As part of the new slate for the DC Universe (DCU), DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn announced four brand-new stories that will be told on HBO Max.
James Gunn and Peter Safran finally revealed the first part of their plan for the new DCU, which hopes to tell the biggest story in franchise history over movies, TV, animation, and video games. A big part of that slate will be brought to HBO Max as the media giants work hand in hand with one another to bring new streaming projects to the forefront within the grand DC narrative.
Thus far, Gunn announced a number of exciting new entries that will drive DC forward on the big screen including Superman: Legacy and The Batman - Part II.
While several of HBO Max's superhero shows have recently been canceled, Gunn's new slate has plenty of new offerings to take their place.
Four New DCU HBO Max Shows Under James Gunn
As part of the announcement revealing the first part of the new slate of projects for the DC Universe, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn pulled the curtain back on four new shows coming to HBO Max. This news comes via The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
Written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol), Waller will serve as a spin-off from James Gunn's Peacemaker. Viola Davis comes back to the fold as her classically "ruthless and morally ambiguous" character, becoming the head of an undisclosed task force run by the government.
The series will precede Peacemaker Season 2, which is currently on hold, though will include some of the series regulars from that show as core cast members.
Wonder Woman's home island of Themyscira will serve as the core location for Paradise Lost, which is described as a drama in the same vein as the wildly-popular Game of Thrones.
The show takes place prior to Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman films and even before Diana's birth, indicating that the hero will not have a heavy presence in the show.
Paradise Lost will delve into political intrigue and scheming between the most powerful Amazons. Safran highlighted that the show's focus is on "this society of only women," which potentially hints that the series will stay true to featuring an all-female cast.
Michael Jon Carter will get his own unique solo series in Booster Gold, featuring a lower-tier hero who's known as "a loser from the future," according to Safran. He noted that the hero will use "basic future technology to come back to today" and masquerade as a hero, while Gunn described it as showing "imposter syndrome as a superhero."
DC is already making decent headway with the show, as Gunn himself stated that the studio is "talking to an actor about it now." This has led many fans to hope that Marvel star Chris Pratt could fill the shoes of the time-traveling hero.
Not much is known yet about Creature Commandos, although it was the very first project that Gunn and Safran greenlit under their watch as co-CEOs. Gunn has written every episode of the animated show and it's already in production, set to feature a strange mix of humans and monsters that are classically seen as soldiers from World War II.
The show directly ties into Gunn's first movie for DC, The Suicide Squad, by featuring the return of squad member Weasel, who is one of two characters in the upcoming slate confirmed to have an actor attached: Sean Gunn.
Honorable Mention - Lanterns
Gunn and Safran also touched a little bit on their first Green Lantern-centric project in the DCU, Lanterns, but the show hasn't been designated as an HBO Max series at this time. Instead, it was described as "a big premiere HBO television series," and while it leaves some mystery regarding where it will arrive in terms of programming location, it will be an exciting dive into the Green Lantern mythos.
Gunn noted that the story centered on "a couple of Green Lanterns" in John Stewart and Hal Jordan with more waiting in the wings, while Safran explained that the show will be told "very much in the vein of True Detective" and that it's "terrestrial-based."
And while fans wait to find out where they'll get to watch the first Green Lantern content released since 2011's maligned Green Lantern solo movie, the team of heroes seems to be a big part of the plan for the new DCU as it goes into cosmic storytelling.
How Will HBO Max Shows Drive DCU Forward?
With James Gunn indicating that the entire DC story will be streamlined through all different mediums, this new slate of HBO Max shows will be a key part of making this new franchise successful.
HBO Max might not be the end-all and be-all of the DCU though, as Gunn and Safran have expressed interest in releasing shows on Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix to "broaden the DC audience."
Possibly the most exciting part about it is how this quartet (and possibly quintet) of shows features heroes that haven't been seen before on the small screen on this scale, along with one character that fans have known for the better part of a decade.
Viola Davis' Waller show seemingly indicates that Peacemaker's second season is safe from the chopping block, with Gunn's highly-celebrated work on that series continuing to evolve as the new DCU comes into existence. How it ties into the story established in that show and The Suicide Squad is still largely unknown, although it's no surprise to see Amanda Waller help kickstart this new story as one of its more well-known characters.
Booster Gold has also been in plenty of conversations in recent weeks, with many offering casting ideas for who could potentially play this wannabe hero. Fans have already thrown Chris Pratt's name into the equation thanks to his relationship with Gunn from the MCU, although the character will be an important one to follow no matter who suits up in the blue-and-gold.
As for Paradise Lost and Creature Commandos, these two series will allow for a number of unique characters to shine in animation and live-action, exploring two vastly different dimensions of DC storytelling with the Amazons and monsters.
While these are only the first four HBO Max shows that will be featured as part of James Gunn's new slate, they'll push the boundaries of DC storytelling further than they've ever been pushed before in the streaming world. Peacemaker started that off with rave reviews across the board, and if these shows can follow up on that success, Gunn should be able to get off to a flying start with thrilling new stories on the big and small screen alike.
There is no set timeframe for when the DCU's new HBO Max slate will begin, although it should be shortly before Superman: Legacy debuts on July 11, 2025.