Warner Bros. Discovery is introducing the Big Gunns to alter the DC Universe’s power system.
In collaboration with Aquaman and Shazam producer Peter Safran, James Gunn, who wrote and directed the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy for Marvel Studios and The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker for DC, will oversee the studio’s creative initiatives in film, television, and animation.
Marvel, DC Creators React To James Gunn’s Leadership Of DC Studios!
As the new co-chairmen and CEOs of DC Studios, which will take the place of DC Films, Gunn and Safran will be the guardians of the renamed DC Extended Universe and will answer to WBD CEO David Zaslav. James Gunn pondered the future throughout the summer.
The director appeared at San Diego Comic-Con in July as a Disney employee, in town to provide a first look at the sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3,” three months prior to the bombshell announcement on Tuesday that he and longtime supervisor Peter Safran would assume over DC Films.
As he walked the red carpet, Variety questioned him about broadening his Marvel superhero scope beyond Chris Pratt and the company’s intergalactic follies.
In a joint statement, Gunn and his producer Safran for Suicide Squad and Peacemaker said they were looking forward to working with the most brilliant writers, filmmakers, and performers to build a cohesive, multifaceted universe while allowing for the individual expression of the artists involved.
Why Is James Gunn Suitable For The Role?
Zaslav had committed a “reset” to the studio’s DC operations by instituting a more Marvel-like 10-year structure, increasing quality, and hiring a more centralized creative leader equivalent to Marvel’s Kevin Feige. Tuesday’s announcement of two names was unexpected by some in Hollywood.
Gunn and Safran’s jobs will include coming up with a long-term plan for the company’s film, TV, and animation projects based on DC Comics.
According to the studio, both will keep producing, creating, and directing their projects. In a statement, Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav commended Gunn and Safran’s “unique and complementary talents.”
They announced that they will now report directly to him beginning November 1. They are uniquely suited to build a long-term plan spanning film, television, and animation and elevate this legendary franchise to the next level of creative storytelling.
Due to their decades of filmmaking experience, strong relationships with the creative community, and demonstrated track record of enthralling superhero fans worldwide.
Before the release of Black Adam in theaters, Walter Hamada, who had been in charge of the division known as DC Films for the preceding four years, formally left the company last week.
What Were The Opinions Of Others On The Choice?
Since Gunn and Safran are now co-chairmen and chief executive officers of DC Studios, they will oversee the artistic control of the inventory of villains from comic books and heroes across film, TV, streaming, animation, and beyond. Monotony will be impossible.
Despite Gunn and Safran’s outstanding résumés, the job is enormous, and success is far from guaranteed.
The two will need to devise new strategies to take on Marvel, the studio that catapulted Gunn to stardom and established the benchmark for cinematic worlds, as well as cost-cutting measures at a time when DC’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, is becoming more concerned with staying within budget.
A slew of Hollywood heavyweights like the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, whose choice was hailed as “bold” by Variety, who spoke with him, has made it obvious that he wants nothing less than his take on Marvel maestro Kevin Feige.
He has discovered in Gunn a rebellious (and, at times, explosive) director who is well-versed in geek culture and has shown a talent for straying from the norm without alienating mass audiences.
Safran and Gunn will both answer to Zaslav, a boss with a reputation for being exacting and not afraid to get specific. Safran is a friendly CEO with the charisma and agility needed to maneuver the business world, and DC is lucky to have him.
One eminent talent agent, who spoke anonymously, described Safran as “gorgeous” and “firm as oak.” Safran was raised in the UK and received a legal education before working as an assistant at United Talent Agency, and spent years in a managerial position there.
Gunn and Safran produced “The Suicide Squad,” which received positive reviews from critics but performed poorly at the box office.
Many have attributed this to the studio’s choice to concurrently release it on HBO Max. With “Peacemaker,” the duo succeeded with a spin-off series that exemplified the type of cross-platform strategy Zaslav had hoped to see more of at the studio. Movies feed streaming shows, and likewise.
What Does This, Therefore, Entail For Gunn And Safran?
Gunn’s outspoken and distinctive voice, who will soon be writing cheques and entering edit rooms, has drawn the interest of several senior executives and dealmakers, who said they are intrigued to see how incoming filmmakers would perceive him.
Other participants with studio insider information suggested that this setting is where Safran would be ideal and most effective, and they guessed that De Luca and Abdy might be crucial ambassadors.
The four-year contract still allows DC to put Gunn in front of the camera. The deal prevents him from taking his specific skills to Marvel in Burbank, across the street.
By hiring Gunn, Zaslav also clearly states that he prefers aesthetics over four-quadrant safety. Gunn’s voice is unmistakably adult-oriented, and he is never hesitant to be ironic or meta.
After all, the team’s final act in “The Suicide Squad” involved impaling a massive starfish; that was an extravagant maneuver that seemed to be far apart from Thanos and his infinity gauntlet.
Gunn rose to popularity as the creator of subversively subversive genre films like “Slither” and “Super,” films made with a rebel cry and created outside the blockbuster business’s creative restrictions.
However, he also demonstrated a talent for keeping some of that flavor in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” even as he catered to the demands of a corporate juggernaut that needed to produce films that would inspire toy lines and theme park attractions.