Black Adam star Dwayne Johnson has been teasing the "new era" of the DC Universe for a while now, and it's safe to say that it finally happened due to the confirmation that The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker's James Gunn and Peter Safran were tapped to lead DC Studios as co-CEOs.
This massive shift in leadership comes alongside the reveal that Warner Bros. Discovery is now referring to the superhero franchise as the DCU instead of its original DCEU label.
Alongside the announcement, DC Studios' two new leaders have confirmed which heroes will take the lead in bringing back the franchise to its glory.
Who are the DCU's Most Important Heroes?
Following the announcement that James Gunn and Peter Safran are going to be DC Studios co-CEOS, the pair specifically noted five DCU superheroes, indicating that these are currently the five most important characters in the eyes of the studio...
Superman is DC's iconic superhero, and it isn't surprising that he is included in the list. Dwayne Johnson even pointed out that “the most powerful and unstoppable force in the entire universe has been on the sidelines for too long," and his return in Black Adam is the start of an even brighter future.
A DC Universe wouldn't be complete without Superman, considering that he is often described as the ultimate good guy who represents the Justice League and protects Earth from any imaginable threat.
At this stage, it is unknown which version of Batman the DCU would incorporate. Early reports mentioned that it is still unclear if Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson's The Batman will be under the purview of Gunn and Safran's leadership.
Despite that, it's clear that the Dark Knight is vital to the franchise, considering that he is one of the most influential figures from DC. Hopefully, more Batman-related details for the DCU will be revealed in the coming months.
Rounding out the DC's Trinity alongside Superman and Batman is Wonder Woman; the resurgence of the franchise will not be complete without Themyscira's heroic figure. While Gal Gadot's Diana Prince is expected to return in Wonder Woman 3, Gunn and Safran's key mention of the hero could ultimately reveal that the character is here to stay.
The success of 2018's Aquaman combined with Jason Momoa's incredible portrayal are two of many reasons why the King of Atlantis is vital to the DCU's future. Given that Arthur Curry rules the vast majority of Earth since 70% of it is covered by the ocean, the character's position of power is unparalleled, proving that he is a key figure in the franchise's future stories.
Harley Quinn has slowly transitioned from an anti-hero to a hero ever since her live-action debut in 2016's Suicide Squad. Gunn's The Suicide Squad pushed Quinn into the forefront even more, further solidifying her role as one of DCU's heroic figures. With Gunn now at the top of DC Studios, it seems that Margot Robbie's Task Force X character will be featured in a similar portrayal consistently in future projects.
Gunn and Safran noted that their commitment to these characters and the rest of the DC stable is "only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent."
The full statement from Gunn and Safran, which noted that their commitment to these characters and the rest of the DC stable is "only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent," can be seen below:
“We’re honored 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. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled 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.”
Predicting the Impact of These 5 Heroes in the DCU
Henry Cavill's heartfelt announcement about returning as the DCU's Superman is a sign of good things to come not just for the character but for the entire shared universe considering that he is its anchor. The Man of Steel's comeback is an important element as the franchise welcomes its new chapter, and things will elevate from there.
Although the situation behind Batman is still unknown, the stability that Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Harley Quinn have should be more than enough to keep the momentum going for the DCU. The absence of The Flash, who is also a vital member of the team in the comics, is indeed surprising, but it's possible that this has something to do with the controversy surrounding its star, Ezra Miller.
Following the conclusion of Wonder Woman 3, it remains to be seen if there will be more solo movies for Gal Gadot's DC hero, but it seems that she will continue to appear in more projects since she is a recognizable figure. The same goes for Jason Momoa's Aquaman and Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn, with these characters popping up for significant roles to establish the continuity that these projects are lacking.
Cavill already did such a thing when he appeared in Black Adam's mid-credits scene, and his enthusiasm to return means that fans can expect more of Superman in the DCU now than ever. This is, of course, on top of the already-confirmed Man of Steel 2 that the studio is now developing.