Warner Bros Discovery head David Zaslav may be one of the least popular men in the entertainment industry right now for his recent decisions regarding DC films, but his praise for the apparent plans of now-DC runners James Gunn and Peter Safran may turn his tide in a more positive direction.
On a recent call discussing DC’s future, Zaslav said this about James Gunn and Peter Safran’s plan:
“I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months with James and Peter, talking about our strategy and long-term plans for the future of DC, across TV, animation, and film…. They have a powerful vision and blueprint that will drive a more unified creative approach that will allow us to enable to the full value of one of the world’s most iconic franchises… They are hard at work right now….. James is a brilliant storyteller who has the distinction of being the first and only filmmaker to direct a movie for both Marvel and DC.
Of the numerous complaints that have been logged at the DC Extended Universe films over the years, one of the biggest is its perceived lack of cohesive vision, consistent quality, or long-term planning. While Marvel has had Kevin Feige overseeing the ongoing narrative of its cinematic universe so that most of the narrative ducks line up, DC has had no such figure since the inception of its interconnected world back in 2013.
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However, one of the more acclaimed films of the DC Extended Universe was James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad from last year, a sort of sequel, sort of reboot of the titular team that lead to the successful spinoff Peacemaker for HBO Max. This was after directing two Guardians of the Galaxy films for Marvel (with a 3rd on the way) and building up his credibility before that with enjoyably schlocky B-movies with a distinct personality.
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Love him or hate him, James Gunn’s fingerprints have been all over the superhero films he’s directed thus far, able to combine the intensely bizarre and wacky worlds of his heroes with grounded humanity that makes audiences root for and relate to them. Then you have Peter Safran alongside him, who Zaslav joyfully called,
“a prolific producer whose credits include DC’s highest-grossing movie Aquaman as well as the entire Conjuring universe, the most successful horror franchise of all time. We could not be more thrilled to have them join our leadership team and I’m excited for what is to come.”
Of Warner Bros’ slate of films over the 2010s, The Conjuring franchise and Aquaman proved to be some of their biggest financial hitters. The horror and superhero genres draw audiences to theaters like moths to a flame, and with the combined gross of $2.1 billion globally for The Conjuring franchise and $1.1 billion global take for Aquaman, bringing Safran on to help steer the fascinating boat that is the DC Extended Universe with James Gunn could signal a much-needed boost to the franchise.
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Thankfully, the most recent DC installment, Black Adam, is doing gangbusters at the box office despite largely negative critical reviews (the 3rd thing that audiences go out in droves to see these days is anything starring Dwayne Johnson), so that means the general public hasn’t dismissed the DCEU entirely yet. However, with more and more of David Zaslav’s creative decisions for Warner Bros Discovery creating a chasm between him and the fans of WB’s numerous properties, we can only hope that the choice to bring on Gunn and Safran will yield positive returns for both him and the studio he now oversees.
Stay with The Illuminerdi for any and all updates regarding the DC Extended Universe, Warner Bros Discovery, and all your entertainment news needs. What do you think of David Zaslav’s statements regarding James Gunn and Peter Safran overseeing future DCEU projects? Are you excited to see James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3? What did you think of Black Adam? Let us know in the comments below and on our Twitter.
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