With James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over DC Studios, their plans for the future of the DCU encompasses more than just live-action films and television shows—and they’ve already prevented the development of at least one movie.
Gunn previously confirmed that fans can expect both video games and animated movies to be a part of his upcoming reboot. Despite that, there are still DC projects being made without his oversight.
While one might think the collaborators have free reign with their creative endeavors, given how separated from the DCU they are, it turns out that’s not necessarily the case.
DC Studios Prevented a Kingdom Come Adaptation
In an interview with ScreenRant, Justice League: Warworlds producers Jim Krieg, Jeff Wamester, and Butch Lekic confirmed that DC Studios prevented at least one movie from getting developed.
According to Lekic, the team "originally talked about Kingdom Come," but due to "changing regimes," it wasn't possible for them to make a proper adaptation for it:
"We originally talked about 'Kingdom Come' after this, but changing regimes, we couldn’t go forward with anything like that."
The story takes place in an alternate reality and focuses on a new generation of superheroes that take over after the classic set of heroes go into retirement. The thing is, these newbies don't uphold the same noble values as the classic generation—which leads to a not-so-great future.
Lekic went on to say that they still might try to "incorporate it in the future" despite not being able to make an entire movie from it:
"They might incorporate it in the future with the New World, but that was one that we talked about as an obvious possibility to continue. Not this continuity, but something more Justice League and larger. Again, it’s personal and individual stuff that I would like to do, and I like the one comic book or two comic book issue stories. I think adapting graphic novels, there’s too much in there. Whereas if you just take two of the miniseries stuff, you can make a better story."
Wamester noted that he's been trying to get DC Comics to do an adaptation of Tom King's War of Jokes and Riddles, but has been unsuccessful so far.
Krieg emphasized how he'd enjoy adapting either Camelot 3000 (an alternate future King Arthur storyline) or Omega Man (a story focusing on Green Lantern Kyle Rayner).
Lukic agreed with the desire to focus on Camelot 3000:
"I would love to do 'Camelot 3000,' yeah. And then the Neal Adams, Denny O’Neill, Russell Gould storyline. That would make a perfect film. Readapted again after 30 years. We did it in 'Batman Animated,' but now we can really do it as an R-rated [story]. But I’m sure that’s going to end up being incorporated into the new James Gunn universe."
How Will Kingdom Come Be Utilized in the DCU?
The concept of Kingdom Come does sound like a story James Gunn would love to tell.
That said, the storyline for Kingdom Come seemingly covers a lot of the ground The Authority will be tackling—a group of anti-heroes whose methods are ethically questionable.
It would certainly be strange for Gunn to try and fully adapt the storyline as he is trying to build up this new DCU. Kingdom Come doesn’t really lend itself as a great foundation for a full cinematic universe filled with classically accurate DC Comics characters.
Gunn’s guidelines for what can and cannot be done outside of his DCU do seem a little inconsistent—especially on the animated side. Live-action projects get to use the Elseworlds label, but there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent label for animation.
It’s something the studio should probably start figuring out, especially since the latest Crisis on Infinite Earths announcement, we used an incorrect label for the project.
Justice League: Warworlds is now available to purchase digitally.