James Gunn Talks DC at Town Hall

It’s beginning to look a lot like Marvel at DC Studios. James Gunn and Peter Safran, co-CEOs of the newly-formed division, participated in a town hall with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Gunn took the opportunity to tease a big plan for DC under his and Safran’s watch:

“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.”

That sounds very much like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, doesn’t it? This isn’t surprising, as Zaslav has wanted that kind of shared universe since taking over Warner Bros. Discovery, searching for a Kevin Feige figure that could shepherd the DC Universe on film. Gunn and Safran ended up being the guys, and they’re suitably ambitious. They’ve also got their work cut out for them because this could get unwieldy quickly; look how Marvel is floundering with their various Disney+ series that now tie directly into the movies. A lot of that is down to quality, but asking the general audience to keep up with numerous TV shows and films to understand the unfolding story is a gamble, especially when you throw animation into the mix. Maybe the shows and movies will be loosely associated, like Daredevil and the other Netflix series were; they can serve as a treat for diehard fans without confusing people who just want to see the films. But these are the early days, and I’m excited to see how it unfolds.

Other than that, the three mostly praised each other and talked about their shared love of the DC Universe, with Gunn saying that Zaslav’s passion for and understanding of the characters was why he and Safran took the jobs:

“I know that you are doing all this because you love these characters, too, and you love the possibility, and the hope that they represent and that has been clear to us from the beginning… We would have never considered this if that wasn’t the case, so, thank you.”

Once again, there’s the emphasis on hope and optimism, the same thing Henry Cavill and the Rock have been expounding in their promotion of the coming DC Film Universe. I’m convinced this is an initiative on Warner Bros. Discovery’s part to let people know about the change in direction and what they can expect down the road, and especially to get them energized for some fun superhero adventures. Some may find it repetitive, and I understand, but it makes me smile every time, and while caution is always warranted, I’m hopeful that the DC Universe is finally in the right hands.

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