After plenty of struggles with its universe of superhero movies, Warner Bros. made a bold move in the past few days by promoting director James Gunn to the position of co-CEO of the newly-branded DC Studios. He’ll team up with longtime producer Peter Safran to do a job similar to what Kevin Feige does as Marvel Studios president, helping to push the DC Universe in a positive new direction over the coming years.
While Gunn noted in the past that he didn’t want to take on a Feige-like position with Warner Bros., he expressed excitement for this new responsibility in the hours following the news release about his promotion. This will give the self-professed comic book fan a new level of control over how the DCU evolves and adapts, especially with only a couple of specific movies left on the release schedule for this series.
This also means that his days with the MCU are definitively over once he finishes his work on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, on which he still has six more months of work even with his post at Warner Bros. starting in November. And following that move, his former Marvel boss has commented on this changing of the guard, teasing his upcoming work with both comic book movie giants.
Kevin Feige Celebrates New DCU Leader in James Gunn
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter at the world premiere event for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige addressed director James Gunn's promotion to co-CEO of the newly-named DC Studios.
When asked about Gunn's full-time move to Warner Bros., Feige noted that the director still has Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out in May for Marvel. While Feige isn't sure how Gunn will "have any time to work on DC" over the next six months, he confirmed that he would be "first in line" to watch what Gunn does with the newly-branded DC Universe:
“I speak to James almost every day. We have a wonderful thing called the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming out. We have a wonderful thing called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out in May. How he’ll have any time to work on DC until May I don’t know, but once he does have the time I’ll be very excited. I’ll be first in line.”
Will Gunn Mimic Feige's Success With DC?
Almost no executive in the game has seen the kind of success that Kevin Feige has, as the MCU has grossed over $27 billion in theaters since 2008 while dominating the streaming world since the company moved to Disney+. Considering that success, seeing him give this kind of support to James Gunn should be a massively encouraging sign, as the director takes on the biggest challenge of his career.
Gunn and Feige have worked closely together for nearly a decade on the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, with Gunn serving as an executive producer on Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. And now, with the Guardians filmmaker essentially taking on a position similar to Feige's for the DC Universe, Feige sees big things in store for one of the biggest names in the world of comic book movies.
The MCU head also made it clear that Gunn still has a few months of work left with Marvel as he completes post-production on Guardians of the Galaxy 3, and he also has the team's Holiday Special coming to Disney+ the day after Thanksgiving. Whether the two ever work together after that time is a mystery, but seeing them support each other so much just shows the camaraderie these industry professionals have.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will debut on Disney+ on November 25, with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 set to premiere in theaters on May 5, 2023. Gunn will also start in the position as DC Studios co-CEO on November 1.