DC’S new breed of heroes are ready for action
With the studio unveiling its new super-slate, we break down the ins, outs and weaponised weasels
WATCH OUT, KEVIN Feige. With James Gunn and Peter Safran at the helm of a brand-new DCU (DC Universe), Warner Bros. clearly means to match Marvel step-for-step with a super hero stuffed slate replete with big guns, small guns and obscure guns, all under the auspices of the biggest Gunn of them all.
While Gal Gadot may or may not be returning as Wonder Woman, DC’S other two A-list heroes are being placed at the centre of Chapter 1 of the DCU, aka the ‘Gods And Monsters’ phase. There are plans for two separate Batman projects — Matt Reeves’ The Batman Part II will debut in 2025, and see Robert Pattinson return in a project that is seen, like Todd Phillips’ Joker: Folie À Deux, as separate to the DCU. But there’s also The Brave And The Bold, which will introduce another version of Batman, and team him with Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian, as the first big-screen Robin since 1997. Expect mischief: Damian is, teases Gunn, “a little son of a bitch”.
Then there’s Superman: Legacy — to be written and possibly directed by Gunn — which is planned for July 2025. It will introduce a different Man Of Steel (farewell, Henry Cavill).
After Peacemaker, two further further off-shoots from Gunn’s The Suicide Squad are incoming. The very first thing we’ll get to see from the DCU will be Creature Commandos, an animated series that will feature a cadre of colourful characters (even by Gunn’s standards), including the lanky, google-eyed Weasel. In live action, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) will bark orders at underlings again in Waller, a TV show which, with a second series of Peacemaker on hold, will see the characters from that show (including, it’s presumed, John Cena’s titular lunk) show up and butt heads with Davis’ no-nonsense bureaucrat.
BRAVE NEW WORLDS
For years, Green Lantern has been a four-letter word in DC circles ( just ask Ryan Reynolds), but Lanterns will introduce two Green Lanterns — John Stewart and Hal Jordan — in a cosmic HBO Max show that Safran has likened to True Detective. Only with magical rings.
Paradise Lost, meanwhile, will explore the origins of Themyscira, the island of Amazonian warrior women, before Diana Prince is born. And while Gunn and Safran didn’t announce any directors, James Mangold tweeted a picture of Swamp Thing, the horror-tinged hero, suggesting he’s set to follow in Wes Craven’s footsteps by bringing the lumbering lettuce to the big screen.
FROM THE FRINGES
Gunn is keeping schtum on the DC futures of Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Ezra Miller (The Flash) and Zachary Levi (Shazam!) for now, but it’s clear that there will be many fresh faces. Booster Gold will see a hapless bloke from the future travel back in time and claim to be a superhero, while The Authority will turn Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s team of hardcore super-antiheroes into a movie. Whatever happens, the MCU clearly has stiff competition for the first time in ages. Let battle commence.