Recently, DC announced the first wave of James Gunn’s new offerings!
James Gunn, who has brought us Peacemaker and Suicide Squad previously, has been put in charge of the newly created DC Studios within Warner Bros. Discovery. He and Peter Safran are the co-CEOs of the organization.
Back in late January, the initial slate of programming was announced, and it all comes under the heading of “Gods and Monsters.”
Gunn is making everything coming out to be part of a larger story—some more closely tied in, others not so much. Also, they will go across the mediums of TV, movies, and animation.
The first chapter is Creature Commandos, an animated show on TV. After that will come Waller, based on Amanda Waller played by Viola Davis. That’s a live action show.
The next one is a movie—Superman: Legacy, focusing on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. It’s going to showcase a different actor playing the Man of Steel.
Then comes Lanterns, highlighting both Hal Jordan and John Stewart on HBO. It’s described as being “very much in the vein of True Detective.”
Another movie is next—The Authority, a “passion project” for Gunn, about “good guy versus bad guy.” A television series based on the birthplace of Wonder Woman will follow that, and it will be called Paradise Lost, described as a Game of Thrones with the inhabitants of Paradise Island.
Then there’s The Brave and the Bold, a movie focusing on Batman’s biological son Damian Wayne. After that is a TV series called Booster Gold, which is “basically the superhero story of imposter syndrome.”
Based on the comic with the same name will be the movie Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. Original writer Tom King will be involved.
Finally, there’s a movie based on Swamp Thing. It’ll be a dark horror film.
Gunn has said how “incredibly important” the DC characters are to him.
“Storytelling is always king. That’s all that matters, and I want to be true to those stories,” he said in a social media video. “I want to be true to you guys and really give you something that you’ve never seen before.”
Of course, the reaction to all of this is all over the spectrum of responses. Some hate it, some love it, some are not sure what to make of it.
People who are hoping DC sells the rights to Zack Snyder’s Justice League to Netflix are against it, mostly. Most Marvel fans are mad Gunn apparently isn’t making any more Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Some folks who haven’t been a fan of DC’s characters are giving Gunn a chance. Others aren’t.
Basically, the Flash’s recent film reset all the DCU, it’s said. Some films already in the making will be released, including the new Shazam! picture, the second Aquaman movie, and the second film about The Batman. Of course, the recent Batgirl movie was bagged before it was ever released.
All of these four are considered outside the “Gunn-iverse,” as I like to call it. They’re like “imaginary stories” used to be in DC Comics.
As a long-time fan of DC Comics, I was curious to see how some of my friends were responding to all this. When I have shown the new slate to people I know, most of them had the same reaction—“Oh.” It was like, “it’s a series of programs, all right.” Not a lot of enthusiasm.
I’m not sure I would have given all of the DCU to Mr. Gunn and all since they don’t have a lot of experience running something like this before. Granted, when Bruce Timm was put in charge of Batman: The Animated Series, it was golden! Can lightning strike twice?
I have reservations about this entire “one storyline” idea. If it sucks, the entire bunch will be tough to take. I kind of liked this notion that every character could have his or her own adventures without having all of them tied together.
I’m also happy for J. M. deMatteis, who was one of the creators of Creature Commandos. I just don’t think I would lead with them, though!
On the other hand, if it is all terrific, well, I’ll be happy! Just don’t have Darkseid there able to remove half the universe by snapping his fingers, okay? Been there, done that! I also don’t want to see any more superhero dance numbers to open shows!
I’ll admit it—I’m still sore about Henry Cavill not being Superman any longer. Or Ben Affleck playing Batman. Those have been my favorite actors portraying those characters to date. The final word is still out about Gal Gadot being Wonder Woman.
As I’ve previously mentioned here, DC’s going to be putting out a whole new crop of comics based on the heroes we haven’t seen much of lately. I’ll be supporting them, of course! Looks like they will all be supporting each other, DCU, and comics.
All this is just the first “chapter” of Gunn’s reworking of DC’s movie/TV/animation universe. I hope that it really is great! However, I’m not all that certain it will be. So I’ll be observing and hoping, wanting it to work. If it doesn’t, well, they’ll just scrap everything and start over—again!
So, for me, the jury is still out! I want to see some products before I decide how I feel about it all!