DCU Creator James Gunn Explains Why Individual Stories Are Important in Shared Universes

gunn dcu shared universe

With DC Extended Universe facing its imminent end this December when ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’ finally opens in theaters, DC fans, whether they like it or not, can start gearing up for the upcoming DCU era in which the majority of movies, television series, and video games will part of one big shared universe, and the few exceptions, such as ‘Joker: Folie à Deux’ and ‘The Batman — Part II’ will be considered Elseworlds.

In October 2022, James Gunn and Peter Safran were hired as the new CEOs of DC Studios, and their task was to develop a brand-new cinematic universe. Gunn announced the first five movies and five television series in February this year, revealing that these are only the first of many projects we will watch in the franchise’s Chapter 1: Gods & Monsters. The announcement of this reboot divided the fans. While some fans are looking forward to the new shared universe, hoping that DC Studios learned something from their past mistakes with DCEU, some others think this change is coming too suddenly.

James Gunn: “Shared universes should add fun to the individual stories, not the other way around.”

James Gunn has a good reputation when it comes to developing superhero projects. He wrote and directed Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ trilogy, DC’s ‘The Suicide Squad,’ and its spin-off series ‘Peacemaker.’ Gunn also serves as the writer and director of ‘Superman: Legacy,’ the first DCU movie.

Recently, one follower asked Gunn on Threads: “Why should we invest time and effort in yet another shared universe? Just build on what’s already there with slight course corrections as needed.”, indicating that Gunn should’ve kept DCEU as it is and just change the course of the franchise as needed. Here’s how Gunn responded.

“If you think of anything as “investing time and effort”, no matter what shared universe, you definitely shouldn’t be! Every story should be enjoyed and worth partaking in, in and of itself, without its attachment to an outside world. If it feels like homework, screw it. “Shared universes” should add fun to the individual stories, not the other way around. The individual stories and characters are much more important to me than the connections between them.”

James Gunn


James Gunn Confirms Three DCEU Actors to Return to DCU

DC Extended Universe was planned to take a new course following the release of last year’s ‘Black Adam,’ which wasn’t well-received critically or commercially. Dwayne Johnson-led movie brought back Henry Cavill’s Superman in the post-credit scene, and Cavill’s long-awaited ‘Man of Steel’ sequel was announced to be in development shortly after.

However, with Gunn and Safran taking over, the plans were suddenly changed, and Cavill announced he wouldn’t return as Superman anymore. Last June, David Corenswet was cast to play Clark Kent in Gunn’s ‘Superman: Legacy.’

‘Superman: Legacy’ will start production in early 2024, assuming the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike is resolved until then. Written and directed by James Gunn, the first DCU movie will open in theaters on July 11, 2025.

Do you agree with Gunn on his take on shared universes? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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