Gunn and co-CEO Peter Safran's full DC plan is on the verge of becoming public, but for now, details on the next evolution of the costumed universe remain scarce.
What fans do know is the Gunn/Safran duo will have "a few" announcements to make sometime before the end of January, and the DCU is going forward without major player names like Henry Cavill's Superman or Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman.
But what exactly is this new slate going to look like? Is anybody from the established DCEU safe? And who exactly is James Gunn looking to build the foundations of this new franchise upon?
James Gunn's Full-On DC Reboot
After questions about what James Gunn has planned for the future of the DCU, Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista said that he has been told that Gunn is planning a "[complete] reboot."
The MCU actor told Insider while promoting his latest film Knock at the Cabin that he has " had conversations" with Gunn (who he knows from his time on the Guardians franchise), and learned that the new DC Studios executive wants to "[start] from scratch" with the new DCU, getting "younger and fresher:"
“I have had conversations with James about that but I think the direction he’s leaning in, completely rebooting that whole universe, he’s starting from scratch and starting younger and fresher and I think you need to do that.”
This means that instead of moving forward with any established DC big-screen heroes, this new take on Warner Bros.'s super-powered universe will likely recast these roles with younger, less established actors.
Bautista totally sees what Gunn is thinking here, agreeing with the executive and saying "you need to start with younger actors" and "start to plan for the next 15 years:"
“I think for the DC Universe to be revived, you need to start from scratch, and I think you need to start with younger actors. You need to start to plan for the next 15 years...”
The James Gunn-DC Plan Becomes Clearer
Thus far in James Gunn and Peter Safran's DC tenure, the pair's plan for the franchise has remained rather shrouded in mystery.
Hints have been dropped here and there about Elseworld stories and who could be coming over to play a potential hero or villain. Fans even got the indication from Gunn that he would "probably" bring some of his Guardians of the Galaxy actors along for the DCU ride.
But nothing 100% concrete has been laid down, at least publicly.
These comments from Dave Bautista feel like one of the most significant updates audiences have gotten on this new DC plan. While a complete reboot has been hinted at by insiders, this is coming from a source that's been directly associated with Gunn for nearly a decade.
And this "young and fresh" bent that Gunn and Safran are supposedly leaning into feels like the smart choice for the DCU going forward.
If reports are correct, this is not a plan for the next two or three years, but one for the next 10 to 15. So recasting these iconic heroes with some fresh faces feels like best practice, ensuring that the franchise can move and grow with this batch of young actors.
James Gunn's new DC slate is set to have some sort of reveal coming before the end of January.