After an uneven couple of years trying to build the next big cinematic universe, Warner Bros. is essentially hitting the reset key on the DC Universe and starting over from scratch with a small but focused slate of films and TV projects. Led by Co-Chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran, the first ten DC Studios projects–five movies and five HBO Max TV series–are all set in the same universe and will see comic book icons star alongside a squad lesser-known anti-heroes, a con artist from the future, intergalactic cops, and Gotham’s best vigilantes.
Matt Reeves will return to his Caped Crusader with a sequel to The Batman, and as previously announced, director Todd Phillips is reuniting with Joaquin Phoenix for Joker: Folie à Deux. These two films will be set in an Elseworlds continuity, existing outside of the bubble of the main continuity. “The DCU’s a multiverse, but we’re going to be focusing on one universe from that multiverse,” Safran explained via the DC website. “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 Teen Titans Go, we’re going to make it very clear that those are DC Elseworlds, just the same way that they do it in the comic books.”
While Superman and Batman are familiar faces who’ll headline their own films, Gunn said the creative teams he’s been working with are looking to shine a light on more obscure corners of the DC Universe. “Here at DC, we have Metropolis, Gotham, Themyscira, Atlantis, Bialya… This is the world that we’re creating,” Gunn said. “We’re coming into a world where superheroes exist and have existed for some time in one form or another, and that’s the universe. We are telling a big, huge central story that is like Marvel, except that I think we’re a lot more planned out than Marvel from the beginning because we’ve gotten a group of writers together to work the story out completely.”
Below, you can find more details on what to expect from the DC Universe and its decade-long plan that was revealed this week.
Creature Commandos (HBO Max series)
An animated series coming to HBO Max, several actors have already been cast to bring DC’s oddball squad of military misfits to life. The roster for this incarnation of the Creature Commandos includes Rick Flag Sr., Nina Mazursky, Doctor Phosphorous, Eric Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, G.I. Robot, and Weasel. Gunn has written seven episodes of this show, which is currently in production.
Waller (HBO Max series)
She’s been calling the shots behind the scenes in the DC Universe for years, but in the live-action HBO Max series that is set between Peacemaker Season 1 and Season 2, Amanda Waller is in the spotlight. Once again starring Viola Davis reprising her role as the no-nonsense commander of the Suicide Squad, the creative team includes Watchmen TV series writer Christal Henry and Doom Patrol creator Jeremy Carver.
Superman: Legacy (Live-action movie)
While both Waller and Creature Commandos precede Superman: Legacy, Safran and Gunn describe this new Man of Steel feature film, as the real launch of the new DCU. Gunn is currently writing the script and says that it won’t be an origin story, but it will focus on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. “Superman represents truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks of kindness as old fashioned,” Safran said.
The film has a release date of July 11, 2025, but don’t expect to see Henry Cavill reprising his role as the Metropolis Marvel.
Lanterns (HBO Max series)
Enough time has passed for everyone to forget about that Green Lantern film (we hope), and the next incarnation of Oa’s peacekeepers will see Hal Jordan and John Stewart patrolling the galaxy and shining an emerald light on evil. Described as “more of a True Detective-type mystery with our two Lanterns,” the show features an ancient horror on Earth that the supercops have to handle. “The story is going to weave back and forth between the films and the television shows,” Safran said. “Peacemaker is a good example of how that works, and that’s what we’re going to do with this big overarching story that we’re telling.”
The Authority (Live-action movie)
What happens when you mix a team of anti-heroes with an ends-justify-the-means approach to saving the day? You get The Authority, one of the most dangerous superteams to ever exist and ready to tackle threats that are either too dirty or epic for the Justice League to get involved in. Gunn calls this feature film adaptation his passion project, one that features people with good intentions who are willing to do anything necessary to fix the world. “Whether that means killing people, destroying heads of state, changing governments–basically, whatever they want to do to make the world better,” Gunn said. “We’ll see how that journey goes for them.”
Paradise Lost (HBO Max series)
Game of Thrones meets Wonder Woman, Paradise Lost will chronicle the rise of the Amazons and how they formed a society of only women on the secret island of Themyscira. Gunn added that the series will be full of darkness, drama and political intrigue, and will answer questions about how this fledgling society formed its laws, created its politics, and elected its rulers, long before Wonder Woman was born.
The Brave and the Bold (Live-action movie)
The DCU’s Batman will be introduced in this movie, but he won’t be the only hero keeping a watchful eye over Gotham. Based on Grant Morrison’s Batman run, The Brave and the Bold will introduce Batman’s son Damien Wayne and other members of the extended Bat-Family. Ben Affleck won’t be wearing the cape and cowl again, but Gunn says that the former Dark Knight has helped “bring things together” and has expressed interest in directing a DCU project.
Booster Gold (HBO Max series)
While the upcoming DCU slate has a few grim and dark projects in development, Booster Gold on HBO Max is going all in on comedy. Starring the con artist who travels back in time for an easy–and possibly lucrative–gig fighting crime, Booster Gold is a superhero impostor syndrome comedy series starring a loser from the future pretending to be a hero. An actor hasn’t been cast for the lead yet, but Gunn says that discussions to fill that role are currently ongoing.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (Live-action movie)
Based on Tom King and Bilquis Evely’s recent and critically acclaimed comic book series, Gunn says this film will star a “much harsher and more f***ed up Supergirl than you’ve been used to” thus far. Superman may have been raised on Earth since he was an infant by his loving parents, but as a refugee of Krypton who has vivid memories of the planet before it was destroyed, Supergirl has a more unique and jaded outlook on life in comparison to the optimism of Superman.
Swamp Thing (Live-action movie)
Finally, Swamp Thing is back, greener and meaner than ever in a movie. The film will explore the dark origins of Swamp Thing, but Gunn and Safran are keeping details under lock and key for now. What is known about the film so far is that it’ll be a “horrific” movie that is “totally outside the rest of the DCU” according to Safran.
The Batman 2
Existing alongside the Joker sequel in its own separate continuity, The Batman 2 will be released on October 3, 2025.
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