James Gunn has confirmed the rumored timeline for when he and his DC Studios co-head Peter Safran will be revealing their plans for the DC Universe franchise. After a rumor ran in a major trade, Gunn repsonded to a fan’s inquiry on Twitter about whether or not it was true that plans for DCU movie and TV projects would be revealed in the next two months (“Yes, that is true,” Gunn said). That would put the betting money on the end of 2022 or (more likely) the start of 2023 being when Gunn, Safran, and Warner Bros. Discovery will make the big presentation about where their franchise is headed.
Yes, that is true (revealing it to the wbd team)
Just before Halloween it was announced that DC Studios was being formed with Gunn and Safran running the studio’s TV and movie divisions. Since then, DC fans and entertainment industry analysts have all been speculating and guessing what kind of changes Gunn and Safran will be making, and what kind of cohesive vision they are building for the oft-troubled live-action DC brand.
Warner Bros.’ turbulent years of executive changes and competition left DC in a constant start-stop cycle of building a shared universe franchise; the era of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy led to the failed attempt at Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern movie universe; Zack Snyder tried to take the reigns and build a universe around his Superman movie Man of Steel (with Henry Cavill), only achieve a divisive set of films in Batman v Superman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League – all of which caused years of debate in the DC fandom, not to mention the creation of a fringe group of diehard fans (“Snyder-Bros”), who have never let up in their campaign of backlash against Warner Bros.
Now, while Marvel Studios works on its second multi-year (now multi-platform) vision of a shared universe saga, DC Studios is entering the came when the franchise is more scattered and uncertain than its ever been. New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is of very different mind than former DC overseer Walter Hamada, in that he wants streamlined big projects, with big stars, and big box office or TV ratings expectations seems to be the mandate now. That a big reversal on Hamada’s “DC Multiverse” approach of projects of different budgets and tones, and multiple iterations of major characters like Superman, Batman, Joker, and others, on the big and small screens.
How Gunn and Safran will balance creative freedom and major executive expectations is exactly what DC fans will be mulling over for the next two months. Gunn has already made some cryptic teases on social media, making it seem like everything from a Jason Momoa Lobo movie to a Mr. Terrific project could be on the way.