James Gunn’s plans for the new DCU are setting up some exciting team-ups, although they haven’t announced them yet. The plans are full of exciting nuggets from the return of Superman to the big screen in Superman: Legacy to the continuation of recent EGOT-winner Viola Davis’s tenure as Amanda Waller in Waller on HBO Max. There were surprises like The Authority and projects that audiences have been clamoring for, such as Booster Gold. In short, the new DCU is making a triumphant return after years of dysfunction and conflicting creative impressions. With The Flash resetting the timeline, Gunn can begin anew and give the DCU the bright future it deserves.
Importantly, the 10 new projects only account for the first part of Chapter 1: “Gods and Monsters”. Much more is yet to come in the Chapter, including the super special secret project Gunn’s repeatedly teased, but it is far too early to announce any of it. So far, only Superman: Legacy has a set release date – on July 11th, 2025 – and given the schedule of 2 movies and 2 tv shows per year, Chapter 2 logically can’t come until late 2027 at the earliest. Nevertheless, the plans do point to where the DCU could be heading already.
6 The DCU’s Plans Could Lead To A Different Justice League
Gunn’s plans show that they’re taking a broad, yet cohesive approach to building up the new DCU. With projects like Superman: Legacy, The Brave and the Bold, Lanterns, and Paradise Lost, they’ll establish the classic big hitters, while other projects will help bridge things together and expand on the fringes. Altogether, this will have to culminate in the Justice League even if the plans don’t include a Justice League film. Following the rushed approach that the DCEU took failed, Gunn and Safran need to take their time to acclimate audiences to the DCU’s tone, aesthetic, and vision.
Intriguingly, the plans do already suggest an entirely different type of Justice League than the one Zack Snyder thought up. Of course, characters like Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and presumably Flash – although whether it’s Ezra Miller’s is in question – will headline the team. They practically confirmed that when they revealed the new DC studios logo that features those 6 heroes. However, the broad foundations imply that Gunn’s Justice League lineup will be much larger. The inclusion of Shazam, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Booster Gold, and related characters suggests they might take an approach like Justice League Unlimited eventually.
5 The Brave and the Bold Could Introduce Batman Incorporated
The Brave and the Bold will easily distance itself from Batman’s past, and especially from Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe, which will continue on its own within DC Elseworlds. Importantly, the film will introduce a completely new Batman – Ben Affleck is out, though he might come back to direct something. It will also feature Damien Wayne in his live-action debut along with other members of the infamous Bat-Family. Whether explicitly in name or not, The Brave and the Bold can definitely set up a Batman Incorporated-type of Bat-Family. This entails Batman becoming more of a global hero with his sidekicks and allies operating in specific sectors.
Intriguingly, this is a natural development for the new DCU given that Batman Incorporated was written by Grant Morrison, who also wrote Batman and Son and Batman and Robin, which are both key inspirations for The Brave and the Bold. It’s a natural progression to follow the narrative they developed, while still drawing in new story elements from other iconic Batman runs. A Batman Incorporated-style Bat-Family is a clever way to allow characters like Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin to all operate on their own, even in their own projects. Such could restore even restore hope for Leslie Grace following Batgirl’s controversial cancellation.
4 The DCU Is Also Setting Up Superman & The Authority
As many know, the DCU is also beginning new when it comes to Superman. Superman: Legacy will feature a relatively young hero who is still struggling with his dual life as Clark Kent and Superman and his virtuous morality. While his future journeys would logically have him cross paths with his cousin in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and his Justice League allies, it could also see him team up with the Authority. The team hails originally from DC’s WildStorm imprint and with members like Midnighter, Apollo, and Jenny Sparks, they operate quite differently than the Justice League. Gunn and Safran aren’t hesitating to incorporate them early on.
Following Superman: Legacy and The Authority, the DCU could see them work together in an adaptation of Superman & The Authority. Funnily enough, this would be yet another example of the DCU adapting the work of Grant Morrison as Superman: Legacy is using their iconic All-Star Superman as inspiration. Superman & The Authority is a natural amalgamation of the disparate storylines, and it’s perfect to help showcase Superman as a true symbol of hope as he tries to prove that anyone can be a hero.
3 Booster Gold’s Team, Blue And Gold, Could Spin Out Of Blue Beetle
Among the new slate was something many fans have long wanted – a Booster Gold series. The “hero” from the future is a favorite and a bit of a joke, but that’s the point. The heart of his narrative is compelling nonetheless. He hails from the 25th century and using his advanced technology he traveled back in time to pose as a hero, only to learn what that really means, though he doesn’t lose his cocky personality. The DCU has already teased his most important relationship with Blue Beetle, though the film will be centered on Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle who succeeds Booster Gold’s best friend, Ted Kord. The dynamic duo could be perfect for James Gunn to write and direct.
Of course, Blue and Gold is made of Booster Gold and Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle, but this might just be translated to Jaime Reyes for ease. Thanks to its placement after The Flash and its isolated nature, Blue Beetle is presumably being integrated into the new DCU automatically. It could and likely will still introduce Ted Kord into the mix, although whether he’ll survive is in question. The two are a perfect recipe for an entertaining and silly team-up film down the line, whether they’re fighting back against alien invaders or simply stopping a heist together. The possibilities are boundless.
2 Paradise Lost Could Set Up Wonder Woman’s Wonder Family on Themyscira
Importantly, Paradise Lost will not feature Wonder Woman, but it will set her up in monumental ways nonetheless. The series has been described as reminiscent of Game of Thrones as it showcases Themyscira before Diana’s birth. This will allow the DCU to explore and develop Themysciran culture and history, thus providing sturdier foundations for when Wonder Woman does eventually come into play and establishing Themyscirans as critical players. However, when she does, she needn’t be alone. Paradise Lost can easily help establish and set up the introductions of several key characters alongside Wonder Woman.
The framing can help give one important character her due in the DCU whether or not they jump into the deep end with Wonder Woman 3 or cast someone new like Superman and Batman. This character is Nubia. She was introduced back in 1973, is DC Comic’s first Black superheroine, has served on the Justice League, and is now the Queen of Themyscira. She has yet to pop out of the pages and she should in the DCU. This can lead to a team-up among the Wonder Women like Hippolyta and Artemis, and further the incorporation of the many Wonder Girls, Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy, and Yara Flor, and even Diana’s brother, Jason.
1 Swamp Thing’s Team, Justice League Dark, Deserves To Be In The DCU
While most projects point to an eventual Justice League film, one does tease something darker. The Swamp Thing film will launch the DCU’s supernatural sector and logically speaking, it should lead to a Justice League Dark team-up. The team is made of key magical and supernatural heroes such as John Constantine, Zatanna, and Deadman. This would be the perfect team to compete with the Justice League and the Authority, and it could function well either as a film or a tv show on HBO Max.
In fact, there were once plans for a Justice League Dark series being developed by JJ Abrams, but that’s seen no public progress in years. If it were to come to fruition it’s highly likely it would be relegated to DC Elseworlds status with things like The Batman and Joker. Seeing as new the DCU isn’t shying away from bold moves, it should quickly build up the Justice League Dark team in Swamp Thing and beyond. Many of the team members are easily worthy of their own projects with Justice League Dark as the culmination of them all. Such a plan can help ensure the DCU’s continued success.
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