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DC Studios Unveils New Plans for Cinematic Universe

Warner Bros. Pictures recently outlined their ambitious film and television projects for the new DC Comics-based cinematic universe in a private press conference on Monday on their Burbank studio lot.


The new film and television slate comes just months after the establishment of DC Studios, an independent studio within Warner Bros. run by director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran. 


Their new plan aims to get the DC film franchise, whose current iteration began with 2013's Man of Steel, back on track after a string of critical flops and tumultuous behind-the-scenes drama.


The first phase of Gunn and Safran's plans is "Chapter One: Gods and Monsters" and begins with the animated series Creature Commandos. The Creature Commandos debuted in 1980 and are a team of monsters assembled to fight Nazis.


Gunn says the concept would be updated to fit within modern times. 


The series is currently in production and entirely written by Gunn.


The next project in Chapter One is Waller, a live-action series for HBO Max, which is a spin-off of Gunn's recent Peacemaker series. 


The show will follow Amanda Waller, the leader of the Suicide Squad and is written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol).


Safran said Superman: Legacy will be released in theaters on July 11, 2025, and will be the actual start of the new universe, which is currently being called the DCU (DC Universe). 


Henry Cavill, who recently returned in the Rock-led Black Adam after a five-year absence, was not hired for Superman: Legacy, Gunn said. 


The film will follow a Superman who is around 25 years old and is struggling to balance his Kryptonian and human sides while working as a reporter at the Daily Bugle.


The next act of Gunn and Safran's Chapter One is Lanterns, another live-action HBO Max series that features characters Hal Jordan and John Stewart. 


The series will take cues from the acclaimed True Detective show and have a significant role in the overarching story of Chapter One.


A previous version of this series overseen by wildly successful producer Greg Berlanti is no longer in the works, and he and DC Studios have parted ways.


The Authority will be Chapter One's second movie, based on the superhero team that debuted in 1999 in DC's Wildstorm imprint. 


The heroes of The Authority are darker and more extreme than their Justice League counterparts, and they promise to be a unique take on the superhero genre. The basic story for the film is currently being written.


Next, a live-action HBO Max series entitled Paradise Lost is set to explore Themyscira, the birthplace of Wonder Woman. 


The series will take place before the birth of Wonder Woman and will provide viewers with a window into the political dealings and schemings of the all-female island. 


Chapter One continues with what may potentially be one of the most anticipated projects in The Brave and the Bold, a new Batman film. 


The Brave and the Bold will introduce Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne, as Robin, alongside other Bat-family members.


 "[Members] have been left out of the Batman stories in the theater for far too long," Safran said. 


Another live-action HBO Max show, Booster Gold, will introduce the time-traveling hero who debuted in 1986. 


Booster Gold is the story of an ordinary person from the future who travels to the present day and pretends to be a superhero. It remains to be seen if Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, getting a film in 2023, will get to team up in live-action as often as they do in the comics.


The second last of the projects announced by Gunn and Safran is Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. 


The film is inspired mainly by Tom King's 2021 miniseries of the same name. It will focus on the differences between Supergirl's rough upbringing and her cousin Superman's Earth-based experiences having a loving and caring family. 


"She is much more hard-core and not the Supergirl we're used to," Gunn said.


The final project revealed by Gunn and Safran is Swamp Thing, a horror film based on the humanoid plant creature superhero who debuted in 1971. This project will be the final part of the first part of Chapter One.


Gunn and Safran have a larger 8-10 year plan in the works, split into two chapters. 


Additionally, the co-heads of DC Studios intend for actors to play their respective characters across film, television and video games. 


Addressing rumors that Jason Momoa will exit the Aquaman role and become the anti-hero Lobo, the pair have stated that no actor will play two parts, putting the words to bed.


Films such as Joker: Folie à Deux, releasing on Oct. 4, 2024, and The Batman: Part II, which will be released on Oct. 3, 2025, will become part of a different brand known as DC Elseworlds. 


DC Studios will use the DC Elseworlds brand to tell DC Comics-based stories outside the ACU's continuity. Projects such as Ta-Nehisi Coates' Superman and currently-airing Teen Titans Go! also fall under the DC Elseworlds brand.


"This is not only a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it's also a once opportunity,” Gunn said. “No one has ever gotten to do this before and how could I say no to that?"


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