The recently hired Co-Chairmen and CEOs of the new DC Studios have the weight of the universe on their shoulders—the DC Universe, that is. But it’s okay, they have plenty of superhero friends they can call on for assistance, from Superman and Batman, to Swamp Thing and Booster Gold, to…well, pretty much everyone ever created for DC.
Since being placed in charge of DC’s upcoming slate of films and TV series, the two newly minted execs had to hit the ground running, kickstarting the development process for their first batch of projects—ten of which were announced this morning—while shepherding already existing DC films and TV shows forward. Unsurprisingly, finding ways for it all to coexist was not without its challenges, but by Gunn’s own admission, they were aided by some good fortune.
“I think that we’ve gotten lucky with the next four movies because we have Shazam, which leads into Flash, which resets everything, which then goes into Blue Beetle, which is totally disconnected (from everything that came before) and can be a part of the DCU, which goes into Aquaman, which leads into Superman: Legacy, our first big project,” he explains. “But the one thing that we can promise is that everything from our first project forward will be canon and will be connected. We’re using some actors from the past, we’re not using other actors from the past, but everything from that moment forward will be connected and consistent.”
A key part of DC’s film and television on the near horizon amounts to a combination of both new and already established. Along with new projects like Superman: Legacy, Creature Commandos, The Brave and the Bold and The Authority, fans can expect a few highly anticipated follow-ups, like director Matt Reeves’ The Batman – Part II, which got a release date today of October 3, 2025.
It’s a lot to keep track of, even for superfans like us, so Gunn and Safran recently answered some questions about everything brewing at DC Studios to help give fans a sense of how it will all come together.
On why a shared universe is the right approach going forward…
Peter Safran: DC has had great individual movies over the years, but we think that what the audience really appreciates and needs is a connected universe. It minimizes audience confusion and it maximizes their connectivity to it across all the platforms.
James Gunn: I think that’s something that people love. I know that from my own experience. But again, we do have Elseworlds tales we’re telling. The bar for an Elseworlds tale is going to be higher than the bar for a movie within the DCU. Not that we’re not always going to have a high bar, but it’s got to be something really special for us to tell that story outside of our regular continuity and to spend the money to make it.
On how many movies they’re aiming for each year…
Safran: Probably two movies and two HBO Max series per year.
About how they decide which medium to use for which project…
Gunn: It’s all story-based. To us, storytelling is 100% king. So, if it’s a story that’s more complicated, like the Lanterns or Waller story, or has more of an independent TV vibe, like Booster Gold, then that’s more suited for television. It has to do with tone, storytelling and if it’s something that we can tell in two hours and ten minutes. Or is it something that we need seven, eight or nine hours for?
Safran: We certainly debated a couple of these projects and where they fit better, but ultimately, this is where we landed.
On how they decide on ratings and whether something should be live action or animated…
Gunn: It depends on the story. We’re going to give every story what it deserves. Some things we know. Superman is definitely something we know we’d like to be PG-13, so I’m going to make sure it is. Other things, like the Waller TV show, are a little bit more mature. And we have other things that are aimed a bit more at young women or at kids that are still within this world.
Safran: And in terms of animation, it’s sometimes just a fun way to introduce characters or introduce stories that would frankly be too expensive to be done otherwise.
Gunn: Creature Commandos is a good example of that.
Safran: With Creature Commandos, they’re all digital characters.
On whether they’re planning any big, Justice League-type crossover events…
Gunn: Everything’s crossing over throughout. These characters are all interacting throughout the different stories.
Now, it doesn’t necessarily mean always. Brave and the Bold may just be Batman, Robin and the characters involved in that. But I know a lot of other times these characters cross around. In Creature Commandos, one of the main characters shows up in Waller.
About the role of that games might play in the shared universe…
Gunn: It’s not like we’re going to have the Superman movie come out and have this Superman game come out. It’s more like we’ll have the Superman film come out, then maybe two years later, we have the Supergirl movie coming out. So, what’s the story in between there? Is there a Krypto game that we can play that comes in between them? Something that’s still set in the world with these characters, but is its own thing. We want to give the prominence to games that they deserve.
Whether Matt Reeves’ Batman films will continue…
Gunn: Yes. Matt is working on The Batman – Part II, which he thinks of as a Batman crime saga that also includes the Penguin TV series. The Batman is its own thing. Matt’s hard at work on it. He came in and pitched us some amazing stuff the other day, so our plan is for that to continue.
Safran: Also, The Batman’s not a stepchild. It’s all under DC. We are fully invested in the success of The Batman just like we are everything else.
Gunn: Of course, everything’s going to be balanced so The Brave and the Bold is not going to be coming out in the same six month period as The Batman.
About the Jason Momoa Lobo rumors…
Gunn: Jason will not play two characters.
Safran: It’s too early to say. Jason always thought Aquaman was a trilogy in his own mind, but he also loves Lobo. He’s been very clear about that too. He’s never going to play two characters…
Gunn: …but we’ll figure it out after Aquaman 2.
On whether the animated movies from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will continue…
Gunn: We’re dealing with all that. Some of that stuff will continue as Elseworlds, but a lot of other stuff we’re starting to bring into animation with (Warner Bros. Animation President) Sam Register so that we’ll have things that are connected with this. I think there have been a lot of really marvelous DC cartoons, so we’re going to keep moving forward with that.
On whether they had to make any changes to The Flash…
Safran: We had input on it for sure, but there’s nothing we had to do in order to set up our universe.
Gunn: We’re very close to Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti, the director and producer of The Flash. Andy’s going to be doing some more stuff for us.
About the writers helping to build this story and universe…
Gunn: We have Tom King. He has been my partner throughout all of this. He was giving me answers to sh*t before I took the job. So it’s me; him; Christal Henry, who worked on Watchmen; Christina Hodson, who wrote The Flash; Drew Goddard, who you probably know; and Jeremy Slater, who just did Moon Knight. That’s the group of people we’ve been meeting with and putting all of this together.
On the difference between DC Studios projects…
Gunn: Even though this is all a connected universe, it’s really important to me that the individual writers and directors on the projects give their own self-expression to it, just like they do in the comics. Everything doesn’t always look the same. Everything doesn’t always have the same expression. Different artists bring remarkably different looks, feels and tones. This is not the Gunnverse.
I want each project to have the feelings of the individual artist that’s working on it and to give them a lot of freedom—as long as it works—to create something special because what I’ve found through Marvel, what wasn’t exciting was when movies were tonally the same. What was exciting was when you had something like Guardians come out and everyone was like, “How is this raccoon going to be dealing with this God of Thunder? That’s going to be weird.”
But then when you actually see the mash-up happen, that’s what makes it so fun. So, to see seemingly tonally incongruent things come together is part of the fun of all this.
Did you miss the big announcement? Click here to discover the ten new DC Studios movies and TV series that were announced today and read James Gunn and Peter Safran’s comments on them!
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