In a mind-blowing Tuesday afternoon shocker, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran have been named the heads of DC Studios, a brand-new Warner Bros. division replacing DC Films. The pair will oversee DC’s films, television, and animation going forward. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Gunn and Safran will be operating as co-CEOs of DC Studios, with Gunn focusing on the creative and Safran handling the business and production side. However the duties are split up, this is an unprecedented move.
In a statement, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said “DC has among the most entertaining, powerful, and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the singular and complementary talents of James and Peter joining our world-class team and overseeing the creative direction of the storied DC Universe. Their decades of experience in filmmaking, close ties to the creative community, and proven track record thrilling superhero fans around the globe make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, TV, and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling.”
In a separate statement Gunn and Safran expressed their excitement saying, “We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children. We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told.“
It’s still a little hazy as to how this impacts movies already in the works, mainly those outside of the DCEU such as Todd Phillips’ upcoming “Joker” sequel and Matt Reeves’ developing universe revolving around “The Batman”. But one thing is for sure, Gunn has a deep affection for comics and superhero storytelling. And Safran is no stranger to producing big-budgeted superhero franchise movies. Gunn’s brash and more comedy-leaning individual style is reasonably concerning. But there’s no reason to believe he will force that style onto every DC property.
What’s most exciting about the hiring is that DC is all but guaranteed to once again have a vision. Gunn and Safran already have some terrific groundwork laid with the recent release of “Black Adam” and the announcement that Henry Cavill is back as Superman. Stability will do wonders, and Gunn’s enthusiasm is sure to take the DCEU (or whatever it’s going to be called) into some fresh and fun directions. Let’s go!
So what do you think about the big news?