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What to read to prepare for James Gunn’s new DC movie and TV universe

James Gunn at "The Suicide Squad" premiere.James Gunn, the co-CEO of DC Studios, announced the new slate of DC films and TV shows last week.

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage

  • DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran revealed their initial slate of movies and shows for their new DC universe.
  • Gunn later shared the inspiration for the film projects, including acclaimed comic-book stories.
  • The slate will launch with a new Superman movie written by Gunn, “Superman: Legacy,” in 2025.
New DC Studios co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran revealed the first wave of titles for their new DC film and TV universe last week.James Gunn, Peter SafranJames Gunn, Peter Safran

Warner Bros. Discovery

The slate, titled “Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters,” includes a mix of well-known characters like Superman and Batman, as well as B- and C-listers like Swamp Thing and Booster Gold.

It includes five theatrical films and five TV shows for HBO Max. Here are the movies, in alphabetical order:

  • “The Authority”
  • “The Brave and the Bold”
  • “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow”
  • “Superman: Legacy”
  • “Swamp Thing”

And the TV shows:

  • “Booster Gold”
  • “Creature Commandos” (animated)
  • “Lanterns”
  • “Paradise Lost”
  • “Waller”
On Twitter, Gunn later shared the comics that are acting as the inspiration for the films.james gunn twitter dc comicsGunn shared some of the comics inspiring his new DC film universe.


Gunn said that the movies won’t be direct adaptations, but “the feel, the look, or the tone” of the comic stories will be “touchstones for our team.”

The future of the DC universe is looking more clear based on the stories Gunn shared, and it suggests a departure from the scattershot nature of the previous DC and Warner Bros. regime.

The DC Extended Universe, as it was called prior to Gunn and Safran, tried to build a connected cinematic universe. But after the critical and financial failure of “Justice League,” started telling more standalone stories.

Gunn and Safran’s DC universe will likely play with different tones and styles, as well, based on the stories Gunn shared — but under a unified creative direction.

“The Authority” is a group of superhumans protecting the world by any means necessary.The AuthorityCharacters from “The Authority” will have their own film.

DC Comics/Bryan Hitch

Gunn described “The Authority” as a “big movie” in his and Safran’s plans. The average person may be unfamiliar with the characters, though.

Gunn didn’t point to a specific Authority story as inspiration. The team was originally introduced under DC’s Wildstorm imprint in the late 1990s by writer Warren Ellis and artist Bryan Hitch, and they existed outside of the main DC universe. Gunn and Safran intend to change that right away with their new film and TV universe.

The characters in the Authority comics weren’t afraid to use lethal force, but it’s unclear at the moment just how adult-friendly Gunn and Safran’s DC universe will get.

Gunn cited Grant Morrison’s run on the Batman comic series as inspiration for “The Brave and the Bold.”The Brave and the BoldBatman and his rascally son Damian will be featured in the next live-action Batman film.

DC Comics/Frank Quitely

“The Brave and the Bold” will introduce Gunn and Safran’s version of Batman, along with his son Damian Wayne, who is currently Robin in the comics.

Morrison began writing DC’s Batman comics in 2006, and his first storyline was “Batman and Son,” with artist Andy Kubert, which introduced Damian.

Gunn said the movie will introduce the “Bat-family” in his new DC universe.

Robert Pattinson’s Batman will still exist, just outside of Gunn and Safran’s universe, and is expected to appear again in “The Batman Part II.” Movies that exist outside of the main DC movie and TV universe, which also include “Joker” and its upcoming sequel, will fall under a new DC Elseworlds banner, Gunn and Safran announced.

The eight-issue comic series “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” is the inspiration for the upcoming movie of the same name.Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow“Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” will have its own film.

DC Comics/Bilquis Evely

Gunn and Safran didn’t have to go back very far in comics history to find the template for a Supergirl movie.

“Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow” was an eight-issue series by writer Tom King and artist Bilquis Evely published last year.

Gunn said this week that the Supergirl of the movie will be a “jaded” after seeing her homeworld destroyed, similar to the version of the character seen in King and Evely’s story.

It’s unclear if this will be a different Supergirl than the one being introduced in this year’s “Flash” movie, though, where she’ll be played by Sasha Calle. Gunn said this week that “The Flash” will “reset” the DC universe, before he and Safran launch their own.

This year will see the release of several other DC movies that were greenlit and made before Gunn and Safran were hired, including “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” “Blue Beetle,” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.”

“Superman: Legacy” will take inspiration from the 12-issue comic series “All-Star Superman.”Superman Legacy art“All-Star Superman” is a critically acclaimed comic.

DC Comics/Frank Quitely

“All-Star Superman,” by writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely, was part of the short-lived All-Star banner launched by DC in 2005 that was intended to tell stories by superstar creators that were untethered from the larger DC continuity.

Ironically, it’s what Gunn is using to jumpstart his own DC continuity. “Superman: Legacy” is set to hit theaters in 2025 and is being written by Gunn.

“All-Star Superman” is one of the most acclaimed comic series in recent memory, winning multiple Eisner awards (the comic-book industry’s Oscars). It follows Superman after he’s exposed to enough solar radiation that he finds out he has just one year left to live.

“Swamp Thing” will be a horror movie inspired by writer Alan Moore’s take on the character.Swamp ThingAlan Moore’s take on Swamp Thing will inspire the movie.

DC Comics/Jason Fabok

Before he wrote “Watchmen,” Alan Moore took on Swamp Thing in the early 1980s.

Gunn has described the movie as “horrific,” and “Logan” director James Mangold is in talks to direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Read the original article on Business Insider