After years and years of trying to find the right path for a cinematic universe based on DC characters, Warner Bros Discovery hired James Gunn, director of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and DC’s The Suicide Squad, to develop a true cinematic universe with Peter Safran. After Zack Snyder’s DCEU failed due to a series of unfortunate events, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam did not achieve the expected success at the box office, and Henry Cavill exited the franchise as fan favorite Superman, it was time to change things up fast. Well, almost.
After weeks of speculation, James Gunn and Peter Safran have unveiled the first projects that are part of their now-official DCU name. It can be said with certainty that the DCEU is over, but the question of the DCU and its continuity arises. With these new projects and some old projects that will be available to us by the end of this year, the question arises: How does the DCU relate to the DCEU?
From what we can see, the DC Extended Universe that started with Man of Steel in 2013 will be closed this year in The Flash. After that, every DC movie (except Elseworlds projects like The Batman – Part II and Joker: Folie à Deux) will be set in the DCU. Some actors we saw in the DCEU will continue to play their roles in the DCU (Viola Davis), while some roles will be recast, such as the roles of Batman and Superman. Robert Pattinson will continue to play Batman in Matt Reeves’ Batverse, but a new actor will be chosen for the DCU.
New projects, and some old actors
Gunn and Safran have announced that Chapter 1 of their DCU (equivalent to the MCU’s Phase 1) will be called Gods & Monsters, and these are the announced projects:
- Superman: Legacy (July 11, 2025)
- The Authority
- The Brave and the Bold
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow
- Swamp Thing
- Booster Gold (TV series)
- Paradise Lost (TV series)
- Green Lantern (TV series)
- Amanda Waller (TV series)
- Creature Commandos (animated TV series)
Looking at this, everything seems like brand new projects, especially Superman: Legacy, which will be the first solo Superman movie since 2013. It has been confirmed that a new actor will be cast in the role. James Gunn is developing the script, while a director has not yet been selected (Peter Safran has mentioned that Gunn might also direct, but it’s not certain yet).
The Brave and the Bold will also follow the new Batman. Sasha Calle will play Supergirl in The Flash this year, but it hasn’t been specifically confirmed that she will indeed reprise the role in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. On the other hand, Viola Davies, who has played Amanda Waller since 2016, will return for her own spin-off series, which will be set between the two seasons of Peacemaker, starring John Cena.
So we can say that the DCU will start a new franchise and a new era for DC movies, but some traces of what we once knew as the DCEU will remain. How will the writers deal with the fact that some characters in the DCU will remain the same and some will not? We can only wait and see.
Gunn and Safran mentioned that the door to the DCU isn’t closed for Zachary Levi, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller, but it remains to be seen if they’ll bring up stories that will require their characters in the DCU. Wonder Woman 3, in which Gadot was set to reprise the title role, was previously canceled. However, the spin-off series set on the island of Themyscira is still happening, so who knows what the future holds for these actors who have kept quiet about it during by DC.
Why is Chapter 1 called Gods & Monsters? What it could be about?
Gods & Monsters will be the title and, therefore, the central theme of the first chapter of the DCU. Regarding references, it shares the title with Justice League: Gods and Monsters, an animated film released in 2015. That film takes place in an alternate universe, but it’s safe to say that the franchise will have nothing to do with that film.
Gods and Monsters is kind of a combination of what DC always likes to mix together in comics and adaptations. Just like Marvel, DC has its own incarnations of famous gods from various mythologies, such as Zeus and Ares. God-like characters like Thor and Wonder Woman are always how these franchises introduce these mythological characters, especially since some heroes are so strong that only villains with godlike powers can actually pose a threat when it comes to brute strength.
If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that we’ll see all kinds of heroes and villains. From ordinary people, vigilantes, enhanced individuals, and aliens to gods and various other powerful characters. We can’t be sure when we’ll ever see Darkseid and these extremely powerful characters, but we will when the time is right.
Judging by just the fact that we have so many projects announced at once and that there is a title for this first of we don’t know how many chapters in the franchise, it shows that Gunn and Safran have an idea and have planned this thing thoroughly. We still don’t know how they will explain that some roles got a makeover and some didn’t, but we suspect that the upcoming The Flash movie and its games with time and space will have something to say about it.
We can only wait and see. We are still excited about the Elseworlds projects; The Batman – Part II, The Penguin series, and Joker: Folie à Deux. But we are looking forward to seeing if DC has finally put it all together and come up with the ideal approach to build a successful cinematic universe as Marvel did years ago.
Superman: Legacy is set to be released on July 11, 2025.