James Gunn and Peter Safran assured fans they’d get their first look at their new DCU slate in January, and they delivered with a day to spare! Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion about what these projects could be, what they represent, and what the future holds for DC. I’m applying my expert knowledge to this announcement to analyze and dissect what it all means. While this announcement is largely positive, it’s worth breaking down why and clearing up any confusion.
James Gunn announced that the TV shows and Movies would co-exist in the same universe and elaborated that the formally announced The Batman: Part II and (the previously announced) Joker: Folie à Deux will exist as DC Elseworld stories. For the sake of this article, I’ll be breaking down first the Movies, then the TV Series in their now labeled: GODS AND MONSTERS SAGA.
Due to the consistent questions regarding Henry Cavill‘s status in this new DCU, this project was already announced by James Gunn on Twitter; but alas, we now have a title and some soft story details.
We know this won’t be an origin story, and while there was an episode of Superman: The Animated Series which saw Darkseid brainwashing the Man of Steel, causing him to believe that he was brought up on Apokolips and was a member of Darkseid’s Army instead of being raised on Earth by the Kent’s. So while I do admit that the idea of seeing Darkseid in a Superman movie sounds good, I think it’s best to start simple, humble, and build from there.
To me, ‘Legacy’ most likely means we’ll see Superman deal with his Kryptonian heritage, his Earth upbringing, and what it all means to be a Hero. The Batman saw Bruce undergo a soul search to discover what it meant to be a hero; I think we could see something like that here. Sure, we saw parts of this in Man of Steel, but I think there’s room for a higher emphasis on character and drama. Maybe, we might get the debut of fan-favorite villain Brainiac in a live-action film. I think we have a high chance of seeing if this film shows Clark struggling with the two aspects of his identity.
THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
Next up is Batman, and while we are getting a sequel to The Batman, both Gunn, and Safran seem set on introducing their take on the character. While some people seem to think this is more of an adaptation of the kid-friendly cartoon, I think this will be more of a PG or PG-13 affair. In the Grant Morrison comic, Batman discovers he has a son who is an assassin that Talia Al Ghul raised. We can assume many of these story elements will carry over.
Interestingly, Gunn made mention of the Bat Family. Now, this can be construed in several different ways. One is that Damien and Batman start their own smaller Bat Family. The other is that members of the Bat Family already exist in this universe. It could be interesting to see a Batman who has let the likes of Nightwing, Red Hood, Bat Girl, and Red Robin out from under his supervision and now has a new sidekick that doesn’t follow the same rules as the others. Gunn’s comments can be taken a couple of different ways, but it would be a good idea to have DC establish characters like Nightwing and Red Hood to get their solo projects; hey, it might even be worth calling up Leslie Grace to return as Batgirl.
Obviously, we don’t know too much more about the plot, but Dave Bautista did say that he was turned down the role of Bane in Gunn’s new DCU for younger and fresher actors, so perhaps we could see Bane pop up in The Brave And The Bold as an antagonist.
James Gunn did talk briefly about Swamp Thing being an origin story. This makes sense as the character is not widely known. He did say while the movie is not in the DCU, it will feed into it. This has me thinking we could see DC try to revive the idea of a Justice League Dark movie or series. It’ll be interesting to see what characters cameo or are set up in that film.
The Authority is a relatively obscure comic book team, but one in the comics is known for using extreme methods to exact revenge and enact justice. This seems in line tonally with what James Gunn did with The Suicide Squad; and is in line with other popular Superhero projects like Invincible and The Boys. James Gunn has confirmed that the DCU will not always shy away from R-rated films, and I think The Authority will be one of those R-rated films. Which I’m sure fans of Gunn and The Suicide Squad will enjoy.
SUPERGIRL: WOMAN OF TOMORROW
Gunn did confirm that this re-telling of Supergirl will focus on the more cosmic side of the character more recently seen in the Tom King comics. This version of the character is harsher, less restrained, and more “f*cked up,” in Gunn’s words. There’s also a chance that DC could add a character like Brainiac into this new universe, and if not Superman: Legacy, I could see it being Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow.
Seemingly connected to The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, it’ll be interesting to see how this is used to bridge those projects and the DCU. There’s still no word on a Season 2 of Peacemaker, but it’s safe to assume that if Waller is a part of this new DCU, those other characters could, and probably will, pop up.
Described as being akin to True Detective, Lanterns will introduce the Green Lantern Corps to the DCU. After the disastrous 2011 film, pretty much anything done in this will be considered a vast improvement, but leaning into a detective story is exciting. It would be great to see Sinestro pop up as well, as he’s always been a thorn in the lantern’s side, and what better villain for a proper Green Lantern project?
An animated entry for the DCU, Gunn said that actors that were cast for this would also have the capacity to appear in live action. So it seems like this obscure team has some life beyond just animation. What that means is still a mystery, but with Swamp Thing coming, a Justice League Dark/Creature Commando team-up would be great.
Booster Gold is a long-requested fan favorite, and many fans, myself included, were happy to see the project announced. Interestingly, James Gunn did say that some MCU actors could pop up in the DCU, and Booster Gold would be a good fit for Chris Pratt. It’ll be interesting to see Star Lord’s status post-Guardians of the Galaxy 3 to see if the actor’s availability opens up for a project like Booster Gold.
UPDATE: It’s still not known for sure if Gal Gadot will return for sure or not to the role of Wonder Woman.
Gunn described this show as akin to Game of Thrones but on Themyscira. Interestingly, Gal Gadot is listed as a producer on this, which has some assuming she’ll return as Wonder Woman. Sadly, while it looks like Wonder Woman won’t appear in this, it likely would be a re-cast if she did. Still, having Gal Gadot on board will provide insight into Themyscira and the political intrigue on the island.
That’s it for the details about the DC slate; what do you think of the film/TV slate? Are you excited?
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