For a while now, Warner Bros Discovery have been looking for their “Kevin Feige”… and now they’ve found him, or rather, them. James Gunn, alongside longtime producing partner, Peter Safran, have been named co-chairmen and joint-CEOs of DC Studios (formally DC Films).
The duo will oversee the entire creative direction of the DC Universe across film, TV, and animation under the DC Studios banner. They will report directly to Warner Bros Discovery boss David Zaslav, but also work closely with Warner Bros Film Group Co-Chairs and CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy to make sure everyone is working in the same direction. Their mission is to spearhead the development and execution of a long-term plan for the many properties licensed from DC Comics, while building a sustainable growth business out of the iconic franchise.
“We’re honoured to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children. We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved,” said the pair in a joint statement. “Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equalled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told.”
This, I think, is good news for DC. It would be fair to say that DC on both film and tv has been… messy… A lack of a cohesive direction, lacklustre scripts, not to mention certain… erm… wayward actors… have plagued DC on screen. It needed a strong head at the helm, and now they have two! Rumours of Safran landing the gig had been circling for a while. However, it seems that he didn’t want to take the job without having a creative head alongside him. Who better to do that than Gunn, the man behind ‘Peacemaker’, ‘Suicide Squad’ and, of course, ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’.
It’s interesting to note in their statement, they do mention a “multilayered universe”, but this hopefully means we will at least get a coherent DCEU across film and tv, with other satellite projects around them. We will have to see exactly how things play out over the next few months.