James Gunn Is Now In Charge Of DC Movies

James Gunn and Peter Safran are now co-CEOs of DC Studios.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

James Gunn has been announced to lead the next wave of DC movies as co-chair and co-CEO of the newly formed DC Studios. According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Gunn and producer Peter Safran will jointly be in charge of the new production company, which will replace DC Films, the production company in charge of enormous blockbusters like Aquaman and The Suicide Squad. The report also states that James Gunn and Peter Safran have signed a four-year, exclusive commitment to Warner Bros. Discovery as part of the deal.

This is yet another bombshell announcement for Warner Bros. Discovery, which has already made controversial decisions like the cancelation of the already completed Batgirl movie and laying off huge amounts of staff in the very short six months since it was formed in a corporate merger. However, putting James Gunn and Peter Safran in charge of future DC movie and television projects is far more likely to make audiences happy, given that the pair have been directly involved in some of DC’s more beloved projects. 

James Gunn wrote, directed, and produced The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, two of DC’s most acclaimed and popular projects in recent years. Peter Safran has produced Aquaman, Shazam!, The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, and the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods. In short, the two of them are at least partly responsible for the greatest successes of the frequently beleaguered DC Cinematic Universe, so this is actually a decision by Warner Bros. Discovery that everyone can get behind. 

It seems that James Gunn and Peter Safran will report directly to controversial Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, making them some of the most powerful executives in one of the largest media companies in the world. This is a pretty big step up for James Gunn, who only a few years ago was the subject of conservative calls for career cancelation over a number of Twitter jokes he had made years earlier. It is also remarkable that a director who began his career at the notoriously low-budget, bad-taste film company Troma Entertainment has now become one of the most popular filmmakers in the world.

While DC Studios seems to be taking over for DC Films, presumably rendering it defunct, it seems that some existing films will still be handled by Warner Bros. Pictures CEO Michael De Luca. Reportedly, the much-anticipated Joker: Folie à Deux will still be handled by De Luca and MGM executive Pamela Abdy, with James Gunn and Peter Safran working in cooperation with the pair.

However, at this point, it seems that James Gunn and Peter Safran are now jointly in charge of the future of DC movies. At one point, Zack Snyder was de facto responsible for the direction of the comic book franchise, resulting in a controversial dour tone and shared universe concept; it is not certain exactly where James Gunn and Peter Safran will lead DC Studios, but this is definitely an opportunity for a more cohesive, exciting slate of films.