Let’s just get into the nitty gritty here…
The Hollywood Reporter:
A new Batman movie without Robert Pattinson (but featuring Bruce Wayne’s murderous son). A Superman movie on the release schedule (mark your calendars for July 11, 2025). A Game of Thrones-style drama set on Wonder Woman’s home island of Themyscira (Amazonian palace intrigue). And an animated series already in production (Creature Commandos … wait, what?).
That’s just part of what will be coming to theaters and TV screens as part of DC Studios bosses James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new slate.
The pair have been busy in the three months since taking over and combining the film and television slate of DC properties, including live-action and animation, as well as gaming. They revamped the way the movie and TV sides do business, cutting ties with projects and creators. A writers room was formed to find an overall story that will launch a unified DC Universe. Creators have been approached. And a plan, at least part of one for what is being billed as Chapter 1: God and Monsters, was formulated and a slate of projects put into development.
And the long-awaited lineup reveal:
Creature Commandos: An animated seven episode series, written by Gunn, that is already in production. Originally a team of classic monsters assembled to fight Nazis, this is a modern take on the concept. The voice actors have yet to be cast but the executives are looking to find people who can voice the animated characters and also portray the live-action versions when the anti-heroes to show up in movies and shows.
Waller: A spin-off of Gunn’s own HBO Max hit series, Peacemaker, Viola Davis will return as the ruthless and morally ambiguous head of a government task force. It is being written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver, the creator of the Doom Patrol TV series.
Superman: Legacy: The movie featuring the Man of Steel that Gunn is writing and may direct, although no commitments on that end have been made. While the two previous titles are meant to be “aperatifs,” in Safran’s words, Superman is the true kick off for the duo’s DCU plans. “It’s not an origin story,” Safran said. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness as old-fashioned.” A release date of July 11, 2025 has been penciled in.
Lanterns: Greg Berlanti’s long-in-the-works Green Lanterns TV series has been scrapped and the duo have parted ways with the longtime DC series steward. In its place will be a new take on the space cops with power rings. “Our vision for this is very much in the vein of True Detective,” Safran described. “It’s terrestrial-based.” It will feature prominent Lantern heroes Hal Jordan and John Stewart and is one of the most important shows they have in development. “This plays a really big role in leading into the main story we are telling across film and TV.”
The Authority: a movie based on a team of superheroes with rather extreme methods of protecting the planet that first originated in the late 1990s under an influential imprint known as Wildstorm, run by artist and now head of DC publishing, Jim Lee. “One of the things of the DCU is that it’s not just a story of heroes and villains,” said Gunn. “Not every film and TV show is going to be about good guy vs. bad guy, giant things from the sky comes and good guy wins. There are white hats, black hats and grey hats.” Added Safran: “They are kinda like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. They know that you want them on the wall. Or at least they believe that.”
Paradise Lost: The duo describe this HBO Max series as a Game of Thrones-style drama set on the all-female island that is Wonder Woman’s birthplace, Themyscira, filled with political intrigue and scheming between power players. It takes place before the events of the Wonder Woman films.
The Brave and the Bold: “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman,” said Gunn. “Of Bruce Wayne and also introduces our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch.” The movie will take inspiration from the now-classic Batman run written by Grant Morrison that introduced Batman to a son he never knew existed: a murderous tween raised by assassins. “It’s a very strange father-and-son story.”
And, importantly, it will feature a Batman not played by Robert Pattinson…
The Batman sequel: Pattinson will continue to portray the Dark Knight in at least one more crime saga movie directed by Matt Reeves. That movie, the executives revealed, will be released Oct. 3, 2025 and is being titled The Batman Part II.
“2025 is going to be a very big year for DC,” crowed Safran. “Superman and Batman within the same year.”
Booster Gold: an HBO Max series based on a unique and lower-tiered hero created in 1986. Safran said of the series, “It’s about a loser from the future who uses basic future technology to come back to today and pretend to be a superhero.” Gunn described it as “imposter syndrome as superhero.”
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow: Taking its cues from the recent Tom King-written mini-series, this movie project promises to have a different take than what most think of when the idea of Superman’s cousin comes to mind. “We will see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant, versus Supergirl, raised on a rock, a chip off of Krypton, and who watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life and then come to Earth. She is much more hardcore and not the Supergirl we’re used to.”
Swamp Thing: a horror film that promises to close out the first part of the first chapter.
There’s a lot here to be excited about — casting remaining consistent across movies, TV and animation (unless you’re Batman, I guess), some interesting pulls of comics to turn into films (The Authority! Tom King’s awesome Woman of Tomorrow series!) — but we’ve got 3 movies to deal with from the old guard and a few years before any of this actually makes air/hits the screens.
I am cautiously optimistic. Let’s see how this looks come 2025.