This studio is a wreck: the 7 biggest crises James Gunn has encountered since leading DC

Last November 1 James Gunn became president of DC Studios (which happened to rename to DC Films) next to peter safran. Gunn came to take care of the creative part of the company while Safran (a regular producer of the previous installments of the franchise) would be in charge of management. Gunn’s magnificent resume had put him in that position: not only because of his work in the marvel universe (whose coherence wanted to emulate the directive of Warner) but because of the good critical reception of The Suicide Squad and his spin-off for HBO Max: The peacemaker.

Gunn took the job with gusto. How not to, considering his passion for superheroes. Shortly after the appointment the director of Guardians of the Galaxy (which would release a brilliantly received third and conclusive installment the following year), Gunn announced that he would direct and write a feature film Superman. Superman Legacyscheduled for the July 11, 2025has already been confirming the cast and would come to inaugurate a total restart of the DC Universe. One that Gunn has dubbed Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters. The Phase 1Oh.

But around these advances, which undoubtedly account for Gunn’s enthusiasm for the job, DC has remained DC. A company inseparable from chaos (whether due to bad luck, incompetence or a lethal mix of both), which among other things has forced Gunn to be permanently on Twitter denying rumors while he tried to put out fires from the office. This is a review of said fires.

The worst possible goodbye for Henry Cavill

Henry Cavill in ‘Man of Steel’

The basic problem that Gunn and Safran’s management has encountered is that they have arrived when there are still several unreleased films in a continuity that they apparently want to consider outdated. It was the case of Black Adamwhich premiered days before Gunn took office and was marked by the ambition of dwayne johnson as protagonist and producer: since walter hamada He had two news shows left as CEO of DC, The Rock he was able to take advantage of it to fulfill his own plans.

Based on this, he distanced himself from the next Shazam! The fury of the gods (whose protagonist has always been linked to Black Adam in the comics, and was originally going to give rise to a crossover) to sting higher: Johnson wanted his character to take on the Superman of henry cavill, while being the most powerful superhero in the saga. So he managed to have Cavill do a cameo at the end of Black Adam and so that shortly after, based on the domino effect, it was announced that Cavill would return as Superman in man of steel 3.

Dwayne Johnson against the hierarchy of power

Still from 'Black Adam'
Still from ‘Black Adam’

The thing is, Gunn and Safran had no intention of doing man of steel 3: Gunn wanted, indeed and as promised legacy, start over with Superman. So as he settled into the office, there was no choice but to discard any idea of ​​​​continuing with Cavill, and very soon we learned that man of steel 3 I would not exist. Surely it affected this speed that Black Adam did not meet expectations at the box office: Johnson wanted a sequel with the character and that he had a leading role in DC, but the numbers were not there.

The thing was even more uncomfortable. Johnson, who had announced the debut of Black Adam as “a shift in DC’s power hierarchy”wanted to resist the narrative that the film was not working, and at the head of his production company Seven Bucks tried to make up the box office data. Some of these data were leaked to the press, generating a media confusion from which little can be made clear: beyond the fact that Black Adam It will not have a sequel (or crossover with Cavill), and that Johnson’s relationship with Warner has cooled beautifully.

The failure of ‘Shazam! The fury of the gods’

Still from 'Shazam!  The fury of the gods'
Still from ‘Shazam! The fury of the gods’
Warner Bros.

Around this time Gunn and Safran announced that there would be no Wonder Woman 3distancing himself from Patty Jenkins but allowing gal gadot continue making sporadic appearances as in other films. Probably because these appearances had already been filmed: Gadot made a cameo in Shazam! The fury of the gods, which premiered in March after the disappointment of Black Adam. It was even worse at the box office, and the reviews didn’t live up to the first film either.

But the influence of Black Adam had not been surpassed. Because Johnson was so intent on linking his character to Superman, he tried to tweak the original plans for the sequel to Superman. Shazam! and forced to change their post-credit scenes (losing these any logic, by including characters from The peacemaker just because). So unpleasant was the matter, that the protagonist Zachary Levi dropped that he somehow blamed Johnson for the poor results of The fury of the gods. Even if it didn’t make sense. The situation was becoming more and more surreal.

Nobody believes that ‘Flash’ is right

Ezra Miller in 'Flash'
Ezra Miller in ‘Flash’

Beyond the disappointments of Black Adam and Shazam!what Gunn and Safran’s plans revealed was that they wanted a clean slate: no more movies tied to League of Justicewhich separates Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck like Batman (he has been wanting to retire for a long time), and ray fisher as Cyborg (remember that he had to accompany zack snyder in his DC scare after provoking an internal investigation against Joss Whedon). But of course, they were still around ezra miller like Flash and Jason Momoa like Aquaman.

and about Flash it was really catastrophic. Miller’s legal problems made the premiere of Andy Muschietti’s film hang by a thread for months, until the interpreter showed his intention to amend and Warner decided to release it. As the brand was already in tatters, DC Studios launched a promotional campaign as several industry figures claimed that this movie was really good. He said that Tom Cruisebut also Gunn himself, wanting to establish the idea that Flash was going to be the Spider-Man: No Way Home from DC.

It didn’t help. Although the reviews from him weren’t as bad as usual, Flash It did not interest the public at all, and it had a painful box office. He was infected with how hellish the filming had been and the attempt that DC had for a few months to have Michael Keaton become the main Batman of this continuity (a firefighter idea like any other), and it seemed that the company could not fall lower. Although Gunn was still there, with his optimistic plans for the future.

‘Blue Beetle, August 18, only in theaters’

Xolo Mariduena in 'Blue Beetle'.
Xolo Mariduena in ‘Blue Beetle’.

Blue Beetlemeanwhile it looked like a movie “jokingly”. It was going to have been a straight to HBO Maxbut David Zaslav wanted to de-prioritize streaming as promoted to CEO with Warner’s merger with discovery and set its premiere for August, in a matter of days. the hero of Blue Beetle, who gives life Xolo Mariduena (Cobra Kai) is not very well known, and expectations at the box office are very low. After the debacles followed by Black Adam, Shazam 2 and Flashnothing else can be expected.

So Warner has moved on from promoting. has focused on Barbie and now it has almost enough box office to make him forget all his troubles, but since Blue Beetle is also DC’s first Latino superhero, there has been another twist that Gunn did not expect: fans have decided to take the initiative to promote the film based on of memes. This crisis, therefore, is not such: in fact it is something quite charming, although it does not seem that it will be enough to save the finances of Blue Beetle. Also, as the meme says, remember: Blue Beetle, August 18, only in theaters.

The writers’ strike against Aquaman

Still from 'Justice League'
Still from ‘Justice League’
Warner Bros.

Then there’s the Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The first film had an excellent box office, but james wan he’s caught DC’s bad luck to make the second. Its release date has not stopped being delayed, its filming has taken a long time and it has also added numerous reshoots: some of them are rumored to have to do with Amber Heard (splashed with controversy in that, in his opinion, with Johnny Depp) and others simply deal with the franchise’s turnarounds. For example, a Ben Affleck cameo appears to have been shot and removed about three times already. It’s that he is a nutcase.

The film is scheduled to premiere on December 25 with, like Blue Beetle, expectations to a minimum. But, on the other hand, we haven’t had a single trailer yet (the problems must not be over) and also the writers and actors strike in Hollywood. with what Jason Momoa will not be able to do promotion, and the last thing that is known about the film is that Warner could delay it to 2023. Anyway.

Gal Gadot is reluctant to say goodbye

Still from 'Wonder Woman 1984'
Still from ‘Wonder Woman 1984’
Warner Bros.

Finally, the most recent and nice? This week Gadot said that even if Jenkins was not involved, Wonder Woman 3 kept going. The actress assured that she had met with Gunn and Safran, and that they had promised to develop her third film with her. After all, another of the projects that includes gods and monsters is a series about the Amazons of Thermyscira, Paradise Lostwhich could well be a prequel to Wonder Woman (there are also expectations, within the framework of DC Elseworldswith continuations of batman and joker).

But in the end nothing. Warner has clarified that Gadot misunderstood this meeting and that there are still no official plans for a wonder woman 3, with the consequent humiliation for Gadot. Luckily, this time Gunn hasn’t had to clarify it via Twitter, as he usually does with an increasingly jaded and ferocious attitude. And well, who blames him at this point?

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