The formation of DC Studios leads to many mistakes of the past, but the DCEU is finally corrected. DC Studios is under the creative direction of Co-CEO James Gunn, while Peter Safran makes business decisions. As part of the formation of the new studio, a 10-year plan will also be central to the DCU, with DC Studios designing a DC Bible for the entire franchise.
Even with James Gunn’s leadership role at DC Studios, the full picture of the DCU’s future is yet to be revealed for some time. Early signs, however, point to tighter planning and governance than was seen under Warner Bros.’s previous management. Additionally, the upcoming DCU plans appear to correct or even reverse many of the biggest issues the DCU faced in its earlier iteration.
The DCU forms a plan (and sticks to it)
A major issue for the DCU has been the perceived lack of broader planning for the franchise, but history shows that’s only half the story. Zack Snyder had planned a five-part arc that would include numerous spin-offs and solo films to further expand the DCU. While Warner Bros. decided to chart a new course away from Snyder’s Justice League arc following the divisive reactions man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justicethey ended up compounding the problem by not having a concrete plan to work their way into.
Regardless of the quality of the individual DCU films themselves, abandoning Snyder’s plan left the franchise with no clear direction. This is an issue DC Studios is finally correcting. With a 10-year roadmap and a DC Bible for the entire franchise in the making, DC Studios are giving the DCU a linear path forward. In doing so, the DCU also finally heals from one of the most damaging consequences of not allowing Snyder to complete his vision.
Key DCU players are returning
When WB abandoned Snyder’s DCU plan at the last minute, many of the franchise’s core cast members also dropped out. That too is finally being undone. After several years of Superman hiatus, Henry Cavill finally returned for a cameo Black Adam, with the future of the Man of Steel being one of the top priorities for the DCU’s plan. Ben Affleck also appears to be possibly heading towards a major Batman return with appearances in The Lightning and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdoma major reversal of his protracted departure from the DCU.
Additionally, following the departure of former DC Films president Walter Hamada, Ray Fisher could also return as a cyborg. Fisher had refused to work with Hamada due to a behind-the-scenes dispute justice league Detection. The franchise’s earlier breakup left a cameo appearance peacemaker as the league’s only appearance since Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Batman and Cyborg were not present, while Superman and Wonder Woman were only in the shadows. With the developments so far and the formation of DC Studios, there seems to be a possibility that the Justice League will finally be reunited.
DC Studios isn’t combative with its own fanbase
A point of contrast between the past and current management of the DCU is the fan-studio relationship that DC Studios seems to be striving for. In response to demands for the Ayer Cut from suicide squad To be released, Gunn offered a diplomatic response on Twitter. While the Ayer Cut didn’t get the green light, Gunn didn’t shut down the idea either. Gunn also expressed the wish “let us know we hear your diverse desires for the way forward for DC,” emphasizing DC Studios’ current priorities. Gunn’s statement is a clear reversal of Warner Bros.’ previous reactions to the Snyder Cut and other things DC fans were looking for.
Warner Brothers’ Past management went to great lengths to openly deny the existence of the Snyder Cut for years. That Gunn is as outspoken in addressing calls for the Ayer Cut as he has paints a picture of DC Studios being more willing to listen to fans’ issues. Gunn isn’t the only DCU player to take this approach. Henry Cavill’s return as Superman came after a six-year battle between Dwayne Johnson and WB’s old management. While fan desires must always be measured alongside studio planning, DC Studios seems to be far more inclusive to the former.
The DCU now has its own studio
While film and television ownership of DC IP falls under Warner Bros., DC Studios, which exists as its own vertical, strongly suggests that studio interference issues will no longer be an issue with DC films. The move takes half an hour Batman vs Superman‘s theatrical version and the changes made suicide squad and justice league all three badly damaged. Every problem stemmed from a second guess by Warner Bros. executives. Much like Marvel Studios’ relationship with the larger Disney banner, DC Studios will operate with a far greater degree of autonomy.
The DCU’s original vision under Gunn of a director-driven model is supported by the support filmmakers are likely to receive from Gunn as filmmaker. Gunn still plans to actively write and direct some DC projects. The lengths pushed Gunn out of the R-rated content The Suicide Squad and peacemaker also shows that DC Studios will not hesitate to push boundaries, nor will the entire DCU franchise have a unique, homogenized tone. With DC Studios officially a separate entity, there’s a good chance the DCU is finally free of the panicky, reactionary mistakes of WB’s previous regimes that were on the verge of ending the franchise.
DC’s movies and shows are becoming a lot more cohesive
Gunn keeps working The Suicide Squad and peacemaker shows efforts to bind the DCU more closely together than the previous WB regime did. Admittedly, Gunn’s efforts were crippled by the absence of Cavill, Affleck and Fisher at the time. Quiet, peacemaker‘s Justice League cameo and the references to the wider universe indicate an intention on Gunn’s part to build a meaningful world. With Cavill’s return and the new opportunities for Affleck and Fisher in the franchise, he’s sure to continue to build on those foundations.
Black Adam sets up several DCU films and builds many worlds of his own, in addition to building The Rock’s Superman-Black Adam rivalry, which Gunn will likely benefit from. Additionally, Gunn’s social media activity has made numerous references to far lesser-known DC characters like Bat-Mite and Mister Terrific, pointing to a major DCU character expansion. Since the 2017 version, there have been very few direct links between DCU films justice leaguewith Matt Reeves The Batman and Todd Phillips’ joker Movies that specifically exist in their own separate universes. Now, however, DC Studios appears to be poised for greater cohesion between DCU TV shows such as peacemaker and films in franchises.
The turmoil of DCU’s early days demonstrates both the rash decision-making by WB executives at the time and the DCU’s great resilience of the franchise. Still, much of DC Studios’ attention is undoubtedly focused on repairing the damage from the period. The first signs are positive. That DCEU appears to be making a strong recovery thanks to early decisions from DC Studios.
NEXT: It took the DCEU 5 years to recover from Whedon’s Justice League