It looks like the DCU is in for at least one major improvement.
Warner Bros. has been criticized countless times for its handling of the DC Comics properties. From all the Justice League drama to the Synderverse antics and even the cancelation of Batgirl—it's been a long road.
However, when the movie finally landed, it was met with a lukewarm reception, to say the least.
Thankfully, it seems like the DCU might have a bright future ahead of it, thanks to the promotion of James Gunn and Peter Safran, both of whom will now lead the WB's DC projects.
According to WB CEO David Zaslav, their contributions will lead to at least one particular improvement.
Warner Bros. Promises a Big DC Upgrade
In Warner Bros. Discovery's earning call, CEO David Zaslav dropped an intriguing quote that hinted at a brighter future ahead for fans of DC Comics.
Zaslaz mentioned how he's been spending a lot of time with new DCU leads Games Junn and Peter Safran, who the CEO claimed: "have a powerful vision and blueprint," one which will improve their DC films with a "more unified creative approach:"
"I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months with James and Peter, talking about our strategy and long-term plans for the future of DC, across TV, animation, and film. They have a powerful vision and blueprint that will drive a more unified creative approach that will allow us to enable to the full value of one of the world’s most iconic franchises. They are hard at work right now.”
No matter what one might think of the live-action DCU projects to date, but "unified creative approach" isn't something that would describe them.
He continued, calling out how James Gunn "is a brilliant storyteller" while also calling attention to how he'll be the first to direct a project for both Marvel and DC:
“Noone embodies this creative commitment more than our new heads at DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran, who have said that running DC studios is a passion project, not just a job. James is a brilliant storyteller who has the distinction of being the first and only filmmaker to direct a movie for both Marvel and DC."
As for Peter Safran, the CEO pointed to how he holds a "producer" credit for the "entire Conjuring universe, the most successful horror franchise of all time:"
"Peter is a prolific producer whose credits include DC’s highest-grossing movie Aquaman as well as the entire Conjuring universe, the most successful horror franchise of all time. We could not be more thrilled to have them join our leadership team and I’m excited for what is to come."
Formerly, Zaslav teased that the two new leaders have a solid "plan to create even more compelling and unforgettable experiences for DC fans:"
“In many ways, we have only begun to scratch the surface. James and Peter have a broad vision for DC storytelling and how it all fits together, and they plan to create even more compelling and unforgettable experiences for DC fans worldwide, while building a sustainable growth business out of the iconic franchise.”
The CEO also noted how both Gunn and Safran are bringing "their own deep love and appreciation for the characters and stories of the DCU:"
“[Gunn and Safran] are highly respected by creatives and talent alike and bring their own deep love and appreciation for the characters and stories of the DCU to their new roles. As they told me, this is a passion project for them, not just a job… and that is sure to be evident in their storytelling.”
What Does the Future Hold for the DCU?
It feels like DC fans are always left anxious about the future of the DCU every year. So far, 2023 doesn't seem to be an exception.
But what exactly might James Gunn and Peter Safran change? Well, for one, it seems certain that the duo is planning a far more structured cinematic plan than WB has ever had before.
This would mean that fans might actually get a build-up to a proper, Avengers-type Justice League crossover event. Maybe Darkseid himself could be back on the table as a future protagonist. Long-promised movies could actually become a reality, such as Green Lantern or Man of Steel 2.
The new leadership could potentially also try and make up for the whole Batgirl debacle by putting some more focus on the Bat-Family members at large—hopefully to a better extent than the recently panned Gotham Knights video game.
Whatever does end up happening, fans likely won't start seeing it take shape until 2024, seeing as the four releases in 2023 (Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) have already been conceived and shot before any of these bigger DCU changes were made.
It looks like the future will still have to start by picking up the pieces of the old regime.
WB's current DC release, Black Adam, is now playing in theaters worldwide.