Warner Bros. Reveals Ambitious 8-Year Plan for New DC Superhero Universe

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Warner Bros. DC Superhero Universe

Warner Bros. Discovery is set to unleash a new era of the DCU with DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn at the helm, and recently, the studio teased what their plans for the future will look like.

The past few weeks have brought a number of major changes to the way WB is developing its superhero movie universe, particularly with Gunn and Peter Safran teaming up to be the co-CEOs of DC Studios. This will allow the pair to develop what they hope will be a cohesive and coherent DCU of movies, shows, and more as the company takes inspiration from its most direct competition, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Fans might be seeing the first signs of that regime change with the release of Black Adam, DC’s latest theatrical release before four new movies take the spotlight in 2023. After that time, the slate for DC is completely wide open, with many wondering exactly what Gunn and Safran are working on during their first days on the job.

In one of their first public appearances since taking their positions, the new dynamic duo peeled back the curtain for the first time to provide a look into what's in the works.

DC and Warner Bros. Heads Prep Fans for Future

DC Justice League

Coming from Deadline, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav appeared at a recent town hall meeting with DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran to share what the new structure for the DC Universe will look like. Since their initial announcement, this was the first public town hall-style meeting for the new DC leaders.

The trio pulled the curtain back on their plan to create a "bible" for a cohesive DC Universe (DCU) that encompasses live-action movies, TV, animation, gaming, and other content. This could be an incredibly ambitious move for the team as they already plan to combine the movie, animation, and even gaming worlds together into one streamlined narrative.

As reported by The Wrap, Safran expanded on this point, noting that their DCU would be telling "one great overarching story" across various mediums:

This was such a unique opportunity to tell one great overarching story … One beautiful big story across film, television, gaming, live-action, and animation.”

Zaslav shared his excitement to have Gunn and Safran on the team while celebrating the characters they'll bring to life, while Gunn reciprocated the feelings for Zaslav and thanked him for the opportunity to take on his new position.

The Hollywood Reporter also noted that James Gunn highlighted an "eight to 10 year plan" for DC in the meeting:  

The opportunity to make DC as great as it can be and as it should be — that is the reason why I’m doing this job because I know that Peter and I can do that. We spent the past couple days with a group of some of the best thinkers in the industry, the best writers in the industry starting to map out that eight to 10 year plan of what it’s going to look like in theater, in TV, in animation, across the board for these characters.

What Big Things are in Store With the DCU?

It's no surprise to see that James Gunn and Peter Safran are adamant about retooling the DCU from the movie and TV side considering how disjoined the franchise has become in recent years. But according to this quote, it appears that the two have far bigger goals than reworking just what fans watch on the big and small screen.

Gaming and animation have been pillars of DC's extended adventures for a long time, with games like Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League either having just come out or about to hit store shelves. Now, from this new report, it seems that games like these may even be a part of the grand overarching story that Gunn and Safran are working to build off of franchises like Aquaman, The Flash, and even Black Adam over the next few years.

With the two new CEOs only having started their work with the company in early November 2022, it will likely be a long time until any concrete details are revealed regarding what the roadmap for the DC Universe will look like. But should those plans truly be as ambitious as they're expected to be, DC fans are in for a huge round of news and projects as the 2020s move further forward.

- 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.