DC’s ‘The Authority’ is Coming! Here’s Everything We Know
On Tuesday, James Gunn revealed some of his plans for the future of the DC Universe (DCU). He and Safran took over the DCU as co-CEOs in November of last year. For the past few months, they have been working on creating a 10-year plan for the franchise. The first portion of that plan is DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters. There are currently 10 titles (5 films and 5 TV shows) in development that are slated to be a part of Chapter One. One of the most unexpected projects slated for the Chapter is The Authority.
In his statement, Gunn described The Authority as a “passion project” of his and indicated it would be a big live-action feature film. He also briefly described the film, stating it would a follow a group of superheroes who believe the world is “broken” and who are willing to use “any means necessary” to fix it. Gunn teased it would give viewers a very different look at superheroes than they’re accustomed to. The project certainly has potential, as working with unconventional superhero teams is something Gunn has a knack for, as seen with Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad. However, there is no doubt a small level of risk involved considering The Authority members aren’t as universally recognized as the likes of Batman and Superman.
In fact, the comic books featuring The Authority came from Wildstorm Comics, an imprint of DC Comics, rather than DC Comics itself. Wildstorm was an independent publisher before becoming a DC imprint in 1999, hence, several of The Authority members are actually Wildstorm characters introduced before the DC merge. Meanwhile, The Authority had a brief run under DC, but the full original team has not resurfaced since DC shut down the Wildstorm imprint in 2011. Here’s everything we know about the upcoming movie that will feature the rather obscure superhero team from Wildstorm Comics.
The Authority release window
The release date for The Authority has not been confirmed. In fact, the only project in Chapter One to receive a release date was Superman: Legacy. The new Superman film, written by Gunn, will premiere on June 11, 2025. Given that the film has a release date and confirmed progress on the script, it is likely to premiere before The Authority. Hence, The Authority isn’t expected to release until late 2025 or after.
The Authority plot
So far, the plot of The Authority has also been kept under wraps. The only information Gunn revealed was that the film will follow a cynical, pragmatic, and aggressive team of superheroes. While the team was initially created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, several other writers, such as Mark Millar, Frank Quitely, Ed Brubaker, and Dustin Nguyen, have tackled the characters, too. In a tweet, Gunn indicated that he was drawing inspiration from The Authority Omnibus, published in 2019.
The collection follows the entire earlier run of the superhero team under duos like Ellis/Hitch and Quitely/Millar. Hence, it is most likely that the film will follow the earliest iterations of the team. Over the years, many of the original team members were swapped out with new members. Based on Gunn drawing inspiration from the original comics, we’re most likely to see the team’s founding members in the series rather than later iterations of the team. This means The Authority could take on the form of an origin story. However, it could also try to have them interact with other DCU characters. For example, in the comics, The Authority had some note-worthy interactions with Superman. If Gunn chooses, the new Superman could appear in the film, too. There are ultimately many different directions the film could go in.
We can also anticipate the film will be fairly gritty, perhaps matching the tone of The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, and The Boys. Given their sentiment of saving the world by “any means necessary,” the Authority can get pretty violent and aggressive. This actually led to some of the team’s comics being censored, especially during the Millar run. Panels depicting violence and mass destruction were heavily censored. However, the censorship also targeted the homosexual and bisexual relationships depicted within the team. Hopefully, The Authority will remain true to the original spirit of the comics, capitalizing on the grit and also finally bringing some much-needed LBGTQ+ representation to the DCU.
The Authority characters
As said above, The Authority is anticipated to feature the founding members of the superhero team. Ellis and Hitch created the team with seven original members, all with unique powers. These characters are Jenny Sparks, Apollo, Midnighter, The Doctor, The Engineer, Jack Hawksmoor, and Swift. Sparks, also known as the Spirit of the 20th Century, began forming the team with Hawksmoor and Swift. Sparks, Hawksmoor, and Swift had previously worked together on the black ops team known as Stormwatch Black. Unfortunately, the team was disbanded after half of its members were killed. As a result, Sparks decided to form a new and aggressive team called The Authority. In addition to being a Century Baby and greatly influencing the 1900s, she is a metahuman with electricity manipulation powers.
Meanwhile, Swift is a bisexual Tibetan woman whose powers were activated by a passing meteor. As a result, she has the power of flight, as well as claws and talons. Hawksmoor, also known as The God of Cities, had a unique physiology that allowed him to form a symbiotic connection with cities. He was also the alternative leader of The Authority at times. The Doctor is a mantle that has been passed down to numerous characters in DC Comics. Every time a Doctor dies, the powerful sorcerer reincarnates as a new character. Jeroen Thornedike, a recovering addict, became the Doctor and was recruited by The Authority after reluctantly embracing his powers. The Authority also recruited Angela Spica after she became the second Engineer by using her predecessor’s notes to replace her blood with nanotechnology.
Rounding out The Authority are Apollo and Midnighter, the team’s most popular characters. Apollo gained recognition for being one of the first gay superheroes in print, while Midnighter, Apollo’s husband, went on to have some solo adventures outside The Authority. Apollo, when powered by the sun, has Superman-like powers, while Midnighter, in addition to enhanced strength, strength, and reflexes, can predict the outcome of a battle before it occurs.
(featured image: DC Comics)
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