Amid Crisis, Superman & The Rest Of The DCU Film Franchise Finally Gets Its Reboot

It’s just like its comic book source, really.

When things are off the rails and creative and financial difficulties arise, the publishers of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, DC Comics, often turns to a sense-shattering storyline that affects all of its published comic book titles. It’s a manufactured event that involves a universe-spanning conflict whose sole outcome is to reset the world(s) in which the DC stable of superhero characters inhabit. All while drawing media attention and fan interest (and money) into the company’s coffers.

Call it a “Crisis”. And there have been many over the last few decades for the beleaguered publisher.

But Warner Brothers, the parent company of DC Comics, has seen the same creative and financial futility in its own slate of DC superhero films. From in-fighting amongst principals to courtroom dramas, from run-ins with the law to numerous social media faux pas to entire films thrown away as tax write-offs, this past year saw the WB ready to wipe the slate and start anew.

Enough was enough and high-up executives literally put a “Gunn” to the head of their DC film and television properties.

Tongue in cheek, of course.

Enter writer/director James Gunn and seasoned film executive Peter Safran, who were hired over the winter to pitch and then oversee a new, cohesive direction for the DC Extended Universe film, television and animated series of products.

Amidst rumour and speculation and with the social media spheres either all a-flutter or raging with a fist raised towards the websiphere, today finally sees the first official announcements from Gunn and Safran about where the celluloid heroes of DC Comics will be going to next.

And really, next is all sorts of different superhero landscapes!

Announcing the first eight-to-ten-year plan full of animation, television and film, James Gunn released the first slate of DC Studio pop-culture goodies that fandom will soon be consuming.

Under the working theme of Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters, they include:

Creature Commandos (Animation) stars characters such as the gun-toting and absolutely heroic Frankenstein and his Bride alongside a bunch of misfit monsters on wacky, world-spanning adventures, pitting themselves against the ultimate evils. The title was originally a beloved comic book series set in WWII, updated over the last two decades into a more modern sensibility. Interestingly, Gunn’s plan is for the voice actors of the animated characters to also play those same characters in real-life film – when and if that time comes.  

Waller (TV/Live Action) starring Viola Davis, who is, apparently, the ultimate DC Studios survivor, as she reprises her Amanda Waller role from previously seen DC films/television like Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. Davis was perfectly cast and she consistently delivers a sublime performance as Waller – the centerpiece of the government string-pullers in the DCEU.    

Superman: Legacy (Film) is set to be released in theaters on July 11, 2025 and will harken the “true beginning of the DCU”. Expect this Superman to be set in the early days of Clark Kent’s career as a Daily Planet news reporter and, perhaps, the character’s social justice origins. Expect wild and rampant speculation from fandom over the coming months regarding which actor will play the titular role!

Lanterns (TV/Live Action) will star Green Lantern characters Hal Jordan and John Stewart in a detective-based program that is set on earth, their home precinct, but with universe-spanning mysteries that tie into what will be a larger DCU film plot. Could Sinestro and the fan-favourite War of Light storyline be coming?   

The Authority (Film) is a hard-hitting group of superheroes who believe the world broken and will do anything to fix it. This may be the most interesting franchise announced today as most people don’t know who these characters (Midnighter, Apollo, Jack Hawksmoor, Engineer, Grifter) are. Expect the world to find out.  

Paradise Lost (TV/Live Action) is the story of Themyscira or Paradise Island, birthplace of Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Their hero may not be far behind.  

The Brave and the Bold (Film) harkens a beloved title from the past of DC Comics but bases the film on the very twenty-fist century Batman and his ninja-assassin son, Damian Wayne. The film serves to introduce a new Batman (separate from the successful Matt Reeves The Batman film franchise starring Robert Pattinson) and relationship with a his petulant and deadly offspring. It’ll also serve a starting point for all other upcoming Batman-related film and television endeavours. Cue speculation on casting in 3…2…1…

Booster Gold (TV/Live Action) stars the cult hero from the future thrown into the past to become a hero. Expect shenanigans and a hearty “bwah ha ha!” (cult-fan insider joke).   

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (Film) is based on the recent Tom King run on the Supergirl comic, a character who has a distinctly different outlook on life than her cousin. This film should be an interesting mirror for Superman: Legacy and is one of the most enticing properties announced today.  

Swamp Thing (Film) like its comic book origins, will establish the darker corners of the DC Universe series of films and television. It’ll depict the origins of the monster and is something I’m very excited to see – if done properly. One would think that the original Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson and Alan Moore, Steve Bissette and John Totleben tales will be the story vines that make up the structure of this horror film. Let loose Arcane and his un-men, the werewolves, vampires, Floronic Man and the rhyming Demon, Etrigan!     

Gunn and Safran, fans of the DC stable of comic books, have drafted up a plan that combines three main themes: traditional superheroes, science-fiction and horror, from which all future movies, television and animation can stem.  

It’s exciting, to be sure. But announcements are one thing. Execution is another.

Promising to allow the vision of directors and writers and actors to flourish, Gunn is adamant that storytelling is of the utmost importance to him. He wants to give viewers something different than what’s been seen before.

As fans, we’re ready for his new slate of storytelling popcorn and candy!

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