvel scheme, which he admitted to admiring.
So far, James Gunn has only pointed out that the great figures – especially Superman – will be essential for the next phase. In fact, he declared that he was working on a script about the youth of the Kryptonian hero. Which would indicate that he will rebuild the main plots from their origins. Without a doubt, it will be a considerable task that could turn the hitherto messy saga into a solid cinematographic approach. Which leads to the next question: What would the filmmaker’s premise be based on?
The new DC Studios could tackle little-known stories from the comics
James Gunn explained that a good part of the new stage will be based on the collections of some of the classic comics. In the same way, in his animations, because for more than a decade he successfully adapted major arcs of the comic. A few weeks ago, the director shared a photograph on Twitter, in which he showed what appeared to be an open-ended graphic novel. A good number of fans identified the cartoons with those of the classic Superman All Star. An indication of what could be announced in the future?
At the moment, the co-CEO of DC Studios did not add more information, but his interest in recovering part of the publisher’s most famous and beloved stories is notorious. We leave you five adaptation possibilities that could be announced soon and that would give the DC extended universe a much more sober sense.
All-Star Superman, a DC classic
As James Gunn seemed to hint, the work of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely is ideal for delving into the figure of Superman. Published between 2005 and 2008, it is considered one of the high points of his mythology. Especially because of his maturity in reflecting all aspects of Clark Kent’s personality and his powerful alter ego. At twelve volumes, it is a moving exploration into the worldview of the celebrated son of Krypton.
The story covers the last year of the hero’s life, after being poisoned, without the possibility of cure, by his archenemy Lex Luthor. With death an imminent fate, The Man of Steel decides to do good. Which includes twelve feats that will show the tenacity of his spirit and his firm belief in justice.
It is an independent story in DC Comics that is, in a certain way, self-contained. It also covers completely new aspects of the character. An essential point to note: Morrison commented, upon publication, that the story was a “Superman update.” Which coincides with Gunn’s intentions about the future movie he’s working on.
Kingdom Come, a farewell to the DC we know?
The story by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, published in 1996, could be an option that ends the current stage of the DC Extended Universe. The comic imagines a future in which the metahuman population has become a problem. By then, a good part of the traditional heroes are in an honorable retirement. Which allows a multitude of villains to use their powers without any respect for morality or ideals.
Of course, such a situation forces the iconic figures back in one last battle against a very human and ambiguous type of evil. The DC series was lauded for its complexity and the way it looked at the abuse of power. One of his great themes is responsibility for extraordinary abilities. A topic that seems to interest James Gunn deeply, judging by the predominant plots in his stories.
Could the adaptation of Waid’s work be a worthy farewell to today’s heroes? It would certainly be a tour of the big questions raised in the DC Extended Universe and, in particular, its ambiguous sense of morality.
Superman for All Seasons
Considered fundamental to understanding contemporary Superman, Jeph Loeb’s work examines the hero from his most vulnerable aspect. He spans through his life over four seasons, after his first appearance in Metropolis. But really, it’s more than a description of his exploits, it’s a journey through his emotional and spiritual growth.
In addition, it is one of the few that offers nuances to the Man of Steel through different points of view. From Jonathan Kent to Lana Lang. Everyone who is part of Superman’s life has a place of interest in the narrative. The DC comic—the starting point for the Smallville series, also authored by Loeb—is a tribute to good. Likewise, to the virtues of a character he describes himself from his youth to a sober maturity.
James Gunn has repeated more than once that his intention is to recount the hero’s early years and the most intimate aspect of his growth. Which would make Loeb’s premise a great option.
Batman: Hush could be part of the mysterious future of Batman in the new DC Studios
Until now, James Gunn has not clearly explained his intentions regarding Batman and his main topics for the new era of DC Studios. Only, he specified that the 2022 Matt Reeves film and its sequel are material added to the extended universe, but do not occur in its core line. Which could leave open a series of possibilities that explore various alternative accounts linked to Gotham’s hero.
One of the most interesting could be Batman: Hush, by Jeph Loeb. This tells the context around the hero, his relationship with Catwoman and the way his enemies use his few affections against him. A premise that would allow us to analyze a new starting Batman for the future of the franchise. Also, include those around you.
In addition, the narration was already adapted to animation by Justin Copeland in 2019. An element that could coincide with James Gunn’s plans to bring some specific plots to live action. Will there be the possibility of a reboot for Batman that allows him to be incorporated into the new DC timeline? This would be a good opportunity.
Geoff Johns’ 2010 graphic novel is, at its core, a standalone horror tale starring Green Lantern. In a mixture between horror and action, it uses the zombie genre as a backdrop. At the same time, it integrates several aspects of other DC stories that come together in a single scenario.
From the deaths of several of the iconic heroes, to a spooky world dominated by a dark aspect of the supernatural. This sinister perspective on power is ideal for a movie where DC changes gear by touching on other genres. Specifically, because its plot links Superman and Batman in different situations than usual.
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Until now, Gunn has insisted that his plans would span at least ten years of movies. Which could be more than enough reason to analyze the possibility of several types of novel premises under the same time line. Blackest Night could be a whole new step into cinematic territory that, for now, Warner’s franchise hasn’t explored.