This week, new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran announced the first 10 projects as part of a shared universe spanning film and television, as well as live-action and animation.
The announced roster includes mainstays like Superman, Batman and Robin while including deeper cuts like Swamp Thing, Booster Gold and the Creature Commandos.
As a lifelong superhero – and especially DC – fan, the last few years have been difficult. On paper, watching people in colorful costumes is a pretty easy gig. But after years of behind-the-scenes missteps like canceling the nearly completed “Batgirl” for a tax write-off last year, any hope of keeping pace with Marvel disappeared faster than a speeding bullet.
However, it seems those days are over.
In an interview, Gunn emphasized the importance of the story these new projects, collectively titled “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters,” will tell.
“We’re coming into a world where superheroes exist and have existed for some time in one form or another, and that’s the universe,” Gunn said. “We are telling a big, huge central story that is like Marvel, except that I think we’re a lot more planned out than Marvel from the beginning because we’ve gotten a group of writers together to work the story out completely.”
I’m glad that this new era for DC is starting with every story planned out from the jump as opposed to the haphazard tonal over-corrections between each movie in the previous era. I’m excited that these films and shows will go in the same narrative direction but will follow different paths.
While I’m a fan of Gunn’s superhero work like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker,” I’m relieved that the new DCU won’t be a series of James Gunn movies. His style is best suited for small doses, as too much can become grating.
“Different artists bring remarkably different looks, feels and tones,” Gunn said. “This is not the Gunnverse.”
Allowing each team of filmmakers to tell the kind of story it wants to tell is so refreshing after studio interference ruined “Batman v. Superman” and “Suicide Squad” among others.
Although I’m looking forward to the Superman, Batman and Supergirl movies, the project I’m most excited about is “Lanterns.”
After the failure of the “Green Lantern” movie in 2011 and the subsequent cancellation of “Green Lantern: The Animated Series” after one season, directors over the years have become attached to and then left a proposed new movie that could never get off the ground.
This time around though, the space-dwelling heroes are getting a prestige television mystery series and a chance to show critics what they’ve been missing out on.
I’m excited to be excited about DC again, rather than dreading every new headline. The future of DC movies and shows looks bright for the first time in a while and I can’t wait.