The MCU has long been plagued by an annoying issue, one that James Gunn said the DCU will take steps to counteract.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has plenty of fans, even as many decry its studio as having lost its touch in recent years. However, much to the fanbase’s annoyance, the MCU has, in fact, struggled with keeping its timeline straight. (EG: Spider-Man: Homecoming’s infamous “8 Years Later” title card.)
Keeping a solid, accurate chronology is essential for any fictional universe that wishes to maintain a good sense of internal continuity. Many have tried and many have failed, sometimes spectacularly (like the entirety of Fox’s X-Men franchise.)
James Gunn’s DCU Will Make Sense, Chronologically Speaking
Taking to Threads, James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy director and current DC Studios co-CEO spoke on how he and other executives will act as timeline keepers for the DCU. This will hopefully ensure that the DCU’s sense of time and events stay in good shape.
Gunn specifically mentions DC Studios team members Chantal Nong and Galen Vaisman as individuals who will be responsible for this duty with Gunn’s help: “Me and the rest of the team (Chantal and Galen and Jess etc)!”
The CEO additionally mentioned how things are done over at Marvel Studios, and remarked that he wasn’t sure if the MCU even has a timeline keeper and that if there were one, he had never spoken to him:
“If that’s a position at Marvel I do not know who that person is (I’ve never discussed anything with them). But I guess that’s why I think 'Vol 3' is now and everyone keeps saying 2030 or something 👀 (I ALREADY thought I was pushing the limits of Grandpa still being alive!)”
Of course, by “Vol 3,” Gunn meant Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which arrived in theaters in May. There’s no specific marker for the date in that film, although many have surmised that it takes place in 2026, despite Gunn’s notion that it’s “now” (meaning 2023.)
A Proactive Measure on Gunn’s Part
It’s definitely encouraging to see James Gunn intending to take such measures in his world-building process for the DCU’s first chapter (which he has given the name “Gods and Monsters”). A great many cinematic universes and film franchises have fallen short in this department.
For what it’s worth, Marvel Studios is releasing a book of its own chronology in October titled Marvel Studios’ The Marvel Cinematic Universe: An Official Timeline, which will hopefully clear up quite a few outstanding errors, but it remains to be seen if the volume will actually accomplish this feat.
For Gunn to want to keep things tidy when it comes to the DCU’s timeline speaks volumes about his attention to detail, especially as the studio will tell its story through several mediums such as animation, film, and video games. But with the proper amount of care, this aspect of the shared universe can absolutely thrive.
It will be some time before audiences have more than one DCU project in front of them to judge its timeline. Creature Commandos is slated for 2024 and Superman: Legacy will arrive in theaters on July 11, 2025, and Gunn has even confirmed the order in which those two offerings chronologically occur.