James Gunn and Peter Safran recently unveiled their new DC slate on January 31, 2023, at the DC event held in Burbank, California. They revealed five films and five TV shows, which will be a part of the first chapter of their DC Universe, dubbed Gods and Monsters. Gunn has also said that what they have revealed is not the entire first chapter but rather a part of it.
In addition, he has confirmed that his DC Universe will be connected across film, television, animation and video games. Therefore, the actors who will play certain DC roles in films and television series will voice the same characters in animation and video games to ensure consistency. While unveiling his new slate, James Gunn admitted that a major flaw in the DCEU is its disconnectivity, and that it is his and Safran's job to fix it:
"So as many of you know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time. And one of our jobs, mine and Peter is to come in and make sure the DCU is connected in film, television, animation and gaming."
Fans are polarized over James Gunn's admission of DCEU disconnectivity
As mentioned above, James Gunn has confirmed a major problem that has plagued the DCEU franchise for a long time: disconnectivity. While some fans agreed, others did not share the same opinion.
According to the DC fans who support him, the disconnectivity problem has persisted around the time of and following the release of the Justice League. While films like Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Justice League remain connected through their linear plotlines. Other films within the DCEU, such as Shazam!, Aquaman, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984, and The Suicide Squad, seem to be largely set in their own worlds, with connections to other characters being minor references and easter eggs at best.
Meanwhile, the other side of the fandom opposed to Gunn's assessment. Some even opined that Peacemaker managed to break the disconnectivity to an extent by featuring Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Ezra Miller's Flash in a cameo appearance on the final episode of the first season. Superman and Wonder Woman also appeared, played by stand-in actors instead of Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot.
Cavill then made a cameo appearance in the post-credit scene of Black Adam, which was to set up an eventual showdown with the titular antihero, only for it to be for naught, as James Gunn revealed that Cavill would not be playing Superman again as he was rebooting the Superman franchise.
Three of the next four films on the old DC slate, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, will be set in their respective worlds. In the meantime, The Flash will serve as the connective tissue between the old DCEU (Snyderverse) and Gunn's new DC Universe by resetting the previous timeline with the new one.
Moreover, Gunn has promised fans that moving forward, his DC Universe will be connected and maintain consistency across film, television, animation, and gaming.
Peter Safran even cited John Cena's Peacemaker as an example of what Gunn was implying while speaking to Collider, saying:
"They will also have to go back and forth between film and television because there’s no demarcation for us. If you’re John Cena playing Peacemaker in the movie, you’re playing him in the TV series as well. So that’s a very important part of what we’re doing."
Thus, fans can rest assured that there will be cohesion and connectivity in Gunn's DC Universe through his upcoming projects.
James Gunn says flagship characters such as Batman and Superman will interact with lesser-known ones like Swamp Thing and The Authority
Since James Gunn has promised that the newer projects in his DC Universe will be connected, flagship characters such as Superman and Batman will interact more with the new and obscure DC characters like Creature Commandos, Swamp Thing and The Authority. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, he said:
"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,"
Peter Safran added to Gunn's statement saying that the latter's approach was to build the lesser-known DC properties into flagship properties:
"To build those lesser known properties into the diamond properties of tomorrow."
Both of them then admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that plans could change but that the projects they unveiled are planned to be part of the initial slate.
The upcoming projects are as follows:
- Superman: Legacy (film)
- The Authority (film)
- The Brave and the Bold (film)
- Swamp Thing (film)
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (film)
- Waller (TV series)
- Creature Commandos (animated series)
- Lanterns (TV series)
- Paradise Lost (TV series)
- Booster Gold (TV series)
James Gunn has said that the first two chapters of the DC Universe have been planned out is part of their eight-to-ten year plan. Speaking to comicbook.com he said:
"The eight to 10 year plan is two chapters and there's an ending to our basic story that we tell there, but it's not the ending of the universe. So now, will Peter and I be here beyond that time?"
As such, the last part of the statement is interesting. Gunn's contract with DC is confirmed by Warner Bros. to be only slated for four years, hinting that the filmmaker might leave DC by the time the second chapter rolls around.
However, James Gunn did not confirm if he was leaving or staying:
"I'm already tired. I'm already tired. It's been two months. But there is those first two chapters are worked out and then it can keep going after that."
As of now, nothing else has been revealed about Gunn's DC universe. Fans can only hope that Gunn stays true to his words and finally gives the fans an interconnected universe with quality storytelling.