Supergirl, Booster Gold, and Batman and Robin in DC Comics

James Gunn Has Revealed His Version of the MCU’s Phases

On Tuesday, James Gunn released a small glimpse of his and Peter Safran’s 10-year plan for the DC Universe (DCU). Gunn and Safran were appointed as co-CEOs of the DCU by David Zaslav, the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery following Warner Bros. merger with Discovery, Inc., on April 8, 2022. As the CEO of the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery, Zaslav quickly set his sights on revitalizing the DCU. This included the shocking cancellation of Batgirl, which was in post-production, as he emphasized quality over quantity and theatrical films above streaming exclusives.

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However, it was Zaslav who initially raised the idea for a ten-year plan for the DCU that would create a truly interconnected universe. He reiterated wanting the new plan to specifically focus on the biggest names in DC Comics, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman. He has since turned things over to Gunn and Safran, who began making some surprising moves. They started by retiring most of the old regiment as they scrapped Wonder Woman 3 and announced they would not be bringing Henry Cavill’s Superman back. There were also talks of recasting Batman and having Jason Momoa leave Aquaman behind to portray Lobo instead.

Initially, some fans were dismayed by the actions of Gunn and Safran. #FireJamesGunn and #RestoreTheSnyderVerse even started trending on Twitter as fans demanded the DCU remain as it is. Now that Gunn has laid out some of his plans for the DC’s future, though, most DC fans are starting to express more interest. In his statement released on Tuesday, he unveiled to fans DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.

What is DCU Chapter One: Gods and Monsters?

DC Comics' Creature Commandos - team of monster superhumans
(DC Comics)

Most are familiar with how the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is divided into Phases and Sagas, which group together films and TV shows that share an overarching storyline or theme. Now, it seems Gunn’s DCU will also feature the division and grouping of films. Instead of Phases, he opted to go with Chapters. He has only unveiled Chapter One so far, which is titled Gods and Monsters. Gunn revealed that the following projects will make up part of Chapter One: Gods and Monsters:

Creature Commandos

Waller

Superman: Legacy

Lanterns

The Authority

Paradise Lost

The Brave and the Bold

Booster Gold

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

Swamp Thing

While these are the projects making up Chapter One, some may be curious about what the Gods and Monsters overarching theme means. Just from looking at the projects, we can see a lot of monsters, such as the military monster team Creature Commandos and Swamp Thing. We can also see “Gods” in Paradise Lost, which will focus on the Olympian-created sanctuary of Themyscira. However, the chapter’s title might not be referring to Gods and Monsters in the literal sense.

During the press conference where Gunn unveiled his Chapter One plans, he stated:

I think our stories in general are, we want to take it away from good guy versus bad guy, and there’s all sorts of really, really almost saintly people, Superman is among them. There are really terrible villains like Gorilla Grodd, or Joker, and then there’s everybody in between. So there’s all these shades of grey of these different types of character, which allows us to tell more complex storytelling.

Hence, “Gods” in the DCU could include heroes like Superman or Supergirl. There is also the issue of heroes like The Authority and Booster Gold potentially trying to play God or seeing themselves as God in the DCU, even if they’re far from being god-like. Then, some Monsters are literal monsters like Swamp Thing, while others might be monstrous humans like Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). As Gunn explained, the Chapter seems to be touching on the general idea of good vs. evil. However, it is doing so in a more nuanced way by exploring what really makes someone a God or a Monster and all the labels that lie in between those two extremes.

(featured image: DC Comics)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.