James Gunn Unveils His New DCU Slate With Reboots of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and More
The DCEU is dead. Long live the DC Universe. After months of anticipation and much speculation, new DC Film heads James Gunn and Peter Safran held a press conference to unveil the first slate of projects in their new, unified vision. Chapter One of the DCU will be called “Gods and Monsters,” consisting of five movies and five television series that will interconnect between 2025 and 2027.
Gunn stressed that this isn’t everything they have planned for Chapter One, but rather, just a sampling of the projects he’s cooked up with a writers’ room of talent that includes Christian Hodson (Birds of Prey), Jeremy Slater (Moon Knight), Drew Goddard (Cloverfield), Christal Henry (HBO’s Watchmen), and comic writer Tom King. Nevertheless, that sampling remains deeply ambitious with new Superman and Batman movies, another bite at the Green Lantern apple, a Wonder Woman prequel series, and much more. Here’s a full breakdown of what’s to come for the future of the DCU.
Ezra Miller’s Flash Lives On?
It seemed reasonable to assume that after the last four movies leftover in the DCEU slate set to release this year—Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17), The Flash (June 16), Blue Beetle (August 18), and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (December 25)—Gunn would recast those respective roles or else ignore those films altogether, but Safran confirmed that may not exactly be the case. “These four movies are terrific. There’s no reason why any of the characters or the actors that play in those characters are not part of the DCU. There’s nothing that prohibits that from happening. “We’ll incorporate characters from the past, but mostly we’ll cast anew.”
Gunn made specific comments about the Flash star Ezra Miller, stating the door isn’t closed for continued projects, stating: “Ezra is completely committed to their recovery. We are fully supportive of that journey they are on right now. When the time is right, when they are ready to have that discussion, we will all figure out what the best path forward.” Gunn went on to declare The Flash as “one of the greatest superhero movies ever made,” so either he’s fitting into that company man role rather nicely, or it really is that good—which would explain why a corporation is so hesitant to cut ties with the increasingly problematic Miller.
Speaking of problematic: Gunn responded to Shazam! star Zachary Levi’s seemingly anti-vax tweet from the weekend by saying he “can’t be changing my plans all the time because an actor says something that I don’t agree with.”
Creature Commandos Kicks Things Off on a Weird Note
Based on a team of heroes that debuted back in 1980’s Weird War Tales, Creature Commandos will be a seven-episode animated series written by Gunn. The team was initially a grouping of classic monsters founded to fight Nazis, but Gunn states the project will be a modern update of the concept. The full line-up brings back some favorites from Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, including Rick Flag’s father, Rick Flag Sr., and Weasel, alongside characters Nina Mazursky, Doctor Phosphorus (shoutout Batman Beyond), Eric Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein (she’ll serve as the team’s leader), and G.I. Robot, according to reports. While there’s not a cast in place yet, production is well underway already with an eye towards performers who are well-suited to both voice acting for animation and portraying the team in live-action.
Waller Continues the Peacemaker Story
Viola Davis will reprise her role as shadowy government official Amanda Waller, this time in her own HBO Max series, spinning off from Gunn’s Peacemaker. Helmed by Christal Henry and Jeremy Carver of the Doom Patrol series, the show will see Waller partner with members of “Team Peacemaker” for a mission that’s “out of this world.” Considering Peacemaker focused on an alien invasion, we might see this series pick up on some of those threads.
A New Superman Reboot Will Officially Start the DCU
Gunn calls his upcoming Man of Steel film, Superman: Legacy, the “true beginning of the DCU” stressing that while it (thankfully) won’t be a true-blue origin story, it will explore the younger days of the character. Superman: Legacy will see Kal-El balance his Kryptonian roots with human childhood. Gunn stated that this version of Superman is “the embodiment of truth justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness as old-fashioned,” hinting at a depiction that hews closer to Supes’ trademark character traits and away from some of the moodier updates seen in the Snyderverse. Legacy hits on July 11, 2025.
Notably, the artwork shared here is from Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly’s All-Star Superman, universally hailed as the modern Superman story, which reimagines the 12 Labors of Hercules for a Superman at the end of his life. Legacy probably won’t draw on that specific story since this is a reintroduction, but anticipate scenes and tone—like this beautiful moment where Superman saves a suicidal girl—to find their way into Gunn’s script. Gunn is currently only committed to writing the script, but considering this is the DCU’s first big project, it seems inevitable that he’ll step up to direct.
Gunn’s Key to Another Swing at Green Lantern? True Detective
The “terrestrial-based” Lanterns series will focus on the two most notable holders of that mantle: Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Gunn described the series as the DCU’s version of True Detective, with Jordan and Stewart’s galactic space cops investigating a “terrifying” mystery that will tie into the larger DCU story. (A few other fan-favorite Lanterns will appear as well.) Green Lantern projects are among the most notorious of DC failures historically, most notably Ryan Reynolds’ much-maligned 2011 Green Lantern movie, but hopefully, an HBO budget and Gunn and Safran’s taste level can help the series shine bright.
The Authority Is Here to Kick Ass
Based on the Wildstorm (an influential sub-publishing line within DC that hit its peak in the 90s) series of the same name, The Authority will chart the story of a superhero group that’s not afraid to assert their unique (and often violent) methods of protecting the planet. Gunn called it a “very different look” at superheroes, as the team will battle using “any means necessary.”
In a recent comic book run, none other than Superman is the leader of The Authority, which was met with some surprise by fans. Gunn commented on that connection, stating that the project was “really connected” to the Man of Steel, so anticipate this film to have some connectivity tissue there.
Paradise Lost is Wonder Woman’s Game of Thrones
The HBO Max series Paradise Lost will explore the early days of Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira and takes place before Diana’s birth as the isle without men begins to establish itself. Full of political machinations, Gunn’s comp was, unsurprisingly, Game of Thrones as various Amazonians jockey to control the throne. Think of it as the Cersei vs. Olenna Tyrell season of Thrones—but extended to a whole series.
Batman Gets a Reboot — and a Son
You may not know it by the recent, dour cinematic tales, but Batman is a canonical sex haver in the comic books—to the point of having a son named Damien. A new Bat-film from Gunn called The Brave and the Bold will explore the complicated family dynamics between Bruce and his son, who dons the Robin mantle—despite being raised by assassins from the League of Shadows. Inspired by the Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly series, Gunn told reporters that Damien is “a little son of bitch,” who will keep Bruce on his toes.
Gunn specifically stated Ben Affleck would not return to the role, but they remain in touch with America’s most famous Dunkin’ lover about directing a future project.
But, The Batman Will Continue
Speaking of the Caped Crusader, the new trilogy jump-started by Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson last year will live on, parallel to Gunn and Safran’s efforts. The anticipated sequel now has a date, October 3, 2025, and an official title: The Batman Part II. The Colin Farrell Penguin series is still a go as well and will serve as a bridge between the first film and the sequel.
Additionally, Gunn stated that Reeves’ movie, the Joker sequel, and the still-gestating Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Superman movie will fall into a clearly labeled DC Elsewheres branding to delineate that they’re separate from the DCU.
Booster Gold is “Imposter Syndrome” Meets Back to the Future II
The next HBO Max series will focus on the cult favorite, Booster Gold. Michael Jon Carter, a janitor from the future, steals superhero tech and travels to our modern day in hopes of being a hero, Gold is described as “imposter syndrome as superhero,” and will likely skew more towards the comedic side of things. A Booster Gold project written by Thor’s Zack Stentz was completed in 2019 and passed along to Greg Berlanti to direct, but it’s likely that version won’t be re-used here.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow Is Galactic True Grit
Based on the recent Tom King and Bilquis Evely mini-series of the same name, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, will be a film featuring a darker take on Supergirl. In King’s story, a hardened and jaded Supergirl ends up being enlisted by a young girl to avenge the death of her father, a la True Grit. Gunn says the tale will highlight the difference between Superman’s upbringing on Earth versus Supergirl, who was “raised on a rock, a chip off of Krypton, and who watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life and then come to Earth. She is much more hardcore and not the Supergirl we’re used to.”
Swamp Thing Will Bring Things to a Scary Close
The horror-film Swamp Thing will bring Gunn’s first chapter of the DCU to a close. Little information was provided about the movie other than it’s a “very dark” story that’s “totally outside of the DCU but will still feed into the rest of the stories.” In the comics, scientist Alec Holland is murdered after a bomb goes off and becomes an avatar of “The Green,” with the full command of nature at his will. Considering Gunn is positing Swamp Thing as a horror tale, anticipate the project tweaking the origins and leaning into Cronenberg-style body horror while functioning as an environmental conservation tale.
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