Blank Slate: New DC Reboot Plans to Disregard Earlier Cinematic Universe

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Henry Cavill looking shocked in Man of Steel

Credit: Warner Bros

It’s a whole new world.

Michael Keaton's Bruce Wayne saying "You wanna get nuts?" in 'The Flash'
Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

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After the 2022 merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery (WBD), a significant organizational reshuffling transpired, leading to the departure of the former head of DC, Walter Hamada. James Gunn, a celebrated director recognized for his contributions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) under Kevin Feige at Marvel Studios, including the Guardians of the Galaxy series, has now assumed the role of CEO at DC Studios, partnering with co-CEO Peter Safran.

Now, DC Studios is set to embark on something totally unique and, allegedly, the opposite of what Marvel Studios is offering audiences.

Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) looking distressed in 'Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom' footage
Credit: DC Studios

Gunn will be pivotal in revitalizing the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), now rebranded as the DC Universe (DCU). In this capacity, he oversees the transformation of iconic characters like Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Superman, portrayed by Gal Gadot and Henry Cavill respectively in the previous DCEU’s Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Now, Gunn himself is laying to rest any DC fan hopes that the upcoming reboot will reference earlier material surrounding this “universe shift”.

Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne without mask
Credit: DC Studios

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Entering the newest phase of the DC Universe (DCU) titled “Chapter One – Gods and Monsters,” James Gunn is orchestrating a substantial overhaul of the former DCEU with a fresh start in mind. The primary focus currently revolves around the DCU’s inaugural film, Superman: Legacy, a project personally written and directed by Gunn.

Other announced projects in the DCU include Superwoman: Woman of Tomorrow and a brand new Batman tale titled The Brave and the Bold (separate from director Matt Reeves’ Robert Pattinson-led The Batman universe, now part of the “DC Elseworlds” canon).

The New DCU: Wiping the Slate Clean?

James Gunn does not seem keen to acknowledge the DC film universe’s (rather seismic) “universe shift” in upcoming movies. Replying to a fan on a fan on Threads, Gunn himself opens up about the DC Universe’s future in a rather candid manner.

Peacemaker flexing in a children's classroom
Credit: DC Studios

Threads user @um_geek_depressivo asked if John Cena’s Peacemaker (based on the DC Comics character of the same name) could potentially be a DC Universe “Psychic Pirate” — AKA individual who remembers the previous DC Extended Universe world with Henry Cavill-Superman, et al.

Gunn addresses this suggestion to bring in the fan-favorite hero originating from The Suicide Squad (2021) and HBO Max spinoff show Peacemaker (2022), which were the two DCEU projects directed by Gunn himself following his departure from Disney and Marvel.

The DC boss appears not to want to reference this DC “universe shift” brought about by Barry Allen/The Flash’s (Ezra Miller) actions in 2023’s The Flash, in future DC projects. In fact, Gunn apparently does not want this to factor into the actual storytelling of the new rebooted DC Universe, whatsoever. As DCU Updates shares via Gunn’s original Threads post:

“should make Peacemaker the new “Psychic Pirate”, the only character to remember the old universe, and he keeps trying to explain this to the characters, and they make fun of him, thinking he’s making up this story”

( text in image) um_geek_depressivo: @jamesgunn should make Peacemaker the new “Psychic Pirate”, the only character to remember the old universe, and he keeps trying to explain this to the characters, and they make fun of him, thinking he’s making up this story
James Gunn: Well I wouldn’t want the universe shift to be that big a part of the story.

So what does this all mean for DCU’s future?

Essentially, James Gunn is hinting that the new DCU will proceed with totally separate stories and characters than before, over acknowledging the variant universe(s), at all. It’s likely safe to assume that everything in the prior DCEU timeline as we know it is functionally dead in the water.

Currently, the new DCU is trucking along and deep in production of Superman: Legacy featuring David Corenswet (Hollywood) in the lead role as Clark Kent/Superman, and Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) playing his love interest, Lois Lane.

Are you excited for the DCU’s future? What do you think of DC functionally scrapping the “Snyderverse” and DCEU? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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