Warner Bros. Reveals DC’s Smart Plan to Catch Up to Marvel

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Marvel DC Warner Bros

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav has been vocal about the need for DC to catch up to Disney and Marvel Studios, and now, it seems that a solid plan was unveiled in order to achieve similar success.

The DCU, formerly the DCEU, is in the age of transition as it welcomes co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran as leaders of the new era. As part of the transformation, Zaslav revealed that "DC is at the top of the list" of its plans moving forward as they attempt to mirror Marvel Studios' methods, saying that it wants to build "a ten-year plan" for the franchise

In fact, Zaslav even admitted DC's shortcomings against the MCU, noting that "Marvel is seven, eight, nine times bigger" than the DCU. 

The plan to mirror Marvel's methods is also in line with the vision of its small-screen counterpart, with HBO Max Head of Original Content Sarah Aubrey pointing out that it wants to use the streaming service to support the overarching story of the movies.

Now, Zaslav has provided another concrete update on the studio's plans for the DCU. 

Warner Bros. CEO Reveals Plan to Utilize a Strong Roadmap

Superman, James Gunn, Batman

Warner Bros. (WB) CEO David Zaslav spoke to Deadline about the future of the DCU and how it will achieve consistency when it comes to building a connected on-screen universe. 

While saying that DC has been a "hugely undervalued asset," Zaslav commended Disney on how the Hollywood giant did such a wonderful job with establishing Marvel as its own connected universe. 

Zaslav then pointed out that the reason for the MCU's success is having a "bible," noting that the key was "having one person following everything:"

"[DC is] a hugely undervalued asset. Disney did a wonderful job with Marvel. But if you looked at Marvel and DC ten years ago, you would have said DC is as good or better. But Marvel is a connected universe. It has a ‘bible.’ The key was having one person following everything. All of Marvel is one place. You don’t wake up and find that there has been a Batman TV show someplace.”

This bible refers to a roadmap for the brand's cinematic endeavors, with Zaslav also confirming that Gunn and Safran are "coming close to the end" for finishing such a guide for WB. 

On a related note, the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO previously made a promise to fans that "there's not going to be four Batmans" in the DCU, considering that there are four actors playing different versions of Batman active in the DCU: Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, and Iain Glen (from Titans).

Meanwhile, Zaslav continued to tease that fans will see "a lot of growth" around DC, with the idea “to drive the hell out of DC, which is what [James Gunn and Peter Safran] are going to do:”

“DC is one of the biggest opportunities [for] this company. Our company is a creative company and so we found two great guys. You will see a lot of growth around DC. We haven’t done a Superman movie in 13 years.” 

Why The DCU Needs a 'Bible' For Its Success 

The DCU's contents are clearly all over the place, with several disconnected franchises from its larger universe being developed and released both on the small screen and the big screen. 

Aside from the mainline DCU, Matt Reeves' The Batman, Todd Phillips' Joker universe, and Keanu Reeves' upcoming Constantine sequel are all set in entirely different Earths. It is unknown how Zaslav, Gunn, and Safran will streamline these different worlds into the main DCU, but the assurance that a bible will be followed could hint that the studio has a solid plan to make it all work. 

It's possible that this roadmap will be followed right after The Flash establishes that the Multiverse exists, thus finally explaining where each world exists. An alternative route would be doing a similar move on how the Arrowverse managed to connect all their superhero shows on one Earth after staging a major crossover event in the form of Crisis on Infinite Earths

Another solution would be putting an end to the stories of the likes of Joker and Constantine, with the sole survivor (The Batman) being allowed to continue with the promise of it being incorporated into the mainline DCU in the future. 

Whatever the case, it is a good sign that a bible or a roadmap will soon be followed as this will avoid confusion among fans in the future on which project is connected or not.

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.