The DCEU is dead! Or at least the DCEU as fans knew it is dead. Warner Bros. Discovery has gone through a lot of changes in recent months, and many of those have had to do with the studio's super-powered efforts.
After the cancellation of Batgirl, and the seeming waywardness of WB's DC plans, all has been revealed, as filmmaker James Gunn and partner Peter Safran sign on as the Kevin Feige-esque figures of DC's on-screen efforts. The two join the franchise with the goal of "[creating] an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression," one in which everything is interconnected, but directors/creatives can still show off their creative flair.
And with this new direction for the Warner Bros. DC strategy comes a new name for fans to know it by.
Welcome to the New DC
In an internal memo, reported on by The Wrap, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced James Gunn and Peter Safran's hire, specifically referring to the studio's on-screen super-powered universe:
"For over 60 years, these and other DC characters have captivated and inspired generations of fans around the world, and as stewards of the iconic franchise, we feel a real responsibility to preserve and expand the DCU for the enjoyment of future generations."
This name change to "DCU" was further corroborated by The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez, who tweeted that it is "of note [that] 'DCU' is no longer 'DCEU.'"
Zaslav told staff that "James [Gunn] and Peter [Safran] have a broad vision for DC storytelling," remarking that the pair have a plan to "create even more compelling and unforgettable experiences for DC fans worldwide:"
“In many ways, we have only begun to scratch the surface. James and Peter have a broad vision for DC storytelling and how it all fits together, and they plan to create even more compelling and unforgettable experiences for DC fans worldwide, while building a sustainable growth business out of the iconic franchise.”
Zaslav also praised the "deep love and appreciation for the characters and stories of the DCU" that Gunn and Safran bring to their new roles, noting that the pairs see this as a "passion project" not "just a job:"
“[Gunn and Safran] are highly respected by creatives and talent alike and bring their own deep love and appreciation for the characters and stories of the DCU to their new roles. As they told me, this is a passion project for them, not just a job… and that is sure to be evident in their storytelling.”
What Does This Mean for DC Movies?
So what does this small change actually mean for the newly-minted DCU? Well, probably not a lot. The DCEU was a simple branding decision that was made years ago to differentiate the franchise from its closest competition, the MCU.
This is a symbolic gesture if anything. The studio does not seem to be burning everything to the ground from the DCEU (especially with recent news relating to a particular Kryptonian), but they are changing just about everything they can.
This isn't simply a regime change, with new heads coming in, this looks to be a culture reset for the franchise. And with it comes a new vision known as the DCU. Sure, it is just a couple of letters, but this is a trio of letters that is free of the baggage of the DCEU.
That could all change once the Gunn and Safran vision starts to get realized, but as of right now DC's future looks bright, something fans haven't been able to say for quite some time.