James Gunn and Peter Safran are now in charge of DC Studios and have mapped out at least the first Chapter of the DCU. Creature Commandos and Waller shows will kickstart the new franchise, while Superman: Legacy will be the first film coming out of it.
Gunn certainly has his work cut out for him because he knows how severely the DC franchise has underperformed before.
Man of Steel, the Zack Snyder-directed and Henry Cavill-led film, fell face first, and then the much-hyped Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice followed suit. Wonder Woman gave some much-needed respite, and fans thought things were looking up for the franchise.
But then the Justice League debacle happened, complete with Cavill’s mustache gate and the behind-the-scenes issues with Zack Snyder and WB execs, and the franchise never recovered again.
There were bright spots like The Batman or Aquaman, but they were akin to specks of bright light in the darkness, unable to illuminate the whole place. Now, DC has suffered two back-to-back flops with Black Adam and Shazam 2.
To add to the tension, Gunn also has to compete with his previous franchise- the MCU. But the co-CEO of DC Studios knows what sets the two franchises apart and how to use it.
James Gunn highlighted two things that set the DCU apart from the MCU. One is that the DCU takes place in an alternate-fantasy universe. While Spider-Man operates in New York, Superman operates in Metropolis, and Batman protects Gotham.
The second point is that in DC, everyone has secret identities, and their superhero persona is treated differently than their civilian one. For example, Iron Man and Tony Stark, Captain America, and Steve Rogers; aren’t different, but Clark Kent and Superman, Bruce Wayne and Batman are.
How Will James Gunn’s DCU Be Different from the MCU?
James Gunn has worked for the MCU and created one of their most successful franchises- The Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, it’s time for him to work his magic for the DCU, and he knows exactly what sets the two behemoth superhero franchises apart. This is unlike the previous bosses who mindlessly tried to ape the Marvel Cinematic Universe in search of a similar box office success.
In an interview with Michael Rosenbaum (who played Lex Luthor on the Smallville show) on the Inside of You podcast, James Gunn revealed what he thinks sets the DCU apart from the MCU. The DC Studios boss explained there’s a fracture and difference in how DC treats its characters’ civilian personalities and superhero personas. As in, Clark Kent is different from Superman. He said:
“If you look at the MCU, there are very few traditional superheroes. There was never a guy with a secret identity until Spider-Man in the MCU. Their Cap was turned into a soldier even though he wears a mask. Iron Man outed himself at the end of the first Iron Man because they don’t want to deal with the whole secret identity stuff. But there is a bit more of a fantasy element to DCU because there are these larger-than-life superheroes and for me, there’s Superman and Clark Kent. They’re two different characters, and you have to find a way to deal with them that’s as grounded as possible within this world of DC.”
James Gunn also said there’s a fantasy and magical quality to the DC universe, something that’s absent from the Marvel one. He even compared it to Westeros from Game of Thrones. The director said:
“One of the things that I love about DC, that excites me about DC, is that, in a way, it’s another alternate history. It is Gotham City and Metropolis and Star City and Bludhaven and all these different places in this other reality, and it makes it a little bit like Westeros in some ways. I love it that way. I love that we get to create true worldbuilding in DC; it isn’t just ‘we’re throwing some superheroes on Earth.’ I think right now, that’s one of the key differences.”
It remains to be seen if Gunn can utilize these differences to create a DC franchise that can genuinely give the MCU a run for its money, something the DCEU has yet to do in the ten years of its existence.
What are your thoughts on the differences James Gunn cited between the DCU and the MCU?
Is he correct in his analysis? Or is it a little more complicated than this?
Let us know in the comments below.
Source: Inside of You