As Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) preps for four new DC movies to hit theaters in 2023, Gunn has shared some of what he and his partner Peter Safran are planning for the future, making waves through the fandom. This includes the announcement of a new Superman story without Henry Cavill, along with plans for a new Batman adventure, although he's also touched on some of the messier parts of DC history that happened before he took on the job (notably, the Black Adam debacle).
Considering how messy the past few years have been, many are concerned about how Gunn will deal with studio interference so that it doesn't affect the story that will come to life on the big screen in the near future. Specifically, fans don't want to see a repeat instance of the Justice League mess that involved Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon, Ray Fisher, and others, which led to a slew of misconduct from Whedon that hangs as a dark cloud over WBD.
But now, as plans are prepped for the DCU's new era, Gunn has addressed those fan concerns, noting that studio interference is now firmly within his own job parameters.
DC Studios Head on Studio Interference
DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn responded to a fan who addressed potential studio interference in the new era of the DC Universe in a post on Mastodon.
This fan shared confidence in Gunn and his partner, Peter Safran, to build the DCU the right way, noting that "studio interference...derailed the previous attempt at a DCU" and pointing out potential frustration from former co-CEO of DC Films Geoff Johns:
"As long as the studio doesn’t override you and your directors at every turn, I for one have confidence that you’ll actually be making decisions for the DCU that I can get onboard with. In my opinion (worth exactly nothing) it was studio interference that derailed the previous attempt at a DCU. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Mr. Johns was quite frustrated."
Gunn made it clear that his position is different from those that Johns and director Zack Snyder held, as Gunn is at the top of the food chain for the new DC Studios:
"The position is different than it was with Zack, etc. Peter and I are the heads of DC Studios. The only studio interference would be from us!"
All DC Decisions Going Through James Gunn
Even outside of the issues that arose during and after production for Justice League, the DCU is no stranger to studio interference with the first 10 movies made since 2013. Also on the list of issues is the drama that went down behind the scenes of 2016's Suicide Squad, which directly involved Geoff Johns as the studio and director David Ayer fought over what made the final cut of the movie.
And while Gunn has only been on the back end of that kind of drama, his new position now puts him in charge of all final decisions and anything that could be classified as studio interference. Alongside Peter Safran, he will oversee all decisions made for the future of the DC Universe, which is much different from what other DC mainstays like Geoff Johns and Zack Snyder did during their time.
Currently, the pair of execs are working hard on finalizing the movie slate that will start the new era of the DCU, which will be revealed to the public in early 2023.