There are big plans for the DCU moving forward after James Gunn and Peter Safran took the reigns for the comic book universe’s creative direction. On Twitter, Gunn has been interacting with fans asking him questions about what to expect from the future of the DCU. This includes his verification that they’ll be expanding upon the DCU movie established in feature films with the production of more spinoff TV shows, such as we saw with Peacemaker on HBO Max.
“Yes, most definitely, the DCU will be connected across film and TV (and animation),” Gunn told one fan, adding to another that they’re planning to release connected DCU-set video games as well.
There will clearly be plenty of investment and focus into the DCU at Warner Bros. Discovery in the years ahead, but where does this leave the standalone projects? They won’t be going away, as Gunn confirms to another fan that there will be “some” more projects taking place in other worlds outside of the DCU. The word “some” doesn’t suggest that there will be an abundance of these kinds of projects, but that they will still continue to exist. As for Gunn himself, he also promised he’ll be doing more projects himself, regardless of the increased responsibilities he’ll have with his new job.
“I will continue writing & directing select DC projects,” Gunn says through his other tweets. “Right now I’m creating the plan for the next ten years of DC movies while simultaneously fulfilling my responsibilities to the stuff I’ve already made, as I will be doing until May.”
No matter how popular the DCU might become in the years ahead, there is still a lot of value that can be found in standalone projects that tell their own stories. The animated series Harley Quinn has significantly benefited from having its writers focus on expanding their own universe with unique versions of established characters that would certainly not be able to behave in the same ways if they were part of the DCU. That show remains popular after three seasons, resulting in a fourth season renewal at HBO Max along with an upcoming standalone Valentine’s Day special that is coming in February 2023.
Another prime example of how profitable standalone DC movies can be is 2019’s Joker from director Todd Phillips. The film, featuring an Oscar-winning performance by Joaquin Phoenix, was also able to tell a story within its own parameters without the handicap of staying faithful to what’s been established in other movies and TV shows. The result was Joker scoring more than a billion dollars at the box office, a number that Warner Bros. Discovery hopes to see again with the release of an upcoming sequel that brings in Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.
In any case, things are going to continue getting interesting at Warner Bros. Discovery, especially as it relates to the DCU as Gunn and Safran flesh out their plans for the universe over the next decade.