James Gunn wants to have his official DC-branded cake and eat it, too. The man behind the next cinematic iteration of the DC universe hopped on Threads the other day to clear up some confusion regarding the canon of his upcoming DCU but only ended up making things more confusing. Gunn himself announced months ago that certain projects like Peacemaker and a few characters like Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller would be carrying over into the new DC cinematic universe but now says that none of their exploits from the DCEU will be canon in the rebranded DCU.. Huh?
James Gunn took to Threads replying to some users’ questions, reminding them that DCEU movies aren’t canon in his new DCU, but he might have only created more confusion with his words.
In a thread from last week, James Gunn responded to a question regarding the previously announced returning characters and IPs from the DCEU and their canonicity by saying that while “some actors will be playing characters they’ve played in other stories & some plot points might be consistent with plot points from the dozens of films, shows & animated projects that have come from DC in the past” nothing is officially canon until Creature Commandos and Superman Legacy debut in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
James Gunn also stated that he considers it a “very human drive to want to understand everything all the time” but that in his opinion, it’s okay to be confused about the DCU “since no one has seen anything from the DCU yet.” Well, that was nice of him to give the fans permission to be confused by his non-answers.
James Gunn And Social Media
One of Gunn’s biggest strengths is also his biggest weakness: his chronic need to be online. Had James Gunn simply announced the DCU’s phase one slate of projects and then remained silent until next year’s Creature Commandos, fans would be content to argue among themselves about the future of DC movies. But sadly, he can’t help but get on social media and comment on fan speculation—often muddying the waters in the process.
Take Blue Beetle for example. James Gunn could have let DC fans bicker amongst themselves over whether Blue Beetle belongs in the DCEU or the DCU, possibly intervening simply to say, “Go see the movie and find out,” or “It doesn’t matter either way, just go see the movie.” Instead, Gunn stepped in and said that Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle, was the DCEU’s first superhero, but Superman Legacy would be the DCEU’s first movie.
What exactly does that mean? Your guess is as good as ours.
The Blue Beetle Mystery
And it didn’t start with Schrödinger’s Beetle—Blue Beetle both is and isn’t part of the DCU at the same time—either. James Gunn was making things complicated, starting with The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. DC made a big deal about 2021’s The Suicide Squad not being a sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad, but at the same time, James Gunn reused some actors from the first movie and even had them play the same characters—which sure sounds like a sequel to us.
Then, James Gunn did the same with Peacemaker, having the DCEU’s version of the Justice League show up at the end of the series. Now he’s basically saying that John Cena’s Peacemaker will return to the DCU, acting the same and having the same past, but that it won’t necessarily be the same Peacemaker.
Again, we say, huh?
If James Gunn thinks that confusing the heck out of DC fans by invalidating all the movies and DC shows from the DCEU but not the events or characters from them, he is sorely mistaken. All that serves to do is make everything seem overly complicated to fans who might otherwise be on board with the DCU but find the muddled continuity too much to try and untangle just to watch people in capes and tights punch each other.
All the dude had to say was “multiverse,” and it would have cleared everything up. As it stands, fans will just have to wait until next year and hope that when Creature Commandos debuts, everything will make sense.