When director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were first introduced as co-leaders of the newly formed DC Studios, it was essentially a foregone conclusion that sweeping changes were on the way. On Tuesday, it was announced exactly what some those changes will be, and what the implications are for Warner Bros. Discovery’s premium streaming service HBO Max.
The news reveals that while Gunn and Safran aren’t completely hitting the reset button with WBD’s superhero projects, they are making some significant alterations to the schedule. The four DC movies already scheduled for release (“Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “The Flash,” “Blue Beetle” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom”) will still come to theaters, but those and a couple of Batman-related projects are the last vestiges of the old DC regime that will stick around.7-Day Free Trial$9.99+ / month hbomax.com
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From there, the content coming to the new DCU will be all Gunn and Safran. The two plan to use the biggest heroes in the DC universe — Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman — to help bring notoriety to lesser-known characters. Those characters will have a big presence on WBD’s streaming service when HBO Max is combined with discovery+ later this spring.
Gunn has confirmed several new DC series are in the works that are intended to be streaming exclusives, including a series based on Booster Gold, one of the more obscure heroes in the DC lexicon. Other DC-themed TV series in the works at WBD include a “Peacemaker” spin-off featuring Viola Davis’ amoral Amanda Waller, a “True Detective”-style Green Lantern show focusing on two different Lanterns Hal Jordan and John Stewart, and a political intrigue series in the mold of “Game of Thrones” set on Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira.
Intriguingly, the confirmed slate of new shows coming to HBO Max includes an animated series based on DC’s Creature Commandos team. This confirms that WBD did not license away all animation rights to its properties when it struck a deal with Amazon to allow that company to develop animated DC shows on Prime Video.
Gunn spoke about several topics related to the old DCEU. He confirmed that the studio would be open to having Ezra Miller back as The Flash in future projects, but that it would depend on the actor getting their personal life in order. Gunn also broached the topic of Henry Cavill, confirming that while a new “Superman” movie was scheduled for July 2025, Cavill’s approach to the character simply wasn’t right for the new company vision for the character going forward.
DC projects like the sequel to “The Batman” and Todd Phillips’ “Joker” follow-up will continue, under the banner “DC Elseworlds.” All future projects taking place outside of the main DCU narrative timeline will come under this umbrella, — which borrows the concept from the comic line of the same name — but Gunn explained that the bar for greenlighting such projects would be “very high.”
The future of DC media appears bright in the hands of Gunn and Safran. The two certainly have a blueprint to work from now, and it will be fascinating to see what other characters the pair decide to lift out of obscurity to bring to streaming on WBD’s forthcoming unified service.