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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gods and Monsters: Chapter One of the New DCU Gets Name and Roadmap

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Well, it's finally here: DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have officially announced their current plan for the first part of their revamped DCU, which they're calling Chapter One: Gods and Monsters.

The two revealed the plan to press at an event in Burbank, Calif., yesterday, just barely living up to their previous promise to share some new details in January 2023. Among the flashiest new entries to the line-up is Superman: Legacy, which Gunn is writing, although he hasn't decided yet whether or not he will direct. It's currently slated for July 11, 2025, and will show Clark Kent balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing, rather than serve as an origin story.

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They also announced Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, a film adaptation of Tom King's comic. The DCU's Batman, meanwhile, will be introduced in The Brave and The Bold, which will follow Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. They describe it as a father/son story, based on the Grant Morrison comics run, which will include other members of the Bat family.

That doesn't mean that Matt Reeves' planned The Batman trilogy is being left to the wayside. On the contrary, the plan is still to have Reeves see that trilogy through, announcing an October 3, 2025 release date for The Batman II. The Brave and the Bold will not open at the same time as Reeves' Batman movies hit theaters.

A Swamp Thing movie, investigating his dark origins, is in the works as well, in addition to The Authority, which will weave in several characters from DC's Wildstorm imprint. Gunn has worked on an outline for The Authority himself.

The Flash will be the DCU's big reset

As to how the current DC projects weave into Gunn and Safran's new plans, the executives say The Flash, which is scheduled to release on June 16, 2023 despite controversy surrounding its star Ezra Miller, will serve as a big reset.

"I think that we've gotten lucky with the next four movies, frankly, because we have Shazam, which leads into Flash, which resets everything, which then goes into Blue Beetle, which is totally disconnected,” Gunn said. “He can totally be a part of the DCU. [That] goes into Aquaman, which leads into Superman, our first big project."

But the one thing that we can promise is that everything from Superman forward … or actually you'll see in a second, from our first project forward, will be canon and will be connected. We're using some actors from the past. We're not using other actors from the past, but everything from that moment for will be connected and consistent.”

Safran went on to clarify further, adding: “The DCU is a multiverse, but we're going to be focusing on one universe from that multiverse. And if something isn't DCU, we're going to make that very clear. So strictly adult fare, like Todd Phillips' Joker or kids animation like Team Titans Go, we're going to make it very clear that those are DC Elsewords just the same way they'd be doing in the comic books.”

The plan is to release two movies and two HBO Max series per year. As far as the new film projects go, they're in talks with three directors out of the five movies announced. All in all, they currently have an eight-10-year plan, with two chapters being worked out. All actors involved will sign roughly 10-year deals for movie and TV appearances.

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On the TV side of things (which will all be housed on HBO Max), Creature Commandos will be the first new series to debut, an animated show that Gunn has already written all seven episodes of and is in production now.

Next will be Waller, a follow-up to Peacemaker that will see Viola Davis return as Amanda Waller, joined by other members of the Peacemaker crew. Lanterns, a "True Detective-like mystery" with Hal Jordan and John Stewart, is also in the works.

Another series on the list is Paradise Lost, a "Game of Thrones-style" series set on Wonder Woman's home nation Themyscira, which will explore how the society of women came about. Closing out the TV shows is Booster Gold, a character study of superhero-dom as imposter syndrome, for which an actor is already in talks.

See below the entire plan for the DCU as we know it currently, in addition to the studio-provided synopses.

Newly-Announced Movies

Superman: Legacy – written by Gunn, the film will hit theaters on July 11, 2025, and focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing.

The Authority – WildStorm characters will join the DCU as members of The Authority take matters into their own hands to do what they believe is right

The Brave and the Bold – the DCU will introduce its Batman and Robin in this unusual father-son story inspired by Grant Morrison’s comic series

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow – this science fiction adventure, which will be based on Tom King’s amazing, award-winning recent comics stories, presents a Supergirl viewers are not used to seeing

Swamp Thing – the film will investigate the dark origins of Swamp Thing

Newly-Announced TV Series

Creature Commandos – a seven-episode animated show in which Amanda Waller creates a black ops team out of monstrous prisoners; Gunn wrote all the episodes of the first season

Waller – starring Viola Davis, this series features Team Peacemaker and will be written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Supernatural)

Booster Gold – Booster Gold uses basic technology from the future to pretend to be a superhero in present day

Lanterns – this enormous TV event series follows intergalactic cops John Stewart and Hal Jordan as they uncover a dark mystery

Paradise Lost – set in Themyscira, home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman, this drama focuses on the genesis and political intrigue of an island of all women

Creature Commandos Covers

Previously-Announced DC Projects

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

The Flash

Blue Beetle

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Peacemaker Season 2

Joker: Folie à Deux

The Batman 2

Gotham Knights (The CW)

Superman & Lois (The CW)

Pennyworth (HBO Max)


Alex Stedman is a News Editor with IGN, leading entertainment reporting. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.

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