NEW YORK — New DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran debuted their plans for a revamped and newly unified DC Universe of films and television series, including a new Superman film in 2025, a Wonder Woman prequel and a Batman movie that won't star Robert Pattinson.
In all, Gunn and Safran laid out plans for five new films and five new series in a presentation Tuesday that they said would constitute much of the first chapter — themed as “Gods and Monsters” — in an ambitious eight- to 10-year plan to reshape the DCU. After years of fitful success and some much-maligned duds, Gunn and Safran are making their bid for some cohesion and fresh creativity in Warner Bros.' comic book empire.
After a several inherited projects debut in the next two years — including “The Flash,” with Ezra Miller, which Gunn said “resets the entire DC Universe” — their slate will launch with “Superman: Legacy" on July 11, 2025. Gunn is writing that film, which is described as about Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. No casting has yet been announced, though Henry Cavill has departed the role despite a recent cameo in 2022's “Black Adam” — a sequel to which also isn't part of Gunn and Safran's plans despite Dwayne Johnson's impassioned lobbying.
Who's in and who's out at DC has been the subject of much conjecture since October, when Gunn and Safran were named co-chairmen and co-chief executive officers of DC Studios. Among those making the cut: Viola Davis' Amanda Waller, the Swamp Thing and a Batman and Robin film.
First, Robert Pattinson's Batman will return in Matt Reeves' “The Batman Part II,” opening Oct. 3, 2025. That film, though will lie outside the DCU and — like Todd Phillips 2024 “Joker” sequel — be labeled “DC Elsewhere" to signify that it stands outside the central, overlapping DC universe. Another Caped Crusader film, though, is coming at an unknown date: “The Brave and the Bold,” a Batman and Robin tale inspired by Grant Morrison's comic series.
Also coming is “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow,” based on Tom King's comics, and a big-screen standalone for the Swamp Thing. The all-women island birthplace of Wonder Woman will also be the setting of a drama series titled “Paradise Lost.” Some series will mix animated and live-action interpretations of DC characters. The animated “Creature Commandos," the first season of which was written by Gunn, features Davis' Waller and a black ops team, while the live-action “Waller” will star Davis and be written by Christal Henry ("Watchman" ) and Jeremy Carver ("Supernatural"). The planned series “Lanterns” will feature multiple Green Lanterns.
Gunn first came to DC after directing Marvel's well-regarded “Guardians of the Galaxy” films. When the Walt Disney Co. temporarily dropped Gunn, he jumped to DC and made the supervillain film “The Suicide Squad,” a kind of blockbuster do-over that followed David Ayer's much-maligned “Suicide Squad." He and the veteran producer Safran came aboard with several upcoming DC films already on their way to theaters, including “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” (out March 17), “The Flash" (out June 16) and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom” (Dec. 25).
In a taped video message post on social media, Gunn pledged that the new DC Universe will be characterized by filmmaker freedom and distinctive narratives.
“I knew that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that's very different,” Gunn said. “One of the things that's very important for me in all of these movies and TV series is that the director's vision and the vision of the writers and all of the creators is unique and something special. Storytelling is always king. That's all that matters to us.”
DC film projects:
"Superman: Legacy": A look at Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage and human upbringing, written by Gunn. The film's release date is set for July 2025.
"The Authority": Based on the WildStorm comics, good-intentioned but morally grey characters take fixing the world into their own hands.
"The Brave and the Bold": The story of Bruce Wayne's son Damian, who was raised as a "little murderer and assassin" without Wayne's knowledge. Based on the comics of Grant Morrison. Gunn noted that this film will be separate from "The Batman" starring Robert Pattinson and its upcoming sequel.
"Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow": A "harsher" look at Supergirl based on the comics by Tom King.
"Swamp Thing": A film about Swamp Thing's "dark origins."
DC television projects:
"Creature Commandos": An animated HBO Max series, already written by James Gunn. Gunn noted that animation and video game projects will also tie in to the DC universe.
"Waller": Live action HBO Max series starring Viola Davis as Amanda Waller from the "Peacemaker" series.
"Booster Gold": A live action series about a "loser" who goes back in time with future technology to play superhero.
"Lanterns": Live action mystery series starring the Hal Jordan and John Stewart Green Lanterns.
"Paradise Lost": A live action "Game of Thrones-type story" about the birthplace of Wonder Woman.
TEGNA's Val Lick contributed to this report.