Well, this was unexpected.
According to Deadline and effective November 1, James Gunn and Peter Safran will be the Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of DC Studios. In their new roles, Gunn and Safran will oversee “the overall creative direction of the DC Universe across film, TV, and animation under a single banner.” They will report directly to Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav and work closely with Warner Bros. Film Group Co-Chairpersons and CEOs Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy.
Here’s Zaslav’s statement on the appointment:
“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. 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.”
And now here’s what Gunn and Safran have to say:
“We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children. 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. We’re especially enthusiastic about doing all of this with Mike, Pam, Casey, Channing, and the whole Warner Bros. Discovery team, and are grateful to David Zaslav, whose bold vision for the future of the franchise we share and allows for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Most of all, we can’t wait to bring you all into the story of the DCU.”
Gunn, of course, is best known among superhero circles for writing and directing Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy films and DC’s The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. It’s an interesting choice for DC’s Kevin Feige and one that pretty much closes the door on Gunn doing any additional projects for Marvel after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
For the first time in a long time, I’m optimistic about the future of the DCEU. Let’s see what this duo can give us!
What are your thoughts on Gunn leading DC? Are you surprised?