James Gunn To Run DC Studios For Warner Bros.

James Gunn

by James White |

Big news from James Gunn to follow his next Marvel project – James Gunn is taking his services to DC and Warner Bros. in a bigger way than ever before. The filmmaker will work alongside regular producing partner Peter Safran to jointly run a new studio unit called DC Studios, which replaces DC Films and will oversee much of Warners' DC-based films and TV, both live-action and animated.

The surprising news (via The Hollywood Reporter) comes after Warner Bros. Discovery had spent ages looking for someone to run its DC section since previous boss Walter Hamada, unhappy with developments under new WBD CEO David Zaslav, decided to leave.

Aiming to find an equivalent to Marvel's Kevin Feige, there were feelers out to various filmmakers and producer Dan Lin, who has worked extensively for Warners. Yet despite talks, Dan ultimately opted to stay with his own production company.

Gunn and Safran had been spotted talking with Warner film bosses Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, though then it was put down to Gunn pitching new potential movies. Turns out, the studio was doing the pitching — of a job that'll see them reporting to the CEO, De Luca and Abdy, and shepherding the vast majority of DC's movie and TV output. Outliers at this point? Todd Phillips' Joker sequel, which is siloed from the DCEU and won't be overseen by the new duo. Less known is whether Matt Reeves' expanding The Batman universe will also fall under their purview.

Gunn, of course, needs little introduction and has created the likes of The Suicide Squad and small-screen spin-off Peacemaker for DC, while Safran is a manager-turned-producer who has the likes of the Conjuring franchise, Gunn's DC work and James Wan's Aquaman movies on his CV. Gunn will reportedly handle most of the creative decisions guiding the new DC Studios, with Safran handling the business side of producing new output.

And lest you worry that this means Gunn is getting out of filmmaking to sit in an office all day? As part of his four-year initial DC-exclusivity deal, he'll still be making movies and TV shows, just also handling executive decisions around other films and filmmakers.

Given how well his work has generally turned out, we're optimistic about this new direction.

“DC has among the most entertaining, powerful, and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the singular and complementary talents of James and Peter joining our world-class team and overseeing the creative direction of the storied DC Universe,” says Zaslav in a statement. “Their decades of experience in filmmaking, close ties to the creative community, and proven track record thrilling superhero fans around the globe make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, TV, and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling.”

“We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children,” Gunn and Safran said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told.”

Someone find Dwayne Johnson – the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe really has changed…

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