DC Studios finally has its new CEOs in James Gunn and Peter Safran, but what does that mean for the franchise and what happens next?
While Marvel Studios has thrived under the leadership of its president, Kevin Feige, DC has had some difficulties getting its cinematic universe off the ground. Part of that struggle was finding the right figurehead to lead it, and that was first on the agenda for Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) new CEO David Zaslav.
One of his first acts, particularly after the departure of controversial DC Films president Walter Hamada, was to find that leader — Feige himself was even approached. That quest was only recently completed when it was announced that the one-two winning combination of James Gunn and Peter Safran would take control of DC Studios.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Director takes care of the creative side, Safran keeps an eye on the business and production. And with Hamada out now, the new reign at DC has begun as the duo have now slipped into their positions, but what does that mean for the future and for fans?
James Gunn announces leadership of DC Studios
The duo have now assumed their positions following news that James Gunn and Peter Safran would take over as Co-Chairs and Co-CEOs of DC Studios. The newly found executives assumed their new roles on Tuesday, November 1, starting a four-year deal in the film, television and animation departments.
Gunn confirmed the start of his DC tenure by sharing a Superman comic panel Twitteras he says “I have to restrain myself…or I can absentmindedly smash this typewriter into a twisted wreck!”
But now that Gunn and Safran have officially started their tenure at the helm of DC Studios, what will the executive duo change?
James Gunn will juggle Marvel and DC
Gunn and Safran will run DC Studios together, with the former expected to have creative responsibility while the latter oversees business and production. With this balance, the director can continue to develop his own projects, including completing his current work at Marvel Studios.
Oddly enough, while Gunn now runs DC, he’s likely going on an MCU press tour The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Special this month. He will also work hard to finish the job volume 3 ahead of its May 2023 release, so it’s hard to imagine him fully committing to his new role until it’s complete.
But once The Suicide Squad Director can finally put some real work into building a new direction at DC, one can only wonder what will change. While Gunn has other commitments to fulfill in the coming months, that doesn’t mean he won’t be busy in the near future.
What will James Gunn change at DC Studios?
Perhaps first on the agenda will be a review of the list of projects currently in the works for film and television. This could result in further cancellations, fast lanes, overhauls, or creative switches to any of the myriad projects at a given stage of development across multiple platforms and media.
Also high on the agenda is putting together a team to work under Gunn and Safran who can help with various elements of the production. After all, even Marvel Studios has a parliament of executives working around Kevin Feige, so it would be logical to start something similar.
Previously, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav’s goal was to build a team focused on developing a long-term plan for the franchise, similar to the structure at Marvel Studios. Now that Zaslav has found his fig equivalent in Gunn and Saffron, this larger hierarchy will be filled in next.
That agenda also detailed the creation of a ten-year plan with an emphasis on quality, a task that will involve both selecting projects for development and forming a larger story, perhaps in the style of the Infinity Saga. Building this franchise direction will certainly be a task that will take a long time for the new studio heads.
As this future plan takes shape, Gunn has even hinted at which heroes will be most important to the future of the franchise. Among that list were Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Harley Quinn, indicating that they will all be starring in multiple projects in the not-too-distant future.
But simply put, fans shouldn’t expect Gunn to take a stage for any length of time to deliver big slate revelations in the style of Kevin Feige’s famous convention appearances. The DC Studios CEO might not have any news until San Diego Comic-Con 2023 in July at the earliest, but even that would be a stretch.
So it will be some time before Gunn’s DC era brings a project to the big screen, his penultimate work at Marvel Studios, The Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas Specialwill premiere on November 25 on Disney+.