James Gunn will be leading the creative direction for DC films, television and animation after accepting a new role with the studio on Tuesday…
DC has finally found an answer to Marvel’s Kevin Feige.
James Gunn — who directed “The Suicide Squad” and developed the recent “Peacemaker” series — has been hired to lead the creative direction for DC films, television and animation. Gunn’s official title will be co-CEO of DC Studios alongside Peter Safran, who will handle the business and marketing side of the company.
Gunn will report directly to Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav in his new role.
“DC has among the most entertaining, powerful, and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the singular and complementary talents of James and Peter joining our world-class team and overseeing the creative direction of the storied DC Universe,” Zaslav said in a statement.
“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.”
The news that Gunn and Safran had been hired came after an exhausting search by Warner Bros. Discovery to find a qualified person to lead DC Studios following the exit of former boss Walter Hamada.
Landing somebody like Gunn to lead the creative direction of DC Studios is a huge land for the studio as he’s become one of the most sought after writers and directors in recent years, especially in the wake of his success with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise at Marvel.
Of course, Gunn will have his work cut out for him after an uneven direction for the DC film universe in recent years after Zack Snyder tried and failed to launch his own version of a shared universe similar to what Marvel had done for more than a decade. Following Snyder’s exit, DC attempted to continue building continuity between various films but only a few have found real success.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 25, 2022
While Gunn will be leading the creative charge at DC, he will not have control over two particularly high profile projects already in development at the studio. Todd Phillips’ upcoming “Joker” sequel starring Joaquin Phoenix and Lady Gaga will remain on its own as well as Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” sequel as well as the spinoff series that are currently in the works including a “Penguin” show starring Colin Farrell.
Outside of those particular projects, Gunn will have creative control to make decisions about future films, television series and animation specials at the studio. It’s a role that Feige used to make Marvel Studios a juggernaut at the box office before eventually turning his attention to Disney+ with the launch of numerous series over the past couple of years.
Now Gunn will look to turn DC Studios around, although it’s unknown if he’ll look to create a similar shared universe of films and television like Marvel or if he’ll ultimately decide to go in a different direction. Either way, DC should be praised for hiring a well-liked and highly respected creator like Gunn to lead the film, television and animation division moving forward.