James Gunn's DC Takeover Changes Original Justice League 2 Plans

By Richard Nebens Posted:
James Gunn Justice League

Warner Bros.' (WB) plans for Justice League 2 had to be changed dramatically when James Gunn and Peter Safran took over the DC Universe (DCU).

Even with the Justice League being the premier superhero team under the WB umbrella, the group hasn't fared very well on the big screen in the current era of superhero movies. 2017's Justice League became one of the biggest flops in the history of the genre after its controversial directorial change, although Zack Snyder's Justice League remedied that negative reaction to an extent upon its HBO Max release in 2021.

While nothing had been announced for a sequel to Justice League under old management, rumors had pointed to The Flash director Andy Muschietti potentially being in the running to direct Justice League 2, if and when it started production.

But now, with Gunn and Safran reportedly bringing at least a partial reboot of the DCU to start their tenure as DC Studios co-CEOs, some old plans for that sequel are now being shelved, along with a number of other solo outings

WB's Plans for Justice League 2 Pre-James Gunn

Justice League heroes

In early December 2022, The Hollywood Reporter shared news about what Warner Bros. was planning for Justice League 2 before the company hired James Gunn and Peter Safran as co-CEOs for the rebranded DC Studios.

The Flash director Andy Muschietti was reportedly interested in directing the movie, for which WB wanted to use a tone similar to the 1978 Superman movie, directed by the late Richard Donner. Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, the current WB co-Chairpersons and CEOs, were even said to be interested in another Justice League movie with the actors that were featured in Zack Snyder's movies from the old DCEU.

In August 2021, DC producer Charles Roven discussed the idea of another Justice League movie, saying that he would "probably" be open to making it happen. But he also admitted that the studio was "a number of years away" from making a second Justice League movie at the time due to how poorly the first one performed.

Insider KC Walsh shared in March 2022 that The Flash originally set up a Crisis on Infinite Earths-inspired event, which likely would have been something similar to a Justice League team-up movie.

James Gunn's Justice League Plans for the New DCU

James Gunn and Justice League

At some point in January 2023, Gunn and Safran will reveal the first movies from their new slate of projects that will restart the DC Universe in the post-DCEU era, which will seemingly end later this year with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. This will also likely include a new Holy Trinity of DC heroes in Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, all of whom should serve as the pillars of the new franchise as the three most important members of the Justice League.

Gunn confirmed in December 2022 that Henry Cavill would not return to the role of Superman in this new movie that's already being written by Gunn himself. This reboot will focus on Clark Kent much earlier in his life than how he's been portrayed in past solo movies, meaning that fans will get to watch the hero grow and evolve on a much deeper level than before

On the Bruce Wayne front, Gunn highlighted how important Batman will be in this upcoming slate of movies as the DC Studios co-CEO teased that the hero is "a big part of the DCU" on Twitter. Although many are hoping that Matt Reeves' The Batman universe enters the mix as well, Gunn's new slate will likely give Batman a fresh treatment, much like Superman, allowing for a deeper exploration of the Caped Crusader than anything since Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.

As for Wonder Woman, although Gal Gadot seemingly won't return to her role as Diana Prince, Gunn recently debunked a rumor that said the heroine wouldn't appear during the first three years of his new DC slate. It took three years for the Amazon warrior to make her debut in the original DCEU during Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, although many are hoping she'll get a true solo intro this time around before any big team-up efforts.

This trio, in addition to other marquee heroes like Green Lantern, should be high on Gunn's priority list as he plans out his new slate of DC movies. But that does beg the question - when will the Justice League finally unite in this new universe?

When Will Justice League Be Rebooted?

Justice League, DC

While the MCU's Avengers aren't necessarily going to be the exact blueprint for what Gunn will do with DC's Justice League, Marvel Studios took four full years to bring five solo movies before The Avengers hit theaters in May 2012 and closed out Phase 1. Assuming Gunn's new slate starts in 2024, with his plans now starting to go into early development, the three aforementioned solo movies would likely take at least a couple of years to premiere in theaters, as would others featuring different Justice League heroes.

Should this be the case, a new Justice League movie could be on the horizon for some time in either 2027 or 2028, depending on how many characters get solo movies before then. And although Gunn will almost definitely feature the aforementioned trio along with other potential heroes like the Flash and Green Lantern in those next few years, he's also known for giving lesser-known heroes the spotlight, potentially meaning that fans could see a wholly different team when they debut.

No matter when the Justice League does assemble on the big screen together, James Gunn and his team will dedicate all of their efforts to making sure the group has the best chance at success that they can get before a new team-up movie is filmed.

- 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.