DC Studios’ James Gunn Clears Up DCU Confusion; Nothing Is Canon Until CREATURE COMMANDOS And SUPERMAN: LEGACY

DC Studios’ James Gunn Clears Up DCU Confusion; Nothing Is Canon Until CREATURE COMMANDOS And SUPERMAN: LEGACY

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn has attempted to clear up the confusion surrounding the new DCU, confirming nothing should be considered canon until Creature Commandos and Superman: Legacy drop. Check it out!

By JoshWilding - Sep 27, 2023 02:09 PM EST
Filed Under: Superman: Legacy

When Warner Bros. Discovery decided to kick off 2023 by revealing DC Studios' DCU slate, they probably thought it was a good idea. Instead, it killed much of the interest fans had in the studio's remaining DCEU movies (leading to a string of box office flops) and left even comic book die-hards scratching their heads. 

Despite hyping up an undeniably impressive slate of movies and TV shows, no one is certain what is and isn't canon, why some actors are returning and others aren't, and what the endgame is for this new shared world. 

DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn recently took to Threads in an effort to clear up some of that confusion, confirming nothing we see should be considered DCU canon until Creature Commandos drops. That will tease the new status quo before Superman: Legacy takes a deep dive into it. 

However, if these reboot plans didn't already sound convoluted, the filmmaker's next response cements what a strange approach this is to a fresh start. 

"Some actors will be playing characters they've played in other stories," Gunn explains, "[and] some plot points might be consistent with plot points from the dozens of films, shows [and] animated projects that have come from DC in the past."

Why DC Studios isn't starting from scratch is hard to say, and we can't quite shake the feeling this relaunch is going to really struggle to resonate with moviegoers who have already grown tired of a tainted brand. 

Check out Gunn's comments in full below.




Superman: Legacy tells the story of Superman's journey to reconcile his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing as Clark Kent of Smallville, Kansas. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way, guided by human kindness in a world that sees kindness as old-fashioned.

David Corenswet is playing the Man of Steel, while Rachel Brosnahan has been tapped to star as Lois Lane. other recent casting additions include Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner, and Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho. The movie is currently set to be released in theaters on July 11. 2025.

As for Creature Commandos, it will star Frank Grillo as Rick Flag, Sr., Indira Varma as Bride of Frankenstein, Zoë Chao as Nina Mazursky, David Harbour as Eric Frankenstein, Alan Tudyk as Doctor Phosphorus, Sean Gunn as G.I. Robot and Weasel, Maria Bakalova as Princess Ilana Rostovic, Steve Agee as John Economos, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.

The series sees Amanda Waller create a black ops team out of monstrous prisoners. Gunn wrote all of the first season's episodes ahead of a planned 2024 premiere on Max.

CREATURE COMMANDOS Executive Producer Says Animated Series Will Be First Expression Of James Gunn's DCU

CREATURE COMMANDOS Executive Producer Says Animated Series Will Be "First Expression" Of James Gunn's DCU

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DrReedRichards - 9/27/2023, 2:21 PM
mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 3:02 PM
@DrReedRichards - It is helpful. He's telling people to skip Aquaman 2 lol
DrReedRichards - 9/27/2023, 3:27 PM
@mastakilla39 -

Lol, that's pretty thoughtful of him. 😂
CorndogBurglar - 9/27/2023, 3:40 PM
@DrReedRichards - Jesus Christ bro. He's essentially saying, "Nothing is canon until Creature Commandos and Superman.....but some things are canon."

Like.....what the hell.
DrReedRichards - 9/27/2023, 4:03 PM
@CorndogBurglar -

I know, right? I'm legit trying to cut him some slack here by taking each of his comments separately on their own, but the dude's definitely not helping himself...
InfraMan - 9/27/2023, 4:04 PM
@DrReedRichards - Never has a gif seemed more appropriate. I sincerely hope Gunn can pull this off, but man does it feel like a steep hill to climb.
DrReedRichards - 9/27/2023, 4:12 PM
@InfraMan -

Love me some classic Captain Jack.

As a Marvel guy, I really want DC to finally, FINALLY pose some much needed competition for the MCU on the big screen, but as it is, even with their latest series of failures?

...yeah, I gonna keep hoping, but I just don't see it paning out any time soon...
Nightwing1015 - 9/27/2023, 4:24 PM
@mastakilla39 - how’s he telling people to skip Aquaman 2?
NegativeNerd - 9/27/2023, 4:48 PM
@mastakilla39 - L.O.L.
mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 6:30 PM
@Nightwing1015 - Aquaman 2 isn't canon to the DCU, so nothing set up or done in this film matters....so you can skip it.
Nightwing1015 - 9/28/2023, 8:46 AM
@mastakilla39 - but Aquamam 1 didn’t set up anything in the DCEU either and made 1 billion…..see my point?
regularmovieguy - 9/27/2023, 2:21 PM
Not that confusing tbh. This is what he's said from the beginning.
DrReedRichards - 9/27/2023, 2:34 PM
@regularmovieguy -

Isolated, it does make sense. When read back to back with his statements about Blue Beetle and Flash, it starts to fall apart.
DeadClunge - 9/27/2023, 2:40 PM
@DrReedRichards - this. 😅

mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 2:57 PM
@DrReedRichards - All he said with Blue Beetle is that he's keeping the actor not the canon. Flash did reset the DCEU, but he never said his DCU took place after it. Not sure where the disconnect is from those movies.

I'm more curious about Peacemaker and Amanda Waller shows because he's actually directing and writing some of those episodes and keeping the same actors.
philinterrupted - 9/27/2023, 3:40 PM
@DrReedRichards - yeah, he’s run into the old problem of, say too much and it bites you in the ass eventually.

I wish he’d just focus on making a good universe and let everyone outside of that speculate as much as they want. Correcting false rumors is such a waste of time.

Should have also waited till after Aquaman 2 to announce anything.
CorndogBurglar - 9/27/2023, 3:42 PM
@DrReedRichards - I don't think it makes sense whether isolated, or with previous comments.

If you isolate this comment it's the equivalent of saying, "Everything is blue. But some things arent".

CorndogBurglar - 9/27/2023, 3:46 PM
@regularmovieguy - It is confusing though.

"Nothing is canon until Creature Commandos and Superman".

Fine. That by itself is fine and it's definitive. Nothing we've seen will be canon. Great.

But then he goes on to say that some things from past films WILL be consistent with the DCU. I mean, which one is it? Is everything before Creature Commandos not canon? Or is it? Or are only some things canon? Nothing he said answers any of those questions.

And we are people that come to this site every day and keep up with this news, yet even we're confused.
mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 4:10 PM
@CorndogBurglar - Your over thinking it, everything in the multi-verse is canon so anything he says will never be wrong lol.

Jokes aside, I think with the new DCU using some of the same actors its going to copy The Flash's method of using Michael Keaton's Batman without "stating on film" that he's Burton's Batman. How they "use" the character will not be distracting because they will never reference anything in the past films nor will they ever redo anything that has been done already in the past. Similar to how Marvel is doing with Daredevil our member berries are going to do all the work for the studios. Same actor, same character, different/similar costumes, and all new stories.

Cons: no lore, no origin, no supporting characters you care about, no character arcs. I'm assuming they are going to be like Rambo, Indiana Jones, and Mad Max films where they are just fun adventures with the characters where you can watch these films in any order and it won't ruin the experience or distract you about canon stories or side characters like the comics.
IronSpider101 - 9/27/2023, 4:27 PM
@CorndogBurglar - It seems pretty clear to me. Idk why everyone is struggling with this.

When you watch "Into the Spider-Verse" for example, Peter Parker and Peter B Parker are both very much an amalgamation of all of Spider-Man's pop culture greatest hits. They show you the 60s theme, they show you bits from the comics and Raimi films. You don't need someone to sit you down and tell you "Well technically Peter B is the Raimi Spider-Man and the dead Peter is the Spider-Man from x cartoon series" you just recognize that these are Spider-Men that have gone through very similar histories to what you're familiar with. It uses those iconic moments as shorthand.

Similarly, if say Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, they won't do the origin story, and perhaps they don't outright reference the previous movies, but seeing her in the role you as an audience member are keyed into the idea that "This is a Wonder Woman who is probably more or less the same as the DCEU version" until they directly or indirectly negate the events of one or both of those movies (introducing a new version of Maxwell Lord, for instance). Any deviations can be chalked up to being a different universe, but in the immediate sense of watching the current story play out, you're able to use that shorthand to feel familiar with that character.

Nothing that came before is canon. But if you see Jason Momoa as Aquaman and he's acting more or less the same and his world has the same aesthetics, you can probably presume then that he's lived experiences similar to the previous Aquaman movies even if they aren't technically canon.
regularmovieguy - 9/27/2023, 4:35 PM

DCU is its own canon and it begins with Creature Commandos (the first project Gunn has developed as co-CEO of DC).

There are some actors that will remain a part of these movies like Peacemaker and the actor who played Blue Beetle.

These movies aren’t going to take a masters degree to understand when they come out. They never do.
Unites - 9/27/2023, 2:21 PM
I adore and respect Gunn and come on... everyone can tell this ain't gonna work out, right?
JackBurton1 - 9/27/2023, 3:23 PM
@Unites - I doubt it does...but we'll see.I like his picks for the Superman movie so far... but the whole Bat dad thing I'll pass on that though.
IronSpider101 - 9/27/2023, 4:34 PM
@Unites - I think it likely will work out just fine.

All they have to do is have a fun, weird, unusual trailer for Superman: Legacy. Maybe weird aliens, weird superhero shit. And then drop in "From the Director of Guardians of the Galaxy" and everyone in the audience who isn't as deep into the behind the scenes and just watches the movies will go "Oh wow, they got the GOTG guy to do a weird version of Superman. That looks like an interesting spin."

I imagine Gunn's Superman will be very Silver-Age/Grant Morrison inspired, rather than the "grounded" versions we got from Donner/Singer/Snyder. So even though comics fans will see stuff they're familiar with, to the general public this will seem like a fresh spin from a guy who did that funny sci-fi superhero series they all love.
Urubrodi - 9/28/2023, 5:09 AM
@Unites - Also I don't think he's helping himself here. Imagine you were tasked on bringing the DC universe back from the dead. Would you really start it off with Creature Commandos? And then in your Superman movie you decide to take the attention away from him and make him share the screen time with a bunch of Justice League members? Why can't we have a Superman vs Brainiac movie, sometimes it feels like Hollywood hates Brainiac. But let's wait and see...
Tonic24k - 9/27/2023, 2:23 PM
I still feel like there could be a lot less confusion around this. If you're not bringing Caville back but you are bringing Gadot back (rumored)...why? I'd rather just see the whole thing wiped clean and start again with a blank slate.
prettynucIear - 9/27/2023, 2:24 PM
Imagine if the end credit in Superman Legacy is just a much older Viola Davis talking to Superman for the first time. "I'm building a team."
mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 3:08 PM
@prettynucIear - Or maybe there is no end credits. He said there's going to be no justice league for at least 5 years so 2028 - 2029 is the earliest we will hear of a crossover. He's in no rush to set up a universe anymore and he now has to balance his slates with all the else world films too so its going to take even longer than the MCU took to make the 1st Avengers movie.
CoHost - 9/27/2023, 2:27 PM
Fatigue is real. Just give it a few years.
mastakilla39 - 9/27/2023, 3:19 PM
@CoHost - Not true, its like saying there is 3d animation fatigue. There were 24 3d animated movies slated this year for theaters and so far most have flopped or underperformed except for Super Mario Bros and Spider Man. Don't hear anyone complaining about 3d animated movie fatigue.
IronSpider101 - 9/27/2023, 4:40 PM
@CoHost - Fatigue just comes from the fact that people just make generic CBMs right now. Nobody is making real movies or attempting to do anything interesting. Which is why people like Scorsese are totally right. They are ALL action comedy cartoon shows. You can look at a movie like "Winter Soldier" and go "It's like a spy thriller that happens to star Captain America!" but not really. It's like a standard MCU movie but with a coat of spy thriller paint.

Whereas you take something like "Joker" for example and you can love or hate that movie, think it succeeds or fails, but that was at least an attempt to make a different kind of movie. People responded to that because it works as a movie first and a comic book movie second. Which is what ALL of these should be striving to do.
Forthas - 9/27/2023, 2:28 PM
This sounds like it is going to be another huge cluster! Gunn is just listening to himself and not fans. He likes quirky obscure characters so he is going to force it on the DCU and help his friends and family get a little work while he is at it
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