Movies & TV / News

James Gunn & Peter Safran Tapped to Lead DC Studios, Will Oversee Film, TV & Animation

October 26, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
James Gunn Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Warner Bros. Discovery has overhauled DC Films into DC Studios, with James Gunn and Peter Safran to head the division. THR reports that Gunn and Safran are set as the co-chairs and co-CEOs of the division and will oversee the company’s film, television and animation efforts for developing DC Comics’ properties for the big and small screen.

Gunn has worked heavily with both DC and Marvel during the superhero films era as the writer and director behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise for the MCU, as well as The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker for DC. Safran is a heavyweight producer who worked with Gunn on The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. He also produced Shazam! and Aquaman, as well as their upcoming sequels. Outside of DC, he has produced the successful The Conjuring franchise. The two replace Walter Hamada, who exited DC Films last week.

Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav, who conducted a months-long search to find someone to shepherd DC’s efforts, said in a statement, “DC has among the most entertaining, powerful, and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the singular and complementary talents of James and Peter joining our world-class team and overseeing the creative direction of the storied DC Universe. Their decades of experience in filmmaking, close ties to the creative community, and proven track record thrilling superhero fans around the globe make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, TV, and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling.”

The report notes that the two will report directly to Zaslav and Gunn will focus on creative while Safran focuses on business and production. Both are expected to continue directing and producing projects. The deal reportedly runs for four years and will make Gunn be exclusive to DC. The upcoming Joker sequel will be outside their purview and will be overseen by Warners film bosses Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, and it is as-yet unclear whether Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe projects will be under Gunn and Safran. All projects going forward, however, will be overseen by them.

“We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children,” Gunn and Safran said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told.”