Photo Credit: DC Comics
DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn has announced the first chapter of their long-term plans for the revamped DC Universe (DCU), via a roadmap. Dubbed ‘Gods and Monsters,' the plan for the next 8-10 years has been conceived by Gunn with co-CEO Peter Safran, and will connect the storylines across films, TV, gaming, and animation. “That the characters are consistent, played by the same actors, and it works within one story,” Gunn said in the presentation, after reaffirming how disconnected and messy the previous DC Extended Universe (DCEU) was. The announcement played host to several known intellectual properties, in addition to introducing new arcs, such as those of Creature Commandos and Booster Gold.
Matt Reeves' The Batman and its related universe was marked safe by parent company Warner Bros. Discovery, who previously deemed it as a 'quality product'. Now, it seems like the reported meeting between the director and Gunn went smoothly, with the latter confirming that they are incorporating DC Comics' Elseworlds strategy to distinguish stories that don't tie into the main DCU canon. The same applies to Todd Phillips' Joker franchise and Teen Titans GO! Even the Colin Farrell-led Penguin spin-off series will be treated as such since it is part of the BatVerse. Robert Pattinson will return in the sequel, which is now officially titled ‘The Batman: Part II,' and is slated to release October 3, 2025.
Billed as the “true beginning of the DCU", Superman: Legacy is the next live-action interpretation of the Kryptonian superhero, written by Gunn himself. As previously stated, the script will focus on a younger version of the Man of Steel, although it is not an origin story. Gunn also addressed Henry Cavill's role surrounding the situation, whose return as Superman was cancelled, in favour of their updated plans for the DCU. “Also, important to say that Henry Cavill was not fired,” Gunn said in the press conference (via IGN). “Henry was just not hired to be Superman in the Superman movie. There was never a deal there for another movie.”
Cavill's announcement on Instagram and reports mentioning a Man of Steel sequel caused many to believe that he was back to don the cape once more. However, Gunn's latest comments suggest that things were never official. “I like Henry, I think he's a great guy,” Gunn said during the presentation (via The Hollywood Reporter). “I think he's getting d-cked around by a lot of people, including the former regime at this company. But this Superman is not Henry, for a number of reasons.” Superman: Legacy is eyeing a release on July 11, 2025.
This bit is probably the most confusing part of the entire roadmap. Gunn affirmed that the Ezra Miller-led The Flash movie will serve as the reset point for the DC Universe, drawing inspiration from the Flashpoint storyline, which finds the scarlet speedster bringing unintended results to his timeline. However, he suggested that Shazam! Fury of the Gods — which got a new trailer last week — connects “directly” into The Flash. It's unclear whether this would be the last we see of Shazam!, given the filmmaker-executive previously axed a Black Adam sequel as well. Shazam! 2 releases March 17 in theatres, followed by The Flash on June 16. With the latter serving as a resetting juncture, it will be interesting to see how this story unfolds.
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Then in August, Blue Beetle comes in to break new ground in the DC Universe, featuring the franchise's first movie to star a Hispanic actor. It will then be followed by Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on Christmas Day, which also stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne — both were part of the old Snyderverse regime. It seems that while the movie comes out on schedule, it will circle back to the timeline reset event in The Flash. This could lead to even more confusion since star Jason Momoa confirmed last month that he will always be Aquaman and that no one was replacing him. Does Gunn plan on using him in the new DCU continuity? Only time will tell.
That said, Gunn seemed quite certain when addressing the status of two main DCEU actors — Affleck and Cavill — noting that they “are not part of this universe.” The former, however, is in talks with the studio to direct a DC project.
The fairly unheard-of Creature Commandos is among the first projects fans can expect to see from the revamped DC Universe. Written by Gunn himself, the animated series will tie directly into the live-action universe, with characters moving in and out of mediums — “usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live action.” This is similar to what the Marvel Cinematic Universe does with What If…?. Gunn also revealed the seven main characters to expect from the original comic book series - Rick Flag Sr., Nina Mazursky, Dr. Phosphorus, Eric Frankenstein, G.I. Robot, and Weasel. The anthropomorphic Weasel was previously seen in The Suicide Squad movie and was voiced by Sean Gunn. At this point, there's no telling if he will reprise the role.
CREATURE COMMANDOS — This seven-episode animated show, written by James Gunn, shows Amanda Waller creating a black-ops team out of monstrous prisoners. #DCStudios— DC (@DCComics) January 31, 2023
Get to know the Creature Commandos: https://t.co/syEthaTpiw pic.twitter.com/1BfaFmwSlP
Less than a week after the Doom Patrol series got cancelled, creator Jeremy Carver has found a new gig in Waller. As the name suggests, the series will chart the story of the ruthless Task Force X director Amanda Waller, with Viola Davis returning to play the role, who has now established herself as a recurring canon role in DC projects. “Viola Davis is gonna team up with members of Team Peacemaker,” Gunn said, adding that Carver will partner with Christal Henry (Watchmen) to conceive the series.
WALLER – Starring Viola Davis, this series features Team Peacemaker and will be written by Christal Henry (WATCHMEN) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural). #DCStudios— DC (@DCComics) January 31, 2023
Get to know Amanda Waller: https://t.co/kD4NeS01lM pic.twitter.com/9WRiXx6C8U
As reported previously, HBO Max's long-gestating Green Lantern series will be focused on the two most beloved John Stewart and Hal Jordan versions of the character. Lanterns was greenlit as part of a creative overhaul, which saw writer Seth Grahame-Smith stepping down from the project, after having written a full eight-episode season featuring the openly gay Green Lantern member Guy Gardner. This new project has an entirely new story, which Gunn compares to True Detective, “with a couple of Green Lanterns who are space cops watching over precinct Earth.” He added, “in it, they discover a terrifying mystery that ties into our larger story of the DCU.”
A 'passion project' of Gunn, The Authority is based on characters from the Wildstorm imprint and will interact with the main DCU characters. They're essentially composed of a team of superheroes obsessed with saving the planet, to the extent that they are willing to cross moral lines, with ideologies often mirroring that of a villain. “I think it's a very different look at superheroes,” Gunn added.
Set in Themyscira, the island nation where the Amazonians live, Paradise Lost is a planned TV series that will serve as an origin story for the locale. Inhabited and governed solely by women, the show will focus on some 'drama and political intrigue, exploring the set rules and the lore behind banishing all men from the territory. “It's almost like Game of Thrones with Westeros, but with all of the inhabitants of Paradise Island,” Gunn said in the presentation.
Based on writer Grant Morrison's incredible comic book run, The Brave and the Bold movie will introduce DCU's Batman. There's no word on casting details yet, but it will feature the Dark Knight's biological son Damien Wayne as Robin. Born as a high-skilled assassin under nemesis Ra's al Ghul's supervision, it is now up to Bruce Wayne to channel his inner parent and bring the volatile child in line. This will also serve as the beginning of the Bat-Family in the DC Universe.
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD — The DCU will introduce its Batman and Robin in this unusual father-son story, inspired by Grant Morrison's comics: https://t.co/dOiN2uuwNp #DCStudios pic.twitter.com/GclUoYUCTB— DC (@DCComics) January 31, 2023
Cult favourite superhero Booster Gold is getting a TV series adaptation at HBO Max. For the uninitiated, it follows a glory-seeking showboat loser from the future, who travels back in time and uses advanced technology to stage high-publicity stunts and become a superhero. Having prior knowledge of historical events, he manages to plan out his course of action and win the hearts of many, although his reputation soon gets tarnished. In the comics, he's seen quite often with Blue Beetle, so maybe we'll get to see him interacting with Xolo Maridueña's character from the aforementioned movie.
Based on Tom King's version of the character, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is described as an epic sci-fi movie that'll explore a unique, jaded version of Kara Zor-El. Everyone knows about her cousin Kal-El, who was raised by loving parents as Clark Kent, eventually becoming a symbol of hope for Metropolis. Kara, however, grew up on a floating chunk of Krypton hurtling somewhere out in the galaxy, having witnessed people around her die in terrible ways.
SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW — This science fiction adventure will be based on Tom King and Bilquis Evely's amazing, award-winning recent comics stories and present a Supergirl that viewers are not used to seeing: https://t.co/iDbpyL2kcr #DCStudios pic.twitter.com/zG403MLPRv— DC (@DCComics) January 31, 2023
DC is heading into the horror trajectory with its upcoming Swamp Thing film, which while tonally different, will still 'feed into' the remaining DCU. Very little is known about this movie, but it will focus on the origin story of the beloved character.
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