James Gunn Confirms New DC Movie Brand And Logo

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

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James Gunn just put a lot of unsure fans at ease. The director took to social media to announce that movies that had been separate from the DCEU would continue to be separate from the new DCU as well. These outside-of-continuity films, like the upcoming Joker sequel, would simply fall under a different banner than the mainstream DCU films: Elseworlds—complete with their own logo.

Elseworlds Movies In The New DCU

When James Gunn first unveiled his plan to make the new DCU exactly like the MCU—because copying Marvel has always worked so well for DC—fans were understandably confused. What would become of the already announced sequels to The Batman and Joker? Surely they wouldn’t be a part of the main DC movie universe?

Elseworlds Will Remain Seperate

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Elseworlds films like The Batman and Joker will have their own continuity and not crossover with or be connected to the DCU brand under which most of the upcoming DC projects will now fall. For example, James Gunn will cast someone new to play Batman within the main DCU who will be free to interact with Superman: Legacy‘s David Corenswet or John Cena’s Peacemaker. Meanwhile, Robert Pattinson will still portray the emo version of the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves’s The Batman Universe, completely separate from anything involving the other caped crusader.

DC’s Elseworlds Was First Introduced In The ’80s

While this may seem confusing to anyone who didn’t grow up reading comics, for those of us who worshiped at the altar of the four-color page as a child, it will be a piece of cake. The Elseworlds concept has been around since 1989 and was always used for “What if?” style tales that didn’t fit with or would have contradicted mainstream DC continuity if not kept separate.

Titles like Gotham by Gaslight—what if Batman fought Jack the Ripper?—Batman: Red Rain—what if Batman was a vampire?—and Superman: Red Son—What if Superman was Russian?—fell under the Elseworlds’ comic imprint when they were released.

DC is so good at keeping things separate that they can have two concurrent Batman ongoing titles with largely different stories, come out month after month at the same time, and still not confuse fans. Since 1940, the Dark Knight has starred in both Detective Comics, where he was born, and Batman, a more action-oriented spinoff, separately while the two still co-exist in the same continuity. Basically, we’re saying there’s about 84 years of precedent for what James Gunn is doing.

We’re Used To Having Multiple Versions Of Superheroes By Now

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As for whether fans will have a hard time keeping two versions of Batman separate at the same time, all we can say is that they never have before. Throughout the span of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy—from 2005 to 2012—there were at least three different active Batmen.

Christian Bale portrayed Bats in Nolan’s films, while at the same time, Diedrich Bader was supplying the Caped Crusader with a voice in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. At the same time those versions of Batman were running around Batmanning with abandon, Kevin Conroy was giving one of his best performances as Batman in the Arkham video game series.

Why It Will Work

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If you’re thinking that that’s different because that was across different mediums, and James Gunn’s Batmen will both be live-action, you’re right. Allow us to provide an even better example. At least eight actors voiced Batman in different animated projects during the same time period. That’s eight different Batman, not counting Christian Bale!If fans could handle keeping track of eight or more different interpretations of Batman at the same time, they should be able to tell James Gunn’s main DCU Batman and the Elseworlds iteration apart.