On the last day of January 2023, James Gunn finally announced the new slate of projects that will form Chapter 1 of the new DCU. He has officially labeled this chapter “Gods and Monsters,” and it has ten projects in it. So let us decode the official information and parse through the rumor mill as well for additional information about them.
5 Movies That Are A Part Of DCU’s Chapter 1
Superman Legacy: The first film that will kick off this new era is “Superman Legacy.” We already know that James Gunn is writing the script for it, but Peter Safran, the co-CEO of DC Studios, hopes that he can be persuaded to direct as well. The rumor mill thinks that we might indeed see Gunn direct the movie and start the new DC Universe era.
As for the film, Safran says it will focus on the man of steel, and we will see him balance his human side with his Kryptonian one. The movie will take him back to his roots of truth, justice, and the American way. But he will be challenged in his ideals because he will have to navigate a world that thinks kindness is old-fashioned.
The release date for the film has been set for July 11, 2025. Also, along with Superman, it’s rumored that the DCU will introduce his cousin, Kara Zor-El, or Supergirl, in this film. Speaking of the superheroine, she has her own solo film coming up.
Supergirl: The Woman of Tomorrow: The film will be based on the Eisner-nominated comic book of the same name, written by Tom King and illustrated by Bilquis Evely. Regarding this movie, James Gunn said they understand that Superman and Supergirl are different characters. The former was raised by good people from his birth and the latter was raised for 14 years on the remains of Krypton (referring to Argo city in the comics).
This makes them fundamentally different characters, and the comic the film is going to be based on understands that. It’s basically the “True Grit” movie but set in space, where Kara helps a young girl wanting revenge. Gunn also said that this would be a harsher and more hardcore version of Supergirl. So it’s not something that most fans are used to seeing.
He was probably referring to the live-action TV show headlined by Melissa Benoist, where Supergirl was a Superman stand-in. No release date has been announced, although a 2027 release is being speculated.
The Brave And The Bold: DC fans can rest easy; Batman is on the new slate. And he’s not alone. The movie, based on the acclaimed comic book author Grant Morrison’s Batman run, will introduce Damian Wayne’s Robin. Gunn described Damien as a troublesome assassin and murderer. He said that Batman didn’t know that he had a biological son for the first 8 to 10 years of his life. So this will be a strange father-son tale.
As for Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” James Gunn confirmed in his video message that it will be a part of “Elseworlds.” It is a label that DC Studios is using to classify projects that are not part of the main continuity. The Todd Phillips-directed movie “The Joker” will also be under this label.
The Authority: This movie will be based on the comic book (from DC’s Wildstorm label) of the same name by Bryan Hitch and Warren Ellis. James Gunn said that DC wouldn’t be a franchise full of just good guys and bad guys. He clarified that there will be anti-heroes and others who will have questionable morals, like the team that makes up “The Authority.”
He described the team as full of beings who think they can easily save the world but then take things to another level. “The Authority” will feature Apollo and Midnighter, a gay superhero couple. So DCU isn’t hesitating to include LGBTQ characters from the get-go.
Swamp Thing: Did you watch the MCU Disney+ Special Presentation called “Werewolf by Night” last year? There’s a character called “Man-Thing” in it. Swamp Thing looks pretty much like him and is the DC counterpart to the character. In fact, there was a “Swamp Thing” TV series in 2019 as well, but it lasted for just one season.
However, the character is coming back in his movie. The film will introduce viewers to the unique and dark origins of the character. Gunn and Safran recognizes that different projects on the slate will vary in tone from one another. But they are eager to find out how it will all work together in the future.
The co-CEOs also said that this would allow different filmmakers to bring their own style to them. Speaking of filmmakers, James Mangold, the director of “Logan,” has posted an image of Swamp Thing on his Instagram. Is he expressing interest in directing it, or is he the one directing it? Time will tell.
Now let us move on to the TV shows.
5 TV Shows That Are A Part Of DCU’s Chapter 1
Creature Commandos: This will be the actual first project of the new DCU and is currently in production, with Gunn casting the roles. It is based on comics of the same name and will be an animated series. However, Gunn has said that any animated project could get a live-action version as well. The co-CEO has also said that they will hire actors for all the projects who will give voice to their characters in animated shows and even do mocap for video games if necessary.
The project will feature the return of Weasel (Sean Gunn) and Rick Flagg Sr., who were in “The Suicide Squad,” a film directed by James Gunn. It has been confirmed that the show will have seven episodes, and all of them are written by James Gunn himself.
Waller: Waller will see Viola Davis reprise her role as the titular Amanda Waller. Gunn has clarified that she will team up with the characters we saw in “Peacemaker.” Also, the project will be set in between seasons 1 and 2 of “Peacemaker.” The co-CEO has also said that season 2 of the John Cena-led series has been delayed due to him focusing on the “Waller” project.
As for the writing staff, Jeremy Carver (“Doom Patrol”) and Chrystal Henry (“Watchmen”) have taken on those duties. Rumor in the DC fandom is that “Creature Commandos” and “Waller” are interconnected.
Lanterns: After years of waiting, fans will finally see the Green Lanterns on their screens. Safran and Gunn have said that the show will be “terrestrial-based” and will feature the characters of John Stewart and Hal Jordan in lead roles. However, we will also get to see other lanterns in this show.
The series will be in the vein of “True Detective” and will be one of the stepping stones for the main story that will unfold across the various projects. The CEOs have further confirmed that the Greg Berlanti-spearheaded “Green Lantern” TV show isn’t in development anymore since that was more of a soap opera.
Paradise Lost: While there’s no Wonder Woman in the first chapter of the DCU, her corner of the world hasn’t been completely excluded. This show will take place on the island where Diana was born and raised, Themiscyra. But the plot of the series will be set before Diana’s birth. Safran said that it would be a “Game of Thrones”-like story that would be full of political intrigue.
Gunn chimed in and explained that it would answer questions about the origins of Themiscyra and who are the power players in that society. But what about Gal Gadot? As of now, her future in the new DCU is uncertain. But Gunn has said that actors like her, Henry Cavill, Zachary Levi, and more are always welcome in the franchise. Draw your conclusions from this.
Many DC fans are saying the show is the prequel to the Patty Jenkins-directed first “Wonder Woman” film. But nowhere have the two CEOs explicitly stated the same. It sounds more like the show will ultimately introduce a new Wonder Woman into the DCU later on.
Booster Gold: Gunn has said that it’s about a loser who comes from the future with advanced technology to gain fame in the past. It will be interesting to see how he affects the timeline of the upcoming DCU. Many fans are also wondering if this is how the DCU will introduce Ted Kord/Blue Beetle in the franchise since it has been rumored that the actual “Blue Beetle” film won’t feature him. I guess we will have to see what happens.
As for how many projects will finally get made, that remains to be seen.