James Gunn, a filmmaker, is currently unidentified, but given the recent news, we’d like to believe he is dancing groovily to some early-morning radio hits. because Peter Safran, the producer, and the director of The Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy will jointly serve as co-chair and co-CEO of DC Studios.
The astonishing information, which was made public by The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday afternoon, shows that the two would answer directly to the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav. They also succeed Walter Hamada, who left DC Films as president this week.
The last time an A-list filmmaker had a studio executive role was maybe when Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith founded United Artists in 1919. But that’s exactly what happened with Gunn, who THRbegan talking during the summer about the possibility of working with Safran to direct DC’s upcoming cinematic ventures.
Michael De Luca, the co-chair of Warners, had approached them at the time, and it seems that things moved along rather easily from there. The plan is for Safran to continue overseeing the more lucrative areas of DC’s cinema, television, and animation output, while Gunn keeps an eye on the more artistic side.
With Gunn possibly having more intimate information than any other filmmaker about the ins and outs of how contemporary superhero moviemaking operates, the news is unquestionably a game-changer.
In fact, Gunn has been successful at the two biggest studios in the genre: Disney’s Marvel Studios and WB’s dynamic DC unit. When Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige took a risk on Gunn, the quirky and eccentric auteur behind relatively low-budget, horror-related films like Slither (2006) and Super (2011) was elevated to A-list status. The result was the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, one of the most well-known and peculiar in the MCU.
Gunn was briefly removed from the MCU by a staged social media dispute, but Feige and the Guardians of the Galaxy cast were so devoted to him that Disney eventually persuaded him to return for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
In the interim, DC gave Gunn complete creative control over last year’s The Suicide Squad, which we personally think is the most enjoyable superhero film in at least the previous five years. This link has now proven to be extremely significant.
After previously collaborating on Slither, Gunn and Safran reconnected on a big-budget project with The Suicide Squad. After producing 2019 shazam! with New Line Cinema, Safran produced the 2021 supervillain project, his second DC film. Prior to that, Safran produced each film in the burgeoning franchise that became The Conjuring, which was a tremendously successful shared universe for Warners under the New Line banner.
Additionally, he has a lengthy history with Gunn, having co-produced The Belko Experiment, a 2016 horror film based on Gunn’s script, as well as the 2000s filthy comedy series PG Porn that Gunn created for YouTube. Since that time, Safran has continued to develop DC-related projects, serving as executive producer of HBO Max’s Gunn’s Peacemaker, for example.
Given Gunn’s remarkable and usually underappreciated storytelling skills and the knowledge he has gained from witnessing Feige personally create a well-oiled machine at Marvel Studios, their ascent to the top of the DC pyramid could be exciting. Gunn’s personal sensibility, it’s safe to say, won’t likely fit into every aspect of the DC universe.
Even while it is assumed that he is aware of this, some fans may be interested in what it implies for future superhero films, especially given the fact that several actors are now portraying Batman and the much-anticipated return of Henry Cavill to the Superman role. THR claims that it is still unclear exactly whose jurisdiction Matt Reeves’ separation of The Batman Universe will come under.
Nevertheless, this is a huge thing for the DC universe’s hierarchy. Additionally, Gunn and Safran’s formal statement, which you can read below, is interesting for anyone who was unsure about Gunn’s continued dedication to the Harley Quinn character.
We feel privileged to be the custodians of these DC characters, whom we have adored since we were little. In order to build a cohesive, complex universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved, we are looking forward to working with the most brilliant authors, directors, and performers in the world.
Only the wonder of human possibility that these characters stand for rivals our passion for Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC cast. As we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told, we’re thrilled to revitalize the theatrical experience all around the world.