New DC Movie Slate ‘A Lot More Planned Out’ Than Marvel Phase 1, Claims James Gunn

By Nathan Johnson Posted:
James Gunn, DC, Marvel

The DCU is going to be different from the MCU in multiple ways, according to DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn.

Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters is the title of the first wave of projects under the new DCU created by Gunn and Peter Safran. The pair recently revealed 10 projects within this first chapter, which include films such as Superman: Legacy and The Brave and the Bold, and even HBO Max programming like Paradise Lost and Lanterns.

This new cinematic universe will officially open on July 11, 2025, with the release of Superman: Legacy. Due to the high bar that Marvel Studios has set with the MCU when it comes to building an interconnected franchise, some fans have already begun comparing the two.

James Gunn Explains the Differences Between the MCU and DCU

Marvel, James Gunn, DC
The Direct

In an interview with Gizmodo, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn talked about the differences between the MCU and DCU. This came after Gunn and Peter Safran revealed the upcoming slate of projects for the DCU's Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters.

When asked how the upcoming DCU will differ from the already established MCU, Gunn responded that "it really is another universe." He went on to talk about how the MCU is largely set in real-world cities, whereas the DCU is truly in a "fictional universe:"

"I think that we have a lot of differences. I think that one of the reasons why I love DC is it really is another universe. It’s an alternate world. In Marvel generally, it’s New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and then every place else in the world is a fictional universe for some reason. Here at DCU we have Metropolis and Gotham and Themyscira and Atlantis, and all of that is sort of another fictional universe. And this is the world that we’re creating."

Gunn also revealed that he believes this first chapter of the DCU is "a lot more planned out than Marvel" was when it was releasing its Phase 1 films:

"We’re coming into a world where superheroes exist and have existed for some time in one form or another, and that’s the universe. And so we are telling a big, huge central story. Except for, I think, we’re a lot more planned out than Marvel from the beginning, because we’ve gotten a group of writers together to work that story out completely."

When asked about the help he has received so far on this journey, Gunn made sure to mention established DC comic book writer Tom King. The co-CEO referred to King as "(his) partner throughout all of this," and then went on to mention some other names that he and Safran have "been meeting with:"

"Tom King has been my partner throughout all of this. He was giving me answers to shit before I took the job. So me, him, Christal Henry who worked on Watchmen and is doing Waller, Christina Hodson who wrote The Flash. Drew Goddard, who you guys probably know. Jeremy Slater, who just did Moon Knight. That group of people we’ve been meeting with and, you know, putting all of this together."

Should the DCU Mimic the MCU?

The MCU has seen an incredible amount of success over the years, specifically with culmination films like Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, but it would be a mistake for the DCU to attempt to become the same franchise.

As Gunn mentioned, there are already so many notable differences between the two franchises. There is nothing wrong with striving to find the same success as the MCU, but Gunn is going to likely craft a universe that feels unique and possesses its own qualities.

Gunn spoke very highly of the people surrounding him and gave a lot of credit to those that are in the writers' rooms actually developing the stories that are going to be on display in the upcoming projects. 

Especially after mentioning how much the DCU is already being planned out, it is clear that he and everyone else on the creative side of DC Studios are ready to make the DCU live up to its full potential.

- About The Author: Nathan Johnson
Nathan is a writer at The Direct where he covers Star Wars, the MCU, and DC news. He joined The Direct in April 2021 and currently writes news and feature articles about all three brands mentioned above, but his main specialty is his knowledge about anything and everything Star Wars.