Keeping his word, Gunn revealed the first dozen projects that will make up the new DCU on January 31, going under the exciting title of Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters. This slate will include movies like Superman: Legacy for DC's most well-known characters while other newcomers will be brought to life in stories like Swamp Thing and The Authority.
For the time being, most of these projects are still looking for creatives to develop the stories behind the camera, although Gunn himself is already set to pen the script for Superman: Legacy.
But now, only 24 hours after this new DC slate became a reality, Gunn appears to have his first huge name in discussions to lead one of these highly-anticipated movies.
James Gunn Brings on First DCU Director
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn is in talks with James Mangold to direct the upcoming Swamp Thing adaptation in the new DC Universe. At the moment, it's unclear if Mangold would be hired as both the director and writer.
Mangold is best known for directing the Oscar-winning Marvel movie Logan in 2017, and he's also the director of this year's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.
Above the Line also noted that Mangold’s involvement has actually been in rumors for weeks, long before Gunn announced his plans for Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters, the start of the new DCU. The director was thought to be too busy to join the DCU, although he posted a comic image of Swamp Thing early on the morning of February 1 on his Twitter account, teasing that he’d signed some time ago.
Deadline later reported that discussions are only in the earliest stages, with nothing locked into place and no script written yet.
Mangold is reportedly a huge Swamp Thing fan and has wanted to direct a movie centered on this character for a long time.
The next project on Mangold's schedule is Timothée Chalamet’s Bob Dylan biopic, A Complete Unknown, before Indiana Jones 5 releases in June. That being said, Swamp Thing wouldn’t move further into development for some time should he take the job.
James Gunn Making Moves for the New DCU
James Mangold is no stranger to the comic book movie universe, having directed 2013's The Wolverine before taking on more duties as the writer and director of its successor, Logan.
The latter saw him become one of the biggest directing names in the game, earning an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Sources noted that Mangold had his eye on the DC universe in the weeks after Gunn took over the franchise, and it appears that Swamp Thing will give him the perfect avenue to bring his brand of filmmaking to an exciting DC property.
Hopefully, this partnership will become more official in the next few weeks, even though Chapter 1 won't officially begin until Summer 2025 with Swamp Thing concluding that slate on the big screen.
And if Gunn gets a hold of Mangold as one of his first big hires for this new franchise, the sky is the limit for the kind of talent Warner Bros. and DC Studio can find for this growing narrative.