James Gunn’s DC Plans Include ‘The Batman’ Sequel, Superman, Wonder Woman, and More
Since James Gunn and Peter Safran took over DC Studios, fans have been anxiously awaiting news of the pair’s plans for the future of the franchise—beyond Henry Cavill’s exit and the cancellation of Wonder Woman 3. Today, Gunn and Safran formally announced the first wave of titles, including the sequel to The Batman, a Green Lantern TV series, and the long-delayed release of one of the last vestiges of Zack Snyder’s DC universe—The Flash.
Gunn and Safran held a small press conference to unveil “just a few” of their plans for the DC movie universe. The franchise will be split into parts, the first of which is Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters (a likely nod to the Justice League movie/arc) and will focus on DC’s major heroes. “One of our strategies is to take our diamond characters, which is Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and we use them to prop up other characters that people don’t know,” says Gunn.
Gunn and Safran have already assembled a writers room to help build out a “unified” DC universe, while standalone projects like Todd Phillips’ Joker and its upcoming sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux, will be under the DC Elseworlds brand—a sort of catch-all for alternative takes on existing characters/stories and one-offs.
In addition, films that were already set for release this year will proceed as planned: Shazam! Fury of the Gods (starring everyone’s new favorite anti-vaxxer) will arrive on March 17, The Flash (starring the exceedingly troubled Ezra Miller) will debut on June 16, followed by Blue Beetle on August 18, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 25.
Here are all the new DC film and TV projects Gunn and Safran announced today:
Matt Reeves’ sequel to The Batman has been given a release date of October 3, 2025. Titled The Batman Part II, little is known about the sequel, in which Robert Pattinson will reprise his role as the brooding caped crusader. With Gunn and Safran introducing the DCU’s primary Batman in The Brave and the Bold (more on that in a moment), Reeves’ films will exist under the Elseworlds banner.
The next Superman movie has been given a July 11, 2025 release date. Safran noted that this one “is not an origin story, adding, “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness as old-fashioned.” So … he’s Superman. Other than that, it seems that not much has changed since Gunn previously revealed that he may write and direct the next Superman movie, which will feature a younger version of the hero.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
Inspired by Tom King’s miniseries, Woman of Tomorrow offers a dark counterpoint to the Man of Steel. “We will see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant, versus Supergirl, 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,” the pair said.
Safran described the new Green Lantern live-actions series as “in the vein of True Detective,” noting that it will be “terrestrial-based.” The series will feature Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and, Safran says, it “plays a really big role in leading into the main story we are telling across film and TV.”
The Brave and the Bold
As indicated by the title, The Brave and the Bold is inspired by Grant Morrison’s iconic comic book series in which Batman meets his son, who really sucks. “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman, of Bruce Wayne, and also introduces our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch,” said Gunn.
Set on Wonder Woman’s home island Themyscira, Gunn and Safran compared Paradise Lost to Game of Thrones—and while they didn’t clarify, let’s hope they mean the first few seasons and not whatever the hell those last two were. Given that this TV series will take place before the events of the two Wonder Woman films, we’ll probably be seeing a younger version of the hero.
Another series for HBO Max, Booster Gold is, per Safran, “about a loser from the future who uses basic future technology to come back to today and pretend to be a superhero.” Gunn described it as “imposter syndrome as superhero.”
Creature Commandos is an animated series about a group of famous monsters assembled to battle Nazis. There are seven episodes of the series, which sounds timely and is very much in Gunn’s wheelhouse. The key art features a Frankenstein’s monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, and a Chupacrabra-esque creature that is almost certainly Weasel, last seen in Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2.
Viola Davis will return as Amanda Waller for a Peacemaker TV spinoff written by Doom Patrol creator Jeremy Carver and Christal Henry, whose credits include Damon Lindelof’s excellent Watchmen series. What else needs to be said? Viola Davis. Your TV. That’s it. That’s the pitch.
The Authority is a movie based on the comic book of the same name published by Wildstorm in the ’90s. It will follow a team of heroes who use “extreme” methods to protect the environment—another timely concept. “One of the things of the DCU is that it’s not just a story of heroes and villains,” Gunn explained. “Not every film and TV show is going to be about good guy vs. bad guy, giant things from the sky comes and good guy wins. There are white hats, black hats and grey hats.” Safran compared the heroes to Jack Nicholson’s character in A Few Good Men.
Finally: A horror film based on Swamp Thing. It’s what DC fans crave. And according to Gunn and Safran, the Swamp Thing movie will mark the end of the first chapter of the new DC universe.
(featured image: Daniel Knighton, Getty Images)
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