According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Gunn and Peter Safran have been appointed as the co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios, a newly formed division at Warner Bros. replacing DC’s film, TV, and animation efforts.
Recently, Gunn and Safran were seen meeting with Warner’s film co-chair Michael De Luca about future projects on the Warner Bros. lot. During the summer, De Luca made the initial approach to Safran and Gunn, even as the studio was in shaky talks with producer Dan Lin.
In his new role, Gunn will focus on the creative side, whereas Safran will handle the business and production aspects. Both directors and producers will continue to direct and produce movies, respectively. They will report directly to Zaslav and work closely with Warners film executives De Luca and Pamela Abdy. According to sources, Gunn’s deal will last four years and will only be available to DC. Although Gunn will occasionally polish a movie, the goal is for them to act as executives rather than just producers.
It is believed that Todd Phillips’ work on the Joker sequel, which begins production later this year, will not be under Gunn or Safran’s purview, but rather under De Luca and Abdy’s guidance. DC Studios has multiple films set in separate creative universes, unlike Marvel Studios. The Batman movie from Matt Reeves, who worked under Hamada, will become the basis for a new universe. Whether Reeves’ future projects are under Gunn and Safran’s purview is unclear, but everything else is.
As Zaslav says in a statement, “DC has some of the best characters in history, and I can’t wait to have the unique and complementary talents of James and Peter join our world-class team and oversee the DC Universe’s creative direction.” “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.”
In a statement, Gunn and Safran said, “I’m honored to be stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were kids.” Our aim is to create an integrated, multilayered world with the best writers, directors, and actors in the world while still allowing the artists to express themselves individually. 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.”
For the past four years, Hamada has led DC Films as its chief executive. As part of the company’s attempt to compete with Marvel Studios, Zaslav made the controversial decision to axe HBO Max-bound film Batgirl in August and has vowed to reshape DC with a 10-year plan. Hamada left
In a statement, De Luca and Abdy expressed great excitement about the addition of James Gunn and Peter Safran to the DC Universe team. “James is a brilliant filmmaker and storyteller and Peter is a tremendously successful and prolific producer and to have them both committing to work together to forge this new era for DC is a literal dream come true. We all share a very similar sensibility and passion for this universe and the stars couldn’t have aligned any better. We can’t wait to get started, dig in, and collaborate with these unmatched creative minds.”
Marvel chief Kevin Feige spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet for Black Panther Wakanda Forever about whether or not he has spoken with Gunn since the news broke, telling them, “I speak to James almost every day.”. We have a wonderful thing called the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming out. We have a wonderful thing called Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 coming out in May,” “How he’ll have any time to work on DC until May I don’t know, but once he does have the time I’ll be very excited. I’ll be first in line.”