There will be a new DC Extended Universe. James Gunn finally announced the renewal plans with the franchise. This comes after several months of work and, in particular, after multiple comments that suggested that January would be the moment in which more clues would be given about the future of this narrative.
It occurred. This Tuesday, January 31, 2023, the New DC Extended Universe was presented. This comes after a handful of months that James Gunn and Peter Safran, new creative heads at DC Studios since October 2022, have been working. The official version of what will happen to the franchise is framed at a time when, since the beginning of January of this year, news about it is expected.
The first news to be announced is the next Superman movie, including its theatrical release date. It was also shared on the launch day of the second part of The Batman saga. There are mentions of projects inspired by characters such as Green Lantern, Amanda Waller, Monster Command, Swamp Thing, among others. Part of the writing team working on this reconstruction is made up of Drew Goddard, Jeremy Slater, Christina Hodson, Christal Henry and Tom King.
Here are all the announcements made by James Gunn and Peter Safran about the new DC Extended Universe.
The new DC Extended Universe is here
James Gunn presented, in a manner similar to what is practiced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a schedule of titles and releases for the coming years. A road map for fans and critics. Within it are the following projects:
- Superman Legacy: a new movie about Iron Man. The goal is to show a more youthful version of the character. It will be released on July 11, 2025.
- There will be a new movie about Batman, independent of The Batman saga. It is titled: The Brave and the bold and is focused on Bruce and Damian Wayne. According to James Gunn, one of the goals with this production is to introduce the BatFamily.
- Monster Command will be adapted through an animated series.
- Waller, a series that will explore part of the story of Amanda Waller, a key piece of The Suicide Squad, will have its own series. Viola Davis will reprise her role, while Christal Henry and Jeremy Carver will take over the script. At the moment, the production still does not have a release date. This production will be set between the first and second seasons of Pacemaker.
- A horror film inspired by the story of the superhero The Swamp Thing.
- Green Lantern will have a TV series. According to James Gunn, the tone of the production will be similar to that of True Detective.
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow: an adaptation is being worked on, in film format.
- Paradise Lost: It is a television series inspired by The Amazons, before the events shown in Wonder Woman.
The first stage
This first stage of the New DC Extended Universe is defined as “Chapter I: Gods and Monsters”. To the series and films mentioned, we must add other projects that are in development. Are these:
- The Authority, a group of DC anti-heroes, will have their own movie. The project is being developed. James Gunn spearheads this initiative. “I think it’s a different look at superheroes,” said the filmmaker.
- Joker Folie à Deux, sequel to Joker, is included within James Gunn’s new vision to drive the future of DC. Its premiere is scheduled for October 4, 2024 and, in addition to once again featuring Joaquin Phoenix, it will also have Lady Gaga in the role of Harley Quinn.
- The sequel to The Batman is titled, for now: The Batman Part II. It will be released on October 3, 2025.
Although it is not clear what the future of The Flash will be within this scheme, James Gunn referred to it as “one of the best superhero movies ever made”, according to review DiscussingFilm. What will happen to Ezra Miller? The actor has gone through multiple personal problems in recent years. Regarding this, Peter Safran commented that Miller is committed to his recovery. On the possibility that both the interpreter and Warner Bros. Discovery discuss his future: “When they feel that they are ready to have the discussion, we will all discover the best way forward.”
The future of the actors of the old DC Extended Universe
Speaking of Ezra Miller, he is not the only actor to whom the door is not closed in the New DC Extended Universe. Gal Gadot, who played Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa, who played Aquaman, and Zachary Levi, in the role of Shazam, could reprise these figures. Although at the moment there is no new project related to their characters, beyond those announced.
Through a video posted on his Twitter profile, James Gunn commented that Shazam! The Fury of the Gods connects with The Flash. About this last film, he said: “It’s a fantastic movie that completely resets the DC Extended Universe.” Next, all the explanation of the filmmaker:
The objective is to advance with the projects that have already been presented, to use them as bridges for the new stories that will be presented in the coming years. In this way, part of that stage is closed and progress is made towards the New DC Extended Universe. Formally, this stage of the franchise begins with Superman Legacy.
To understand how it got to this point, it’s necessary to review some background related to James Gunn, Peter Safran, and the DC Extended Universe.
The arrival of James Gunn and Peter Safran to DC
At the end of October 2022, one of the news that shook the entertainment industry was that James Gunn and Peter Safran took over the creative reins at DC Studios. The information was learned through The Hollywood Reporter, a medium in which it was indicated that Gun and Safran would be co-CEOs of the company, under the direction of David Zaslav, who is the director of Warner Bros. Discovery.
Suddenly, Gunn, one of the most representative figures of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, became a key part of the competition. Although in this it is convenient to make a nuance: Gunn had already been related to that franchise, through projects such as Peacemaker and The Suicide Squad. However, it was no longer about another film or some series, but about heading into the New DC Extended Universe.
At the time, it was reported that while James Gunn and Peter Safran would team up, their roles would be different. Gunn would take on a greater workload in terms of creative directions, while Safran would be in charge of coordinating economics and production. At that time, both said the following in a statement:
“We are honored to be the stewards of the DC characters we have loved since we were children. We look forward to collaborating with the world’s most talented writers, directors and actors to create an integrated universe that allows for individual expression by the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn and the rest of DC’s characters is matched only by our commitment to the wonderful human possibility these characters represent. We are excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful and greatest stories ever told.”
A New DC Extended Universe, without discarding some issues
When it became known that James Gunn and Peter Safran would take over as part of the leadership of DC Studios, some of the main questions that arose related to existing projects. In particular, those promoted from The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, and Joker, developed by filmmaker Todd Phillips. Both productions were successful, they left different paths open and, before Gunn and Safran joined DC Studios, their sequels were already in development.
However, among so many doubts, the question was valid: are they part of the New DC Extended Universe? The answer is a bit more complex than a “yes” or a “no”. Apparently, these projects will run parallel to the franchise. This, at first glance, doesn’t seem like a bad option in terms of the BatVerse. These are stories that can function independently.
Over time, some of James Gunn’s and Peter Safran’s measures regarding the New DC Extended Universe leaked out. One of the most relevant was the departure —at least momentarily— of Henry Cavill as Superman.
Since Man of Steel was released to the present, ten years have passed. During that time, not a few fans and critics waited for a direct sequel that, when it seemed that it was going to take place, including a confirmation from Cavill, was cancelled. Instead, it will bet on a younger adaptation of the character.
Another canceled project was the third part of Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot. Although there were more doubts about this film, due to irregularities with Wonder Woman 1984, released in 2020, the possibility of it continuing in the immediate future within the New DC Extended Universe was also ruled out. However, as mentioned before, the possibility of one of these actors returning is not ruled out.