James Gunn's New DC Studios Already Got Turned Down by 2 Directors

By Richard Nebens Updated:
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James Gunn's DC Studios got its first rejection from a pair of directors being pursued for the new DCU.

Following Gunn's initial announcement confirming the first 10 projects that will help make up his Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters slate, the new DC Studios co-CEO is hard at work bringing his first round of creatives on board to make that slate happen.

James Mangold became the franchise's first announced director in February when he was confirmed to be the top man behind-the-scenes for Swamp Thing.

Two months later, actor Frank Grillo confirmed his own transition from the MCU to the DCU, revealing that he'd play an undisclosed role in the DC story soon.

But while those two have been positives in terms of DC hires, every attempt that DC Studios has made to add new talent hasn't succeeded...

Potential DCU Directors Turn Down James Gunn

Directing duo Danny and Michael Philippou revealed on an Instagram live stream that they turned down an offer to direct an upcoming project in the DC Universe.

When asked how their meeting with DC Studios went, Danny confirmed that the duo was offered a project but that they "decided not to go for it at the moment," staying with their own work but keeping their options open:

“‘How did the DC meeting go?’ Amazing. DC meeting went amazing. They offered us a project, but we decided not to go for it at the moment. We wanted to, yeah, just stick with our original material for the time being. But yeah, we’ll see. In the future, you never know. You never know. I’m keen to see what James Gunn does with the universe. I’m excited to see it.”

In early February, the pair revealed that they had taken a meeting with DC about directing a potential movie or show, asking their fans if they should take the job:

"Epic meeting. Superhero movies!!! Should we?????"

Danny and Michael Philippou

Danny and Michael Philippou run an Australian YouTube channel called RackaRacka, and the pair recently made their theatrical debut as directors with this year's Talk to Me. This movie was produced by A24 Films and premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, earning an incredible 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Thus far, this is the duo's only movie that has been released, although they have over a billion views on their YouTube channel.

Will the Philippou Bros. Direct a DC Movie Someday?

With the new DC Universe not set to officially get underway until sometime in 2025, James Gunn and his crew still have plenty of work to do in order to get these newly-introduced projects in motion.

And while these two aren't the only ones to turn down a DC project, following reports of former Batman star Ben Affleck doing the same thing, all hope may not be lost for this duo eventually joining Team Gunn.

At the moment, there are only two DCU titles that have directors lined up for jobs, with James Mangold taking Swamp Thing and Gunn himself serving as the writer and director for 2025's Superman: Legacy.

But with so much time before Chapter 1 begins, and numerous Chapter 1 entries still under wraps right now, there is more than enough time for the Philippou brothers to take their place on the right project from the new DCU.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.