After weeks of chatter and rumor, DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran have finally unveiled 10 different projects that compose the first chapter of a long-term, interconnected universe of movies and shows based on the DC comics characters. Among them: new Superman, Batman, Supergirl, and Swamp Thing feature films, as well as new series built around the Green Lantern, the origins of Wonder Woman’s birthplace, and one centered around Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller character.
These new projects, formally unveiled on Tuesday after a Monday press conference and presentation, form part of the DC Universe (DCU). Each film and series is currently in various states of development and will either be theatrically released features via Warner Bros. or HBO Max series, set to roll out over a span of two to three years. These plans follow the release of the four upcoming DC films still slated for release this year, including “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle,” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”
Chapter 1 of the DCU is titled “Gods and Monsters,” and while the 10 projects revealed Tuesday are currently expected to be included in that first chapter, that may change in time and more projects may be added to that lineup over time. Still, they are only a snippet of what’s to come as part of an eight- to 10-year plan that is spread across multiple chapters and which already includes the bones of what is envisioned as Chapter 2.
“A lot of people are thinking this is going to be Marvel 2.0. It’s not,” Gunn told journalists in the Monday press conference ahead of the full slate reveal, stressing that the films and shows on the slate will be part of the same story but will each have their own tones, styles, and distinct genres. That philosophy also encompasses the other projects within the DC Studios banner.
Safran and Gunn hope to eventually get to the point where they’re releasing between two films and two shows per year. That also doesn’t include other announced projects, such as the upcoming “Joker: Folie a Deux,” the officially titled “The Batman Part II,” or even shows like “Teen Titans Go!” Moving forward, these projects will exist outside of the DCU and will be given the branding “DC Elseworlds,” just as the comics are labeled, as will other DC projects, such as the long in-development Black Superman movie from Ta-Nehisi Coates. But Gunn and Safran will still put their quality control stamp on all of these projects and serve as executive producers on anything that comes from DC Studios.
While writers or directors for any or all of these projects have yet to be locked into place, Gunn and Safran did single out a writers room of people that have been collaborating on the broader vision of the DCU. They include Drew Goddard (“Daredevil,” “The Cabin in the Woods”), Jeremy Slater (“Moon Knight”), Christina Hodson (“The Flash,” “Birds of Prey”), Christal Henry (“Watchmen”), DC comics writer Tom King, and Gunn himself.
Safran and Gunn also addressed the lingering questions with the current stars of DC’s upcoming movies, including 2023 titles “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle,” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”
In recent weeks, various reports have emerged involving a number of upcoming and expected DC projects. News that Henry Cavill would ultimately not return to play Superman, that Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam wouldn’t be a part of the future plans at DC Studios, and that a draft of “Wonder Woman 3” had been scrapped have all circulated.
As for Cavill, he will not return as Superman in Gunn’s “Superman: Legacy” movie, as previously reported, though the casting process has not yet begun for this new Superman. Johnson and a third “Wonder Woman” film were not addressed but were not mentioned in any Chapter 1 plans.
Further, Robert Pattinson, who portrays Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” will not be the Batman of the DCU, nor will former star Ben Affleck. But that doesn’t mean any decision have been made for the likes of other existing stars such as Miller, Zachary Levi, Gal Gadot, or Jason Momoa.
“There’s no reason why any of the characters and the actors playing those characters are not part of the DCU going forward,” Safran reiterated, though no specific plans have been made. They did, however, say that no actor would be playing two separate characters within the DCU.
Gunn hyped the upcoming “Flash” film starring Ezra Miller as one of the best superhero movies ever made and said that film, along with the other new titles, will help to reset the universe before things formally kick off with “Superman: Legacy.” Gunn himself is writing that film, which will serve as something of an official reset to the universe, as any projects that follow it will be consistent with stories and characters.
Among some of the other highlights as part of Gunn and Safran’s massive Chapter 1 reveal: Viola Davis will continue to play Amanda Waller, “Superman: Legacy” has formally been dated for release on July 11, 2025, and “The Batman Part II” will also open October 3, 2025. Plus, there are several other projects still under wraps for Chapter 1 that were considered too secretive to explore at the moment.
Below, we break down each of the 10 projects unveiled on Tuesday.
Clay Enos/DC Comics
The very first project on the DCU slate is “Creature Commandos,” an animated show that is already completely written by Gunn, is in production now, and includes characters such as Weasel and Rick Flag Sr familiar from “The Suicide Squad.” The show will be cast so that voice actors for this show can portray the characters in subsequent live-action projects, and the goal is to be able to tell big stories that can move from animation to live-action and back but do so without spending $50 million per episode on telling such stories. The original DC Comics story followed a military group of superhumans during World War II.
Viola Davis is reprising her role as Amanda Waller in this series that continues the story of Gunn’s “Peacemaker.” Some characters and actors are being changed out, while other characters will use the same actors, and she will be reunited with the team from “Peacemaker.” With Gunn at work on writing “Superman: Legacy,” “Peacemaker” season 2 will be made following that film and “Waller.” Christal Henry and Jeremy Carver (“Doom Patrol”) are writing the series.
Though Gunn previously announced his Superman movie, the film now has a formal title and a tentative release date for July 11, 2025. Gunn is currently writing the film, and Safran hopes Gunn can be convinced to direct as well, but no director has been set. The feature film is stressed as the true start of the DCU, though the film is not considered an origin story for Clark Kent as Superman. Rather, “it focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice, and the American way, and he is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned,” Safran said.
In development now and featuring both Green Lantern characters of Hal Jordan and John Stewart, “Lanterns” is described as in the vein of “True Detective” but that plays a big role in the larger story. A writer is already attached but was not revealed, and Safran and Gunn have already been meeting with actors to play the roles.
Greg Berlanti was previously developing a “Green Lantern” series, but they agreed to part ways over the direction of the project, and he does not currently have another DC Studios project in development.
“The Authority” is a superhero comic originally published by DC Comics under the Wildstorm imprint in 1999 and that first appeared as a team of superheroes in the “Stormwatch” comics. The characters will be integrated into the larger DCU as part of a feature film that branches off from “Superman: Legacy,” and they’re a team that takes what they believe is right for the world into their own hands, regardless of the direction of other countries, governments, or heroes. A basic story has already been written, but no writer was revealed.
Described as “Game of Thrones” meets “Wonder Woman,” “Paradise Lost” is a series that explores the origins of Themyscira, the home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman. The drama series explores the political intrigue of a society and island of all women, as well as the beautiful and ugly truths that go into creating such a society. The series will take place before the birth of Diana.
“The Brave and the Bold”
“The Brave and the Bold” is a film that will serve as the introduction of the DCU Batman and the DCU Robin, in this case Damian Wayne, or Bruce Wayne’s son whom he didn’t know existed for the early years of his life. The film will be based on Grant Morrison’s run of Batman comics, and the film explores the father and son dynamics between Batman and Robin.
As stated earlier, neither Robert Pattinson nor Ben Affleck will portray Batman in this iteration. However, Pattinson still stars in “The Batman Part II,” which will open in theaters October 3, 2025.
Considered a fan favorite in DC Comics lore, “Booster Gold” is about a loser from the future who uses basic futuristic technology to return to present day and pretend to be a superhero. The project will be a series for HBO Max. The character was first created in 1986 by Dan Jurgens.
“Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow”
Based on Tom King’s acclaimed comic of the same name that was just released in July 2022, “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” is a feature film fresh take on Supergirl and follows the story of Kara Zor-El, who had a more disturbing and darker origin story than Superman before she finally made her way to Earth. The take on it is described as a much more “hardcore” take than audiences are used to seeing from the Supergirl character.
A horror film that differs in tone from the other stories of the DCU but will still integrate into the larger universe down the road, “Swamp Thing” explores the dark origins of the Swamp Thing monster.
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