Get ready for a new era of superheroes. James Gunn and Peter Safran, the newly appointed overlords of DC Studios within Warner Bros. Discovery, have unveiled a tantalizing glimpse into the future of the rebooted DCU. In a recent press event, they presented their highly-anticipated Gods and Monsters series, marking the beginning of an exciting new era in the DC universe.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 31, 2023
Fans will witness major heroics from the likes of Superman, Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. And for the more eclectic DC fans, we’ve got some lesser-known heroes, like Booster Gold and Swamp Thing, joining the party. Safran and Gunn assure us that all these projects will exist in one singular universe, although the DCU will still be a multiverse. This is the most robust vision for DC’s future in scripted entertainment since WB’s first attempt to build a universe to rival Marvel’s in 2014.
“DC Studios is unprecedented,” Safran said. “It is a standalone production entity and studio. It is the first time ever that everything DC related — film, television, live-action, animation, gaming — is all centralized under one creative vision, that of James and myself.”
Unfortunately, the execs were a bit tight-lipped on the specifics. No directors are attached to the projects yet (although they hinted at being “very close” to signing a couple), and no actors are confirmed either. However, the one exception is Viola Davis, who’ll be starring as Amanda Waller in the HBO Max series Waller. And there’s still hope for Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, and Zachary Levi to reprise their roles as Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Shazam. But Henry Cavill’s Superman is hanging up his cape for good.
To weave this epic story, Gunn has gathered a writers’ room of heavy hitters like Drew Goddard, Jeremy Slater, Christina Hobson, Christal Henry, and Tom King. And some of these writers will continue to work on DCU projects, with Christal Henry co-showrunning Waller.
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Gunn and Safran promise to release roughly two films and two TV series per year without sacrificing quality for deadlines. They’re not taking any shortcuts and won’t start production until the scripts are finished. This slate will run through 2027, with Superman: Legacy and The Batman Part II already having set release dates.
“We sat down in a room for a few days and we started to bash out what the basic overall plan could be,” Gunn said. “Not so much that it ties your wrists, but enough that we know what the basic story is, where we’re going. And it’s something that we’ll continue to do.”
Here are all of the projects that Gunn and DC Studios have announced:
- FILM: Superman: Legacy, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Swamp Thing, The Authority
- TV: Booster Gold, Paradise Lost, Green Lantern, Amanda Waller, Creature Commandos
DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters – Film and TV Schedule
DCU Feature Films
Superman: Legacy | Release Date: July 11, 2025
The upcoming Superman: Legacy film will kickstart the DCU, but it won’t be your average origin story. Instead, it’ll showcase the Man of Steel trying to balance his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. James Gunn is writing the script, with hopes of directing it as well, and the film is set to release on July 11, 2025. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav had made it clear that rebooting Superman was a top priority, and it’s no shocker that Gunn and Safran are starting with the world’s most recognizable superhero.
The Authority | Release Date TBA
The movie Superman: Legacy will lead into The Authority, a film about a group of superhumans who have a controversial method of saving the world. The characters are from Wildstorm, launched as an independent entity under DC Comics and later became part of the main DC comics universe through the New 52 initiative. Based on the comic of the same name created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, the film will showcase a diverse range of storytelling that is not just centred on heroes and villains. The movie will explore the questionable actions of the Authority, a team that believes drastic measures are necessary to fix the world. Gunn and Safran compare the characters to Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. The movie is currently being written, although the screenwriter has not been revealed.
The Brave and the Bold | Release Date: TBA
The Brave and the Bold will showcase the DCU’s Batman, distinct from Robert Pattinson’s version in The Batman movies, and introduce the “Bat family”, with Robin as the first among them. This version of Robin is Damian Wayne, who Gunn describes as a “little son of a bitch,” an “assassin”, and a “murderer.” He is Bruce Wayne’s biological son, unknown to him for the first 8 to 10 years of Damian’s life, and the story revolves around their father-son relationship. The film is based on the Batman comics written by Grant Morrison, who has been a significant influence on the DCU and will feature the writing of Tom King, who was involved in the DCU writers’ room.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow | Release Date: TBA
Woman of Tomorrow, a feature film based on the comic book series of the same title by Tom King, will introduce Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin, as a unique and different version of Supergirl. Unlike Superman, who was raised on Earth by loving parents from infancy, Supergirl was raised on a Krypton rock chip and experienced the loss of loved ones through traumatic events for the first 14 years of her life. According to Gunn, this experience has made her a “much more hardcore” character and will also feature Krypto, the superdog.
Swamp Thing | Release Date TBA
Swamp Thing is set to be the most unique addition to the DCU, exploring the dark origin of the titular character through the lens of horror, according to Safran. Gunn parallels the initial scepticism around the Guardians of the Galaxy joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe but believes Swamp Thing will “one-up” that approach. The film will delve deeper into horror yet still allow interaction between Swamp Thing and other characters.
DCU TV Shows
Creature Commandos | Release Date: 2024
The first project approved by Safran and Gunn is an animated series for HBO Max, with Gunn writing every episode. The series, already in production, features the Creature Commando characters introduced in 1980. The original concept centred on Frankenstein’s monster joining forces with a werewolf, vampire, and gorgon to fight Nazis during World War II, but Gunn’s version features different characters such as Weasel from “The Suicide Squad”, and Rick Flag Sr. Animation provides the opportunity to tell large-scale stories without the high cost. The voice actors cast for the animated series will also play their respective roles in the DCU’s live-action movies.
Waller | Release Date: 2024
Due to James Gunn’s focus on Superman: Legacy, the production of season 2 of Peacemaker has been delayed. Instead, the Peacemaker team will be featured as a continuation of the show in the form of Waller. This new show will be executive produced by Jeremy Carver, the creator of “Doom Patrol”, and Christal Henry from the DCU writers’ room. According to Safran, Henry and Carver’s work on Waller is exceptional, and Gunn called it the “greatest show ever”. Creature Commandos and Waller are expected to be released before Superman: Legacy and serve as an appetizer for the DCU.
Lanterns | Release Date: TBA
Safran and Gunn are particularly excited about the upcoming series Lanterns. According to Safran, it will be a high-quality, HBO-style event reminiscent of the hit show True Detective. The show will centre around two members of the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan and John Stewart, as they work together to uncover a mystery that will play a crucial role in the overarching story across the DCU film and TV universe. Unlike a previous Green Lantern series that was in development, this iteration will be more grounded in a detective-style investigation on Earth, as opposed to a space opera.
Paradise Lost | Release Date: TBA
The upcoming story set on the island of Themyscira prior to the birth of Diana (a.k.a. Wonder Woman) has been described as reminiscent of Game of Thrones. It will focus on the political dynamics within a society of all women and explore questions such as the origin of the island and the power struggles between different players in the society. This concept bears similarities to the Paradise Island Lost comic series by Phil Jimenez and George Pérez, which chronicled a civil war on Themyscira. Still, the new story will not directly feature Wonder Woman.
Booster Gold | Release Date: TBA
Booster Gold, the latest addition to the DCU, ventures into comedic territory. The character, also known as Mike Carter, is well-loved by dedicated fans, though not widely known by casual audiences. Safran described him as a failure from the future who travels back in time with advanced technology to falsely portray himself as a superhero. The story takes place in the 25th century and follows Mike, a once-famous football player, as he uses a time machine from the Metropolis Space Muse m. Gunn added that the series explores the theme of impostor syndrome through the lens of a superhero.
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