How James Gunn Will Completely Transform DC Studios

DC Studios finally reveals its plans for the future. After months of work, co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran gave the first hints of what we can expect in the coming years. But contrary to what might be expected, these are not projects with legendary overtones based on prominent comics, quite the contrary. The following will consist of discrete plots with little-known characters.

An unexpected decision. If anything set the DC Extended Universe apart for a decade, it was its bombastic air. Origin stories spanning the publisher’s major comics on a very broad scale. Particularly in the hands of Zack Snyder, who added his perspective on the emblematic figures. For that, he recorded sequences with a mythological air, taking the heroes to a superhuman size, with a particular visual style that gave the DC tapes a darker and almost sinister air.

However, it never finished working. The saga went through a chaotic time and it was impossible to maintain the solemnity of Zack Snyder. Something that worsened with the departure of the director. Also, with direct competition from Marvel and the addition of several films that were not part of the central chronology.

DC Studios inherits a chaotic and directionless franchise

From sequels that contradicted the source material—as in the case of Wonder Woman—to narratives outside of the central timeline. At the time of Black Adam’s release, the DC Extended Universe was unfinished parts of many things at once. Something that seemed to be accentuated with the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman in the latter’s post-credit scene.

A few weeks before the premiere, James Gunn and Peter Safran became co-chairmen and co-CEOs of DC Studios. Both inherited shaky ground with a slate of upcoming releases that included the troubled The Flash and sequels to Aquaman and Shazam. So the first question was how they could unify all the failed experiments into a single coherent saga. In addition, to build a series of stories for the future, which could be rid of the creative mess left behind by ten years of improvisation.

Go back to zero and build a whole new scenario

For James Gunn, the possibility began by making it clear that the Snyderverse had to go. That included distancing himself from Henry Cavill, part of an awkward debate surrounding Superman. The actor, considered emblematic, was the center of the discussion about a very specific visual and narrative tone in DC.

The first movement of the new co-CEO was to make it clear that any relationship with that cinematographic aspect of the editorial was eliminated. Which also splashed Black Adam. Next, delve into the lines of the editorial as an expanded universe, connected to each other.

Finally, the creative duo presented their proposal for the coming years. To the surprise of a large part of fans and the specialized press, they are small premises. Beyond the relaunch of Superman, what was chosen by James Gunn and Peter Safran touches on characters that, until now, had little relevance.

What executives consider really important is building a consistent universe. One that interconnects with the premises in film, television, streaming, animation and video games. Even finding a place for productions that do not belong to the central line of events that it tries to narrate. The coming cinematic universe, too will have an Elseworlds division. In other words, independent tapes -like The Batman or Joker- will be part of DC Studios, but not the rest of the main productions.

DC Studios begins to have its own place in the cinema

James Gunn pointed out that Andrés Muschietti’s The Flash would restart the cinematographic stories and that, from then on, future projects would be developed. The plan would start with Superman: Legacy, which will focus on a younger, inexperienced version of the hero. Gunn is directing the script, describing it as an exploration into the life of Clark Kent “balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.” It’s not an origin story, nor is it one that encompasses an extraordinary mission.

The film will show the iconic figure from a point of view far removed from the stature of a demigod he had up to now. For the filmmaker, Superman is strongly tied to his facet as a man and a citizen. Also, he will recover the status of an emblem of goodness without loopholes that the Snyderverse discarded in favor of greater grays in his personality.

On the other hand, there is the adaptation of The Authority, a team of dubious metahumans created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch in 1999. Far from the most iconic of DC, the group is convinced that the end justifies the means. Unlike the members of the Suicide Squad, they don’t perform global feats or liaise — not immediately — with government authorities. What would allow to bring to the big screen small narrations about very distant circumstances to galactic confrontations or world heroic feats.

Batman / DC Extended Universe / DC Studios

Batman also has his place in the new DC Extended Universe

As the Matt Reeves-directed sequel to The Batman is making headway, Peter Safran and James Gunn are including a version of the masked hero in their upcoming projects. The upcoming Brave and the Bold, based on the anime of the same name and the comics by Grant Morrison, is part of ongoing productions.

But also, it touches on an important element. The context of Gotham’s Caped Crusader (which goes beyond Robin), will finally hit the big screen. But it does so with a story that explores DC’s traditional anti-hero from a more intimate perspective than has been done so far.

It is a caveat of interest, after that since 1997, the batman was shown without several of his most emblematic companions. Beyond Alfred and his incarnations, the context of Bruce Wayne was limited to showing him in constant confrontation with his enemies. However, in the comics and animated television, his world is more focused on delving into his ambiguous world. Something that will be reflected, now, in the cinema.

Small experiments that point towards more ambitious ideas

The plans of the new DC include multiple genres. Tom King and Evely Bilquis’ adaptation of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow will be a dark take on the Man of Steel’s relative. Very different from the one shown on the CW network, this time Kara is a survivor of a desolate planet. She is not related to a heroic look, but to an exploration of a heroine forged through her suffering.

The plans also include the origin of the character Swamp Thing, which will be a horror film, very different from the 2019 series. For the occasion, directors such as James Mangold and Guillermo Del Toro showed interest in the project. Which announces, in all probability, an adult and self-conclusive adaptation.

Supergirl / DC Extended Universe / DC Studios

A promising future?

The DC Extended Universe ended without reaching a true conclusion. The new plans in the future of the film version of the publisher, seeks not only to amend the errors. Also provide fresh air to everything you want to narrate in the cinematographic world.

From a Superman who can be seen growing through different productions to a Batman surrounded by the best-known figures from his stories. Publishing DC finally has the opportunity to make up for lost time and offer its fans a valuable proposition. Without a doubt, what most of them expect right now.

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