Why James Gunn’s DC Studios Q&A Allegedly Rubbed Some Warner Bros. Execs The Wrong Way

James Gunn directing Idris Elba in The Suicide Squad
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

While there are four upcoming DC movies slated for release this year, up until last week, aside from Joker 2 being slotted for late 2024, the DC film slate beyond 2023 was essentially a blank canvas. That’s no longer the case, as DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran held a Q&A for the press that unveiled the movies and TV shows making up the DC Universe franchise’s Chapter 1, a.k.a. “Gods and Monsters.” Naturally there’s been a lot of conversations generated about these projects, but supposedly the event itself rubbed some executives at Warner Bros. Pictures the wrong way.

As shared by THR, these executives weren’t enamored with James Gunn and Peter Safran expressing their unfiltered thoughts on DC-related subjects beyond the DC Universe slate, including Henry Cavill being “dicked around” by the previous DC regime over his Superman return, as well as describing the Batgirl movie that was scrapped last summer as “not releasable.” The publication stated that “some of their comments were not exactly tactful,” particularly since there are still members of that “previous regime” who still work at Warner Bros., hence why they weren’t pleased by what Gunn and Safran had to say on these subjects.

The writeup goes on to mention that James Gunn and Peter Safran don’t fall into standard movie executive roles that “either toe the company line, express generic and genial statements, or retweet praise.” They’re “moviemakers” first and foremost, and in Gunn’s case, he’s been standing out in recent months by debunking all sorts of DC-related rumors on Twitter, like when it was alleged he’d already cast the new Superman. But if there are select people in the Warner Bros. hierarchy who aren’t pleased with how untactful Gunn and Safran are on the business side of their DC Studios endeavors, it’s unclear if they’ll be instructed behind-the-scenes to behave in a more “corporate” manner, or if these individuals will just have to get used to the way this duo does things.

In any case, with James Gunn and Peter Safran leading the charge at DC Studios, this corner of the superhero movie market is kicking off a new era, essentially serving as a soft reboot about what’s been commonly referred to as the DC Extended Universe. While certain elements of that continuity will remain intact, including Viola Davis continuing to play Amanda Waller in her own series that’s tied to Peacemaker, others are getting a fresh start, like the aforementioned new Superman and a new actor being selected to play Batman in this universe for The Brave and the Bold. It was also clarified that projects which don’t fit under the main DC Universe umbrella will be classified as “DC Elseworlds” properties, with that lineup including the Joker movies, The Batman universe, Teen Titans Go! and Superman & Lois.

Right now the only DC Universe project officially on the Warner Bros. calendar is Superman: Legacy for July 11, 2025, although the animated Creature Commandos series is currently in production, so maybe it could arrive towards the end of 2024. Keep visiting CinemaBlend for all the biggest updates on DC happenings, and keep track of when this year’s DC movies are coming out with our 2023 release schedule, starting with Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.