Not too long after a major news outlet reported potential Batman casting news, the new DC head called them out on Twitter.
James Gunn, current head of DC Studios and the DC Universe (formerly the DCEU or DC Extended Universe) under the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella, fired back at false media reports earlier today via social media. Calling out specific reporters’ by name and even qu0te tweeting the offending article in question, it appears that Gunn has no qualms about dealing with false casting rumors and reports — especially when it comes to his new baby, the DC Universe (DCU).
This is notable as it indicates a potential switch-up within the DC Universe itself, especially with regard to its lineup of superheroes, and Justice League franchise casting.
Together with Peter Safran, James Gunn heads the newly formed DC Studios post-Warner Bros. Discovery merger — and the two are tasked with a “Marvel Studios Kevin Feige”-esque mission to retool the currently rather messy DC Universe into a superhero franchise as massive (and financially viable) as The Walt Disney Company’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Having had a huge (and successful) history at DC Studios rival Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular directing the much-loved Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, that will be ending this year after the Marvel Studios Special Presentation: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special with the final installment in the franchise, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Gunn will finally part ways with the Feige-led Marvel Studios and fully settle into his role at DC.
The current state of the DC Universe, including the previously Zack Snyder-led Justice League franchise, beginning with his DC directorial debut, Superman/Clark Kent solo origin DC film Man of Steel (2013) starring Henry Cavill in the titular role and Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor that set up the Avengers (2012)-style culmination movie, Justice League (2017). Going into more detail with the heroes of Wonder Woman/Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), Batman/Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), The Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Cyborg/ Ray Fisher, and Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), as well as Mera (Amber Heard), 2017’s Justice League set out to be the biggest DC movie of them all. Unfortunately, production issues arose and the film ended up being directed by Zack Snyder, as well as former Avengers and Marvel director Joss Whedon, and at fans’ insistence, a director’s cut titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) was released on HBO Max after the fact.
Now, with Henry Cavill donning on the Superman cape once again after Black Adam (2022) actor Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) promised him changes within DC and Warner Bros., the Batarang is up in the air as to who will fill the role — or re-fill — the role of the caped crusader. Batman/Bruce Wayne has had multiple iterations within the DC Universe — some particularly recent as well, such as Robert Pattinson’s variant from The Batman (2022) alongside Colin Farrell’s Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot and Zoë Kravitz’s Catwoman/Selina Kyle. Gunn’s latest tweet creates a once again, as despite previous Batman actors such as Christian Bale indicating they would consider returning to the role, as well as Michael Keaton once-slated to return to the now-cancelled Batgirl movie, it seems that the DC Universe’s future is in rocky waters again. Or perhaps just new ones.
Quote tweeting a recent Variety article, Gunn — despite praising the journalist at first — fired back at the reporter Adam B. Vary’s insinuation that Matt Reeves’ The Batman i.e. Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, might join the DCU and Justice League proper:
There are few reporters I love more than @adambvary – truly a good guy – but in this case he needs to get a new source as this is entirely untrue.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 14, 2022
Could we be seeing the return of the “Snyderverse” as many DC fans seem to be clamoring for? Or will Gunn and Safran steer the DCU into entirely different waters?
Some fans took to rejoicing, taking this to mean the return of “Zack Synder’s vision” for the Justice League that hardcore “Snyder Cut” fans have been hoping for, as @GrimSorrow16 writes accompanying an image of Ben Affleck as Batman:
This is the Batman the fans are asking for
This is the Batman the fans are asking for pic.twitter.com/4TS8Do33RT
— Sorrow (@GrimSorrow16) December 14, 2022
Keep in mind, however — the debunking of “Battinson” does not automatically mean “Batfleck” is actually back on the table.
It’s entirely likely that Gunn will be ready to reboot the entire DC Universe and shape it to his liking, choosing what works and what doesn’t. This would fall in line with the establishment of the puzzle pieces for a “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story (based on the similar DC Comic plotline of the same name) — except now it could exist with the elements kickstarting a new age and DC rebirth at Warner Bros. Discovery with James Gunn at the helm.
What do you think could be the future of the DC Universe? What do you hope to see from James Gunn and Peter Safran? Share your thoughts in the comments below!