Gunn and Peter Safran, his partner in managing Warner Bros.' (WB) DC efforts, have not even been in the job a month, and yet, the pair have been asked countless questions about their super-powered plans for the costumed franchise.
The duo has supposedly put together a "bible" for the next eight to ten years of the DCU. But what has turned some heads is reports from WB CEO David Zaslaz that this "one great overarching story" would include "film, television, gaming, live-action, and animation.”
This is different from the DCU's biggest competition in the MCU, as, at this point, Marvel Studios only focuses on TV and movies, for its brand of comic book storytelling.
Now, weeks after the report of Gunn and Safran's franchise plan was teased by Zaslav, one of DC Studios' co-CEO has spoken out on this cross-media plan.
A Cross-Media Effort at DC Studios
Newly anointed DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn revealed that the new DCU will consist of four different types of content, including TV, film, animation, and video games.
In a series of tweets, Gunn noted that "the DCU will be connected across film and TV (and animation)." When asked by a fan if "more DC character tv shows" were a part of the new DC plan at WB, the DC Studios co-CEO responded with a resounding "yes!"
The director-turned-studio executive went on to also add that there are plans for "games to be connected to the DCU as well."
Further clarifying these comments, Gunn told one Twitter user that "some" animated films "will be also canon to [the] current / upcoming DCU:"
@NathakB: "You mean animated movies will be also canon to current / upcoming Dcu?"
@JamesGunn: "Yes, some."
Following directly upon his animation conversation, Gunn revealed that this will include both 2D and 3D animated projects.
The Suicide Squad director remarked that when it comes to the comics side of DC and it will be included in the newly-reinvigorated DCU there is "very open communication" happening with DC Comics:
Very open communication. As everyone knows I’m a huge comic book fan & I hope everything we do will lead to more people reading @DCComics (& vice versa). But Peter & I are not in charge of the comics - just all filmed DC entertainment.
Gunn closed out his pseudo-Twitter town hall by joking that a foray into the world of Broadway would not be on the cards for the new DCU, with potential on-stage efforts existing in a "separate universe."
What Does This Multimedia Plan Mean for DC?
It is fascinating to see Gunn and Safran take the reins one everything DC Studios and have such ambitious plans for the franchise. One would think the pair would want to come in and really solidify the TV and movie arms of DC Studios before moving on to anything else. But that is not the case.
The two are coming in with plans for TV, film, animation, and (probably most shockingly) video games. This strategy emulates what Lucasfilm has done with Star Wars rather than Marvel Studios with the MCU.
It is a gaudy plan, but if it works, it could prove to be incredibly beneficial for the studio, and could possibly spell the DCU pulling ahead of the MCU at some point.
Either way, this cross-medium effort could make someone like Marvel Studios really reevaluate what they are doing. Even if the MCU continues to be the success it is, the franchise is only dominant on the big screen and on streaming.
If DC starts to pick up steam, including DCU characters from the movies and TV shows in animation and video games, that is something Marvel simply does not offer (at least on the video games front).
Gunn and Safran are taking on a great deal of risk with this move for the franchise, but if it works, and the pair continue their "focus on quality" mandate across all mediums, it could prove to be the game-changer DC and WB needs right now