While Black Adam did not bring about the change in the DC universe that it promised, things are definitely shaking up at Warner Bros. In shocking news, The Hollywood Reporter has revealed James Gunn has been named the co-CEO of DC Studios, and will be sharing CEO responsibilities with long-time Warner Bros. producer Peter Safran. The report confirms that Gunn will handle the creative side of running DC Studios, while Safran will handle the business aspects.
The newly created studio is taking over from DC Films, which offered the DC Extended Universe which has a spotty track record, at best. Overall, given his track record with superhero films both with Marvel and DC, Gunn taking over the creative side of things should excite fans and bring some hope to the future of DC studios.
Why Did The DCEU Struggled All These Years?
Following the massive success of Marvel Studios’ shared universe model, the DC Extended Universe began with Man Of Steel in 2013. Zack Snyder was then given charge over this universe, continuing with Batman V. Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman and then Justice League. However, various issues caused the DCEU to almost implode before it ever had the chance to thrive. Snyder’s vision wasn’t universally beloved, with many complaining it was too dark and broody. Rushing to catch up to Marvel Studios didn’t help either. Changes in Warner Bros. studio administration complicated things. Additionally, allegations of work place abuse from when Joss Whedon took over Justice League after Snyder walked away due to a personal tragedy also hindered the growing cinematic universe.
With all this, the DCEU seemed dead on arrival. However, other movies like The Suicide Squad, which distanced itself from larger in-universe connections, seemed to do well. Joker was released to Oscar-winning acclaim while The Batman was a critical and commercial success. Despite this, nothing seemed unified or connected. With Gunn and Safran at the helm, that might change now.
Get to Know James Gunn And Peter Safran
Gunn and Safran are set to oversee DC’s film, TV and animation projects at the new Warner Bros. Discovery. This can only mean good things to come for a variety of reasons. Gunn has been in the superhero movie sphere for some time, from even before his rise to mainstream success with Guardians Of The Galaxy. But we don’t have to look beyond that movie to see how deeply rooted in comic book lore the filmmaker really is. The Guardians were a completely unknown superhero team that is now a household name, thanks to Gunn.
Safran, on the hand, has produced some of the most successful comic book content of all time, such as Aquaman, Peacemaker and Shazam!. So this perfect blend of creativity and business savvy should be a highly successful partnership. Hopefully, Gunn’s deep knowledge and love for comic books will allow him to stay true to the essence of the source material. While also adapting it into a cinematic universe in a successful way that honours the characters’ legacies, and creates compelling stories.
James Gunn As The Co-CEO of DC Studios Is Brilliant
DC’s multiple projects, with multiple networks, across multiple streams, definitely feels chaotic when compared to Marvel Studios’ more interconnected projects. Everything from the movies to the current TV shows are all in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whereas DC previously had the CW-verse with Arrow and Flash headlining, but those shows are all at an end. They also have a new universe starting with Matt Reeves’ The Batman getting a sequel, a spin-off, and reportedly more. Then there is the upcoming Joker 2 as well, which will reportedly not be under Gunn and Safran. However, everything else moving forward will be under Gunn and Safran’s leadership as co-CEOs of DC Studios.
While the new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslov was originally looking for a Kevin Feige-Type to run the DC side of WBD, it seems he decided to go with a more Pixar approach. This means, instead of one person with a producing background running things, the filmmakers and creatives act as producers and studio heads. Allowing Gunn to be the person who oversees the creative aspects means that we may finally get one creative DC universe where things connect. Gunn’s comic book background also means that the connections will make sense and not be put together haphazardly to pander to audiences.
Gunn is also a painstaking filmmaker who holds himself accountable for his work. Gunn often engages on social media with fans who criticize or wrongly evaluate his work. He often sets the record straight and squashes rumours before they begin. His accessibility and connection to fans will no doubt be a strength when setting DC studios on the right path. No word yet on any new projects under the Gunn and Safran banner, but stay tuned to TVOverMind for updates.
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