This morning, co-CEO of DC Studios James Gunn took to Twitter to reveal the upcoming slate of DCU movies, including Superman, Batman and two Green Lanterns.
These characters will feature prominently in the newly reimagined DC Universe (DCU), a shared, overarching storyline blending films, television, animation, games, and more, all under the watchful eyes of Gunn and Peter Safran, however, Gunn revealed that the DCU will kick off with a bunch of other newly announced projects.
The pair spoke to a room of journalists on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California to reveal the (likely) first 10 projects in the first part of a two-chapter, 8-10 year overarching storyline. The first part of chapter one — of which these new movies and TV shows make up — is being referred to as “Gods and Monsters” and it officially kicks off July 11, 2025 with Superman: Legacy, a brand new live-action Superman film, after which all DC content will take place in the same canon. (DC content that’s not part of the DCU will be labelled “Elseworlds.”)
If you’d like a quick rundown of the upcoming DCU slate, Gunn put up a video explainer on his Twitter.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) January 31, 2023
Alright, let’s get started on explaining what’s going on.
Peter Safran and James Gunn’s plan for the DCU
Kicking things off, let’s talk about some of the already announced projects, starting with Shazam: Fury of the Gods. This film is loosely connected to the DCU “Gods and Monsters” arc, considering that The Flash has always been fairly disconnected from the rest of the DCU and will lead directly into The Flash.
The Flash is going to be where things change massively. Gunn says in the above video that it “resets the entire DC universe”, which to be honest has always on the cards, considering that it’s an adaption of Flashpoint.
From here, things appear to make a turn into James Gunn’s plan for the DCU, after the reset. Blue Beatle will be the first film in the reset universe, followed by Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom.
And now we’ve arrived at the new stuff. All of the images below were specifically provided by DC Studios to Gizmodo as reference.
Creature Commandos is the first new DCU project to be announced in Gunn’s video. It’s an animated series with Gunn writing, which is presented with an important point on the DCU: characters will move into and out of animation, usually with the same voice actor as a theatrical actor.
It will follow the adventures of Rick Flagg Sr. (who’ll appear in other projects), Dr. Phosphorus, Nina Mazursky, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein (described as the lead of the show), G.I. Robot, and Weasel — all of whom are being cast with the thought that if an actor voices them on the show, they will also play them in live action. The above image is from the show.
Waller is next up, with a live-action HBO Max show, involving Team Peacemaker (which you may remember from one of Gunn’s DCU projects, Peacemaker). The creators of HBO’s Watchmen and Doom Patrol are involved.
Next up is the big one, what Gunn describes as “the true beginning of the DCU”: Superman Legacy. It’s being written by James Gunn and he said that it’ll be in theatres on July 11, 2025.
So what’s it about? “It’s not an origin story,” Safran said. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. Superman represents truth, justice, and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old-fashioned.”
“Our stories in general… we want to take it away from good guy versus bad guy,” Gunn added. “There’s really, really almost saintly people. Superman is among them. There are really terrible villains like, you know, Gorilla Grodd, Joker, and then there’s everybody in between. And so there are all these shades of grey of these different types of characters, which allows us to tell more complex stories.”
Then there’s Lanterns, a HBO Max show that we already knew about, involving two Green Lantern protagonists: Hal Jordan (the classic Green Lantern) and John Stewart (the cooler Green Lantern). Gunn says that the lanterns will act like space cops, watching over precinct Earth in a “True Detective-type mystery”. Supposedly they’ll discover a terrifying mystery that’ll tie into the larger DCU story.
This is followed by The Authority. “This is a big movie,” Gunn said. Gunn described the film as a passion project of his, and said he’s currently working on the outline for it with another writer. “The Authority is a very different kind of superhero story,” Gunn continued. “They’re basically good-intentioned, but they think that the world is completely broken and the only way to fix it is to take things into their own hands.
Whether that means, killing people, destroying heads of state, changing governments, or whatever they want to do to make the world better. And we’ll see how that journey goes for them.” The Authority comes from Wildstorm, a comic imprint purchased by DC and Wildstorm characters are all on the table for the DCU.
Next up is Paradise Lost, a story of Paradise Island (otherwise known as Themyscira, where Wonder Woman and the Amazonians are from).
“It’s sort-of like Game of Thrones with Westeros with all of the inhabitants of Paradise Island,” Gunn said. It’s set before Wonder Woman’s birth, and it’s an origin story of how the Amazonians came about and the politics of the island.
Just on Wonder Woman, Gunn said they’ve been talking to Gal Gadot about her Wonder Woman returning, but nothing is finalised.
The DCU’s Batman is up next, with The Brave and the Bold. Matt Reeves’ Batman films are still happening (Gunn said it’s envisioned as a trilogy and called the series, which includes the Penguin TV show, “The Batman Crime Saga”) but will not be part of the DCU. The DCU however will have not just its own Batman, but a Robin too.
“The Brave and the Bold is the story of Batman and his actual son Damian Wayne… Damian Wayne is my favourite Robin that Batman tries to get in line so this is the story of the two of them and the beginning of the Bat family in the DCU”.
Next up is Booster Gold, a live-action HBO Max series about “a loser from the future, who uses his basic future technology to come back to present day and become a superhero so that people will love him,” Gunn said in the video. “It is basically the superhero story of imposter syndrome”.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow will also be adapted as a “science fiction epic film”. Based on Tom King’s run of comics, this movie will explore how Supergirl is different from Superman. “Superman was a guy who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents whereas Supergirl in this story, she is a character who was raised on a chunk of Krypton. She watched everyone around her perish in some terrible way, so she’s a much more jaded character”.
Of course, Sasha Calle plays Supergirl in the upcoming Flash film and Gunn and Safran have not ruled out that she could return in the role. But it’s not set just yet.
And finally, we’ve arrived at Swamp Thing, a movie which is a “very dark horror story and the origins of the monster who is Swamp Thing,” Gunn said. It’s tonally separate from the rest of the DCU, but it’ll feed into the larger universe.
Alright, got all that? Good. Deep breaths, it was a lot to announce.
Make sure you check out our article on every major sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, horror and adventure TV shows and movies hitting streaming services this month.