For months film director James Gunn and producing partner Peter Safran have been working on shaping the future of Warner Bros Discovery's DC Comics big and small screen projects. The two were appointed as the co-chiefs of all things DC on screen late last year.

Earlier today they showed us what is hiding under their capes.

The plan is for 10 TV and movie projects as part of a first wave. The TV shows and movies will all be connected, with a mix of live action and animation. Sitting adjacent to their plans are pre-existing DC properties like The Batman and Joker movies, which will be considered "Elseworlds" stories and not connected to the stories they are telling. Gone entirely is the Greg Berlanti produced Green Lantern TV series, replaced with a new Green Lantern TV show.

Below are the announced projects. Note the casting for Creature Commandos, which I think is an incredible approach that we haven't really seen before...

Creature Commandos: A seven-episode animated series, written by Gunn, that is already in production. Originally a team of classic monsters assembled to fight Nazis, this is a modern take on the concept. The voice actors have yet to be cast, but the executives are looking to find people who can voice the animated characters and also portray the live-action versions when the antiheroes show up in movies and series.

Waller: In a spinoff of Gunn’s own HBO Max hit series Peacemaker, Viola Davis will return as the ruthless and morally ambiguous head of a government task force. It is being written by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver, the creator of the Doom Patrol TV series.

Superman: Legacy: The movie featuring the Man of Steel that Gunn is writing and may direct, although no commitments on that end have been made. While the two previous titles are meant to be “aperitifs,” in Safran’s words, Superman is the true kick-off for the duo’s DCU plans. “It’s not an origin story,” Safran said. “It focuses on Superman balancing his Kryptonian heritage with his human upbringing. He is the embodiment of truth, justice and the American way. He is kindness in a world that thinks that kindness is old-fashioned.” A release date of July 11, 2025, has been penciled in.

Lanterns: Greg Berlanti’s long-in-the-works Green Lanterns TV series has been scrapped (and Gunn and Safran have parted ways with the longtime DC series steward). In its place will be a new take on the space cops with power rings. “Our vision for this is very much in the vein of True Detective,” Safran described. “It’s terrestrial-based.” It will feature prominent Lantern heroes Hal Jordan and John Stewart and is one of the most important shows they have in development. “This plays a really big role in leading into the main story we are telling across film and TV.”

The Authority: A movie based on a team of superheroes with rather extreme methods of protecting the planet that first originated in the late 1990s under an influential imprint known as Wildstorm, run by artist and now head of DC publishing Jim Lee. “One of the things of the DCU is that it’s not just a story of heroes and villains,” said Gunn. “Not every film and TV show is going to be about good guy versus bad guy, giant things from the sky come and good guy wins. There are white hats, black hats and gray hats.” Added Safran: “They are kinda like Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. They know that you want them on the wall. Or at least they believe that.”

Paradise Lost: The duo describe this HBO Max series as a Game of Thrones-style drama set on the all-female island that is Wonder Woman’s birthplace, Themyscira, filled with political intrigue and scheming between power players. It takes place before the events of the Wonder Woman films.

The Brave and the Bold: “This is the introduction of the DCU Batman,” said Gunn, “of Bruce Wayne, and also introduces our favorite Robin, Damian Wayne, who is a little son of a bitch.” The movie will take inspiration from the now-classic Batman run written by Grant Morrison that introduced Batman to a son he never knew existed: a murderous tween raised by assassins. “It’s a very strange father-and-son story.”

Booster Gold: An HBO Max series based on a unique, lesser-known hero created in 1986. Safran said of the series, “It’s about a loser from the future who uses basic future technology to come back to today and pretend to be a superhero.” Gunn described it as “imposter syndrome as superhero.”

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow: Taking its cues from the recent Tom King-written miniseries, this movie promises a different take than what most think of when Superman’s cousin comes to mind. “We will see the difference between Superman, who was sent to Earth and raised by loving parents from the time he was an infant, versus Supergirl, raised on a rock, a chip off of Krypton, and who watched everyone around her die and be killed in terrible ways for the first 14 years of her life and then come to Earth. She is much more hard-core and not the Supergirl we’re used to.”

Swamp Thing: A horror film that promises to close out the first part of the first chapter.

DC Slate Unveiled: New Batman, Supergirl Movies, a Green Lantern TV Show, and More From James Gunn, Peter Safran
The DC Studios bosses shared 10 projects, talked the exit of Henry Cavill and addressed the potential future of Ezra Miller as the Flash as they introduced a slate of big heroes and lesser-known characters. “The stakes are massive for us and for Warner Bros. Discovery,” says Safran.

Is it a bird?

One show that has its fate wrapped up in the bigger corporate DC overhaul is Superman & Lois, a show made for The CW that is actually mostly okay. If Warner Bros Discovery are launching a big Superman film into cinemas, it is unlikely that this TV show that is only a moderate success with a limited financial upside for the company would continue.

James Gunn reckons the show still has somewhat of a future:

It’s a show everybody likes, so it’s going to keep going for a little bit.”
‘Superman & Lois‘ Has ’One or Two More Seasons Left,’ New DC Studios Heads Say
“Superman & Lois” is expected to continue for “one to two more seasons” according to DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. The future of the CW series was reveal…

How International streamers reacted to Aussie quotas

It will likely be months before there is any clarity as to what sort of content quotas streaming services will need to meet in Australia. Here's Variety Australia reporting on how the streamers have publicly reacted and what they are really saying behind closed doors:

The streamers are thus far publicly mostly saying they are open to discussions and debates, and also pointing to the numerous local productions they have invested in without any existing legal requirements.

Behind the scenes though, they are seeking out definitions for what would constitute a “local production”, what sort of quotas could be put in place, and noting the increasing budgetary pressures facing the local sector.

The big problem for Australian content (a similar problem for Canada, actually) is that the content we produce these days is so similar culturally to the TV and cinema of the United States and the United Kingdom, and without that distinctiveness there's just not a lot of an imperative to invest heavily in Australian TV if the streamers can avoid it. Sure, they're spending a combined Aus $330 million or so in Australia, but that's inclusive of projects that are US projects being filmed locally. What is a "local production" really will be the central question going forward as streamers consider their position.

Global Streaming Giants React to Australia’s Local Content Quotas
With the announcement of local content quotas, the streaming giants are gearing up to agitate and advocate for their side of the story.

RIP Showtime

Paramount Global is terminating the Showtime brand. The US cable station will be rebranded as Paramount+ with Showtime, with Showtime streaming content set to be integrated into the flagship Paramount+ app.

As part of the reshuffle, the decision was made to cancel the one season American Gigalo and Let The Right One In shows, while removing little-watched shows from the platform like American Rust, Wakefield, and Kidding.

There's not a single move here that didn't seem inevitable as US cable continues to shrink and the need to consolidate assets under one, easy-to-access brand became a priority. Paramount, one might say.

Showtime to combine with Paramount+, rebrand with new name
Paramount Global is combining its premium cable network Showtime with streaming service Paramount+.
  • La Brea will return for a third season. Read: THR
  • The King of The Hill revival series has been given an official order by Hulu. Read: Deadline
  • The free ride is over at Peacock - it is ending its free ad-supported tier. Read: The Streamable
  • RIP Laverne & Shirley co-star Cindy Williams. She passed at age 75. Read: NYT
  • Warner Bros Discovery is launching branded FAST channels (WB TV Reality, WB TV Family, and WB TV Series) and 225 hours worth of on-demand content to Roku and Tubi. No date available yet for Roku, but the rollout begins on Tuby from Feb 1. Read: The Verge
  • Despite the deal with Tubi and Roku, Warner Bros Discovery still has its own plans in place for a FAST service. Read: The Streamable
  • FX has cancelled Kindred after one season. Read: Deadline
  • The unwatchable and deeply unfunny Reboot has been mercifully cancelled after one season. Read: Deadline
  • Expect the Futurama reboot mid-year. Read: ScreenCrush

The Power debuts March 31 on Amazon prime Video.

That's it for today. Seriously - what an exceptionally heavy day of news! More tomorrow?