David Zaslav Touts James Gunn, Peter Safran’s “Unified Creative Approach” for DC
The Warner Bros. The Discovery CEO stated that the new DC bosses will help “realize” the full value of one the most iconic franchises in the world. “
In August, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav declared he would find leaders for DC who could create a ten-year plan for the comic book brand as he looked to the success of rival Marvel Studios. It seemed impossible at the time. But after a months-long search, Zaslav found those leaders, with filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran beginning their tenures Tuesday as of co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios.
“I’ve spent a lot time over the last few months with James, Peter,” Zaslav stated Thursday during an investor call. “They have a powerful vision, and a blueprint that will drive a more united creative approach that will allow us to realize the full potential of one of the most iconic franchises in the world.”
The duo now oversee animation, TV and film. They replace Walter Hamada who resigned as DC Films boss last Wednesday.
On the earnings call, Zaslav touted a number of DC projects, including an upcoming The Batman sequel starring Robert Pattinson, and Joker: Folie a Deux, which he said films next month. He also highlighted Blue Beetle, giving filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto a shoutout for helming DC’s first film centering on a Latino hero. The new era at DC comes months after Zaslav made the controversial decision to shelve the nearly completed Batgirl in order to take a tax writedown. For a time, there were jitters that Blue Beetle, originally conceived as an HBO Max film before being upgraded to a theatrical release, could be in danger, though sources at the time told The Hollywood Reporter the project was safe.
Zaslav mentioned on the call that Gunn was the only filmmaker to direct blockbuster movies both for Marvel and DC. He became an A-list director with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and maintains a close relationship with Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige, who Gunn has said was the first person he told after landing the job. Feige himself noted one day after the hiring announcement that they talk nearly every day, and that he would be “first in line” for Gunn’s DC projects.
DC just released Black Adam, which has grossed $254.7 million globally. It also has Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17, 2023), The Flash (June 23, 2023), Blue Beetle (Aug. 18, 2023) Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 25, 2023) and Joker: Folie a Deux (Oct. 4, 2024).
As for Gunn, he still has several Marvel projects in the can to unfurl, including a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special, due out on Disney Nov. 25, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, out in May. Despite these commitments, Gunn and Safran are now tied to the DC world by a four-year agreement.
Zaslav said: “They are hard at their work .”
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