In a surprise announcement last night, Guardians of the Galaxy -director James Gunn will be the new anchor for all things DC along with producer Peter Safran.
The duo will now lead the change in the newly-named DC Studios, formerly known as DC Films. Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns DC Studios, has been going through a tumultuous time with CEO David Zaslav making some unpopular decisions, including cancelling a nearly-finished Batgirl film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn will focus on the creative side of things while Safran, who has produced films such as Aquaman, Shazam! and Gunn’s The Suicide Squad for DC, will focus on the business side and production.
The deal will reportedly run for four years and Gunn will exclusively work for DC, crushing any dreams that Gunn would return to Marvel after Guardians of the Galaxy 3 premieres in 2023.
Unlike Marvel, DC is a more complicated beast internally. Rather than having one cinematic universe, they seem to have several. For example, Todd Phillips’ Joker and its upcoming sequel will not fall under Gunn and Safran’s jurisdiction, but will exist as its own thing. Joker: Folie à Deux, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga is about to enter production and will be overseen by Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, two Warner Bros. film bosses.
This year’s smash hit The Batman also exists completely separate from the main DC Extended Universe. Black Adam just recently brought back Henry Cavill’s Superman, which has seemingly altered the fate of that specific universe in unexpected, but exciting ways.
DC films have always paled in comparison to Marvel, it’s biggest competitor. Critics have often noted that DC’s angsty, brooding heroes aren’t quite as well directed and produced as their brighter, jollier Marvel counterparts.
Perhaps Gunn and Safran can change this and finally offer Marvel a worthy opponent in the cinematic market.