James Gunn Teases Plan for DCU's First Live-Action & Animation Crossover

By Jennifer McDonough Updated:
James Gunn, Creature Commandos, DC characters

James Gunn revealed that certain cast members from the DCU’s animated output will eventually transfer and crossover into its live-action properties.

DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have huge plans for revamping and revitalizing the on-screen DC Universe. In January, the partners announced a large slate of interconnected movies and shows featuring characters like Swamp Thing, Booster Gold, and Superman.

One such property confirmed to be in development was an animated series called Creature Commandos which centers on a group of strange and monstrous protagonists.

DC Creature Commandos Characters Confirmed for Live-Action

Creature Commandos DC

On Twitter, DC Studios head James Gunn revealed that characters from the forthcoming Max animated series Creature Commandos will cross over into live-action at some point.

In response to a Tweet asking if the recently announced Creature Commandos cast members would also appear in live-action projects, Gunn said: “Some of them yes are already a part of live action plans.“

He also noted that the cast of the series held on-camera auditions as opposed to actors just auditioning with their voices.

Previously, in January, James Gunn also stated (via DC.com) there were already plans in place for one character from Creature Commandos to show up in Waller which is indeed live-action. 

It’s unconfirmed just who that character may be, but it’s possible that Gunn was referring to Steve Agee’s John Economos, who has also cropped up in The Suicide Squad and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, in addition to having served as a series regular on Peacemaker.

The Purpose Behind Introducing Characters in Animation First

According to Peter Safran, bringing in certain characters in an animated format is a good way to breathe life into heroes and villains with fantastical or outlandish designs that may be too difficult or expensive to properly render in live-action.

And even if a given animated character can be brought into a live-action format, animation allows them to exist in scenarios that don’t have to be as constrained by budgetary concerns. After all, in live-action, sets need to be built, costumes need to be designed, props have to be fabricated, visual effects houses need to be paid and actors are more expensive.

That’s definitely not to say that the realm of animation doesn’t impose its own set of challenges, and animated projects are absolutely beholden to budgets, but overall, it’s often still not as costly as live-action.

Gunn and Safran are likely going to cast just about every principal animated DCU character with live-action appearances in mind. This is why established movie actor Frank Grillo has been cast as Rick Flag Sr. in Creature Commandos, as he definitely has the chops to pull off both mediums for the character.

DC Studios’ Creature Commandos doesn’t currently have an exact release date attached to it, but it is confirmed to arrive in 2024

- In This Article: Creature Commandos
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- About The Author: Jennifer McDonough
Jennifer McDonough has been a writer at The Direct since its 2020 launch. She is responsible for the creation of news articles and features. She also has a particular affinity for action figures and merchandise, which she revels in discussing in the articles she writes, when the situation calls for it.