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Analysis | A new Superman signals a new era for James Gunn and the DC universe


Superman will certainly be again on the large display screen. It simply won’t be Henry Cavill.

It hasn’t even been a full two months since Cavill was seen with an enormous “S” on his chest within the “Black Adam” post-credits scene, having a square-jawed stare-down with Dwayne Johnson, appropriate? And Cavill saying his return as Superman on social media?

Sure. That truly did occur. However the actor is now letting his hundreds of thousands of followers know the choice to convey him again as Superman has been shelved.

DC Studios’ newly named co-head James Gunn announced to his 1.4 million Twitter followers Wednesday that he is at present writing a brand new Superman film that may characteristic a much less skilled Clark Kent attending to know his means across the Day by day Planet newsroom. The function shall be recast to suit an earlier a part of the superhero’s life. Gunn additionally stated on Twitter he nonetheless doesn’t know who the director shall be, but it surely appears potential that the movie would kick-start a brand new and probably linked cinematic universe for DC Studios. And the announcement, together with a flurry of reports prior to now week, exhibits that the brand new management of Gunn and his DC Studios co-head Peter Safran seems to be fairly a flip from the earlier regime.

It appears they figured it was finest to tear the Superman Band-Help off and transfer ahead. Gunn also mentioned on Twitter that he and Cavill spoke to one another, they usually didn’t rule out a possible return for the actor in one other DC function someplace down the road. That’s if Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios don’t instantly swoop in with, say, a Captain Britain/Excalibur script, which could be an ideal match.

Henry Cavill dropped as Superman in James Gunn’s new film

Gunn’s quick-draw Twitter fingers signify a brand new period at DC: particularly, a superhero movie-making studio head who makes information on social media. Feige is just not a lot of a tweeter, posting lower than 200 instances. Gunn isn’t an avid tweeter both (he’s form of busy of late should you haven’t seen), however he has established he’ll use social media to get the phrase out and infrequently debunk wild rumors in a style that at all times has individuals throwing them round.

Cavill’s Superman information comes on the heels of director Patty Jenkins announcing she won’t be moving forward with a third Wonder Woman film at DC, placing into doubt the probability that Gal Gadot will return, as properly. Gadot, regardless of the combined opinions for “Marvel Lady 1984,” achieved the seemingly unimaginable process of changing into a princess of Themyscira for a brand new technology within the shadow of Lynda Carter’s timeless portrayal. But it surely’s exhausting to see her shifting ahead on this function with out Jenkins, and in a rethought DC film universe.

Gunn has confirmed himself to be a devoted comedian e-book reader, making a reputation for himself in superhero cinema by writing and directing initiatives with characters that even essentially the most hardcore followers overlook (Guardians of the Galaxy, Peacemaker, his Suicide Squad roster). His first massive tweet as the pinnacle of DC Studios featured cowl artwork from “Kingdom Come,” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, arguably one of many best DC tales ever instructed. He needs everybody to know he is aware of the place the great things is within the DC library. The pages of DC Comics at present have two unbelievable Marvel Girls of colour, Nubia and Yara Flor, who may function fascinating choices for Gunn as he builds his personal Justice League.

There are lots of different powerful choices for Gunn and Safran to make. They should resolve whether or not 4 already-scheduled 2023 films shall be a part of the brand new universe they’re constructing or exist exterior of it. March will convey “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” a sequel to actor Zachary Levi’s kid-turned-adult-superhero action comedy. “The Flash,” with the at-times-controversial Ezra Miller and the much-hyped return of Michael Keaton as Batman, arrives in June. August’s “Blue Beetle” stars Xolo Maridueña, as DC’s first Latino superhero. DC’s billion-dollar grossing king of the seas, performed by Jason Momoa, is returning in “Aquaman and the Misplaced Kingdom” in December. Miller and Momoa, like Cavill and Gadot, are holdovers from the Zack Snyder Justice League universe, and it’s totally potential these movies may very well be their DC swan tune. Maybe the one Snyderverse holdover shall be former Batman and present Jennifer Lopez husband Ben Affleck, who Gunn confirmed through a tweet that he had spoken with about probably directing for DC Studios within the close to future.

Extra various DC universes are nonetheless in play, as properly. Gunn has but to dispute Selection’s report based mostly on nameless sources that the J.J. Abrams/Ta-Nehisi Coates Black Superman undertaking continues to be shifting ahead. (Which is nice. As a result of that’s an motion determine I want.)

And what concerning the present Batman? The Darkish Knight’s cinematic adventures are arguably a very powerful franchise at DC. Rumors have been circulating that Gunn and Safran are contemplating putting director Matt Reeves’s Batman world (with star Robert Pattinson) into their deliberate DC universe. Will the brooding Pat-Bat be seen gritting his enamel subsequent to Gunn’s soon-to-be handpicked Superman? Gunn says no. And sure, he stated it with a tweet.

A 2024 “Joker” sequel starring Girl Gaga as Harley Quinn additionally seems like it’ll exist exterior no matter DC at present has cooking, similar to the unique Joaquin Phoenix movie.

You possibly can’t make a brand new superhero universe with out breaking a number of franchises. Warner Bros. made it clear it has outsized ambitions for its DC properties when it threw the phrase “studios” into the combo. It’s a message that it feels it has the potential to be on even footing with the decade-long success of Marvel Studios. However WB didn’t herald Gunn to be simply nearly as good its rival. This transfer was made to make DC Studios probably higher. Many have forgotten that DC was as soon as the champion of these things. Christopher Reeve. Keaton. Carter. DC introduced its legends to the display screen lengthy earlier than Marvel Studios was a factor. But it surely hasn’t held the crown in a really very long time.

Gunn and Safran have put everybody in Hollywood and all followers of superhero cinema on discover. The one means DC Studios goes to beat the very best to be the very best is to start out over.

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