After landing the big job at DC Studios, James Gunn wasted no time and shook up the cinematic universe down to its core. As a result, almost every DC property out there runs the risk of getting rebooted, much like what happened when Henry Cavill dropped a bomb by announcing he’s no longer playing Superman. But with this kind of upheaval happening before our very eyes lie a unique opportunity for Gunn and Peter Safran to reshape the DC universe into something that can competitively take Marvel on. To do that, here are the movies that must make up DC’s Phase 1 of its reported 10-year plan.
Superman and 4 movies James Gunn must make for DC’s Phase 1
5. Mister Miracle
Back in the ’70s, Jack Kirby jumped ship to DC Comics after years of creating iconic characters for Marvel, such as the Fantastic Four and X-Men. With more artistic freedom given to the legendary artist, Kirby went on to create the New Gods, an extraterrestrial race that featured two warring sides – that of Darkseid on Apokalips and New Genesis. Part of this mythology is Mister Miracle, its most compelling hero and one that has the best chance to be portrayed in a live adaptation.
I’d love for @JamesGunn to do a project of Mister Miracle. The Tom King run is one of the best comics I’ve read in a long time pic.twitter.com/codT2MrcBr
— Davis Crump (@davisccrump) October 31, 2022
In the source material, Scott Free is the son of Highfather, New Genesis’ benevolent ruler, but was sent to Apokalips as Darkseid’s ward as part of a peace treaty. During his time in the hellish domain, Scott would learn to be a master escape artist and make his way to Earth. Due to his escape nullifying the peace treaty, Darkseid would go on to restart his war with New Genesis. This premise alone can be the foundation of DC Studio’s long-term vision for its 10-year plan. If given the chance by James Gunn, a Mister Miracle film in DC’s Phase 1 slate of projects would certainly attract attention, especially if the right story and director bring this promising concept to life.
4. Justice League International
During the early ’90s, the Justice League fans had wasn’t the same one we all know now or the version that defined them decades before. Rather than having its iconic heroes, such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, or the Flash, DC’s premiere superhero group was composed of several B-tier characters led by Batman, like Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Guy Gardner This version is known as Justice League International and it focused more on humor instead of the larger-than-life adventures the group was known for.
James Gunn is the ONLY director brave enough to give us Justice League International pic.twitter.com/GCFEz3c5yY
— Jay (@comicaloddity) August 22, 2022
Going for this iteration of the Justice League is one of the bravest things James Gunn can possibly do for DC. For starters, Justice League International isn’t as well-known by fans. The thing is, if the right person pulls this off, this can be a huge winner for DC Studios. It can completely remove the bad taste left behind by Joss Whedon’s Justice League, give a light approach that can gain new fans, and present a new facet to DC movies. Throw Gunn’s insanely creative mind into the mix and everyone might possibly get a surprise hit that doesn’t call the need for Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman.
3. Green Lantern
Over the years, there have been several attempts to bring Green Lantern to the big screen. Unfortunately, its sole attempt failed miserably with Ryan Reynolds tapped to play Hal Jordan. Since then, this idea of Green Lantern has stuck in everyone’s minds, hindering the character itself to gain momentum from the public. This is where James Gunn can step in and save one of DC’s best superheroes.
Any guesses to what project James Gunn will announce at the end of the month? I definitely think a Green Lantern movie announcement is on the way considering James said this. pic.twitter.com/5NwPhQdOQo
— Jake (@Hawkmansworld) January 11, 2023
With Gunn behind the wheel, there’s a chance to elevate Green Lantern to where the big trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman is right now. Although Reynolds’ portrayal of Jordan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, there’s still a lot of options on the table, such as John Stewart or Kyle Rayner. Add Gunn’s experience of elevating obscure characters and space-related adventures and fans will finally get the Green Lantern film they deserve in DC’s Phase 1 slate of movies.
2. Wonder Woman
There’s no denying that Gal Gadot embodies Wonder Woman perfectly. Her portrayal in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and the two Wonder Woman films certainly elevated DC’s premiere superheroine to new levels of fame and popularity all over the world. The thing is, Gadot is in that place where she isn’t that young anymore to play the part of Wonder Woman for another 10 years.
James Gunn has denied a report that Wonder Woman will not appear in the first 3 years of the new DC Universe
"I hereby debunk it"
(via @JamesGunn) pic.twitter.com/H9zjknZpm1
— Lights, Camera, Barstool (@LightsCameraPod) January 5, 2023
This is why Gunn and the folks behind DC Studios must take the hit for choosing another actress to take the role instead of retaining Gadot. While this may hurt in the short term, this can be the best thing to happen to the character and her future. With Gunn’s vision fueling the reboot and her origin well-known amongst fans, the potentially new Wonder Woman movie can break barriers and be something new. With her being part of the DC universe’ Phase 1 slate of films, the foundation for the franchise’s future will be more solid and stable.
Although Batman is the more profitable character, James Gunn must build the hype more around Superman rather than the Caped Crusader. For starters, it would help DC Studios to make everyone wait for the Dark Knight’s new movie under Gunn’s tenure to keep him fresh and exciting. This would also help Robert Pattinson’s Batman movies to establish themselves first if this iteration of the character is meant to be from another part of the DC Multiverse. If done correctly, the anticipation for a new Batman movie will culminate at the end of Phase 1 and deliver that much-needed kickstart for DC’s Phase 2.
It's DC fans time!
Later this month; James Gunn will reveal SOME projects/plans for new DCU slate that is 8 to 10 years!
While Superman is obvious, my main concern is how they're gonna tackle Batman in DCU and Matt Reeves' Bat-Universe#DCU #DCUniverse #JamesGunn #DC pic.twitter.com/dla3UeGCgU
— SmackNPie (@SmackNPie) January 6, 2023
In line with this, focusing more on Superman makes more sense. The Man of Steel needs a definitive movie under a potential Phase 1. If this happens, Clark Kent can become the heart and soul of Gunn’s DC universe, making fans invest more in the character. And with plans to hire a younger actor, it only makes more sense to build up Superman the right way.
With Gunn expected to make his plans for DC known soon, there is an opportunity to correct the ship, especially after all the bad press brought by Henry Cavill’s abrupt exit and The Rock’s Black Adam failing to generate interest amongst fans. In any case, these potential movies can help Gunn and company to elevate the DC universe in the coming years.