James Gunn Confirms Which Stars Are Returning To The DCU

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

DC Universe

It’s been almost a year since James Gunn and Peter Safran teamed up to become the new co-CEOs of DC Studios. Since then, superhero fans have been dying to know which DC stars Gunn was going to keep and which ones will get replaced. With the writers’ strike finally over, The Hollywood Reporter reports that Gunn is now able to reveal a bit about his upcoming plans, including confirming that, at the very least, Xolo Maridueña will be returning as Blue Beetle, as well as Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and John Cena as Peacemaker.

Xolo Marideuna as Blue Beetle

Since James Gunn and Peter Safran have been in the CEO suite for nearly a year now, and since several of the actors from DC’s old regime are staying on for Gunn’s new layout, it’s a bit confusing to know which DC films will be canon to Gunn’s vision. Luckily, the director answered that question, too, stating that nothing in DC is canon until Creature Commandos is released. 

James Gunn has confirmed Xolo Marideuna (Blue Beetle), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), and John Cena (Peacemaker) will be part of the DCU.

This means that even though Maridueña will be playing Blue Beetle in James Gunn’s universe, the recent film that was released in July will not be considered canon. Neither will the upcoming Aquaman 2, which is hitting theaters this December. The Jason Mamoa flick will be the last installment of the DCEU.

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Viola Davis as Amanda Waller

James Gunn said fans could consider the upcoming animated series Creature Commandos an “aperitif” to his and Safran’s universe as it will be the first installment of the DCU and will be released prior to the highly anticipated Superman: Legacy. The first film of the DCU is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2025 and will see Gunn in the director’s chair, with David Corenswet embodying Clark Kent and Rachel Brosnahan portraying Lois Lane.

James Gunn also again mentioned familiar faces as new characters, meaning original DC stars could be returning in a different capacity.

Creature Commandos marks the initiation of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s ambitious Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters saga within the DCU. The animated series, scheduled to debut in 2024 on Max, features Viola Davis reprising her role as Amanda Waller alongside acclaimed actors Frank Grillo, Maria Bakalova, and David Harbour, who will also lend their voices to the show. Viola Davis will also headline the live-action Max series, Waller.

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John Cena as Peacemaker

While James Gunn confirmed that absolutely no released content up to this point would be considered canon in his universe, there would be many plot points and recurring elements, as seen from previous DC content. He confirmed that in addition to seeing a lot more of Waller, fans could expect also to see more of Maridueña Blue Beetle and John Cena’s Peacemaker. However, what role these two characters will play in the DC’s unfolding narrative is still unknown.

Creature Commandos marks the initiation of James Gunn and Peter Safran’s ambitious Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters saga within the DCU.

James Gunn’s insights into the future of the DC Universe offer fans a glimpse of what lies ahead. While it seems to be the nature of comic book storylines to be confusing, Gunn offers a glimmer of hope that DC may have finally found the right creative to guide fans through a DC on-screen experience. With familiar actors reprising iconic roles and new adventures on the horizon, maybe Warner Bros.’s next attempt at DC content won’t be so bad after all.