James Gunn Tweets DC Comics Inspiration for New DCU

May 9, 2023

In October 2022, director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were named co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios, a newly formed division that replaced DC Films. Gunn told fans at the time that he and Safran would deliver their plans for the future of the DC Universe (DCU) in January 2023, and on Jan. 31, he delivered on that promise.

On Tuesday, Gunn and Safran unveiled the DCU’s “Chapter One: Gods and Monsters” (as opposed to Marvel Studios Phases), the first chapter in a 10-year interconnected saga, to a room of handpicked reporters. Ten film and TV projects were announced as part of Chapter One, including the Gunn-penned Superman Legacy, an adaptation of DC Comics’ Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow by Tom King, Bilquis Evely, and Matheus Lopes, which is set for release on Jul. 11, 2025. Also announced was The Brave and the Bold (movie), The Authority (movie), Swamp Thing (movie), Creature Commandos (animated TV show), Waller (TV show), Lanterns (TV show), Booster Gold (TV show), and Paradise Lost (TV show).
During the DCU announcement, Gunn talked about the DC Comics’ inspiration behind the stories that will be told in Chapter One, touching on the influence of King’s Women of Tomorrow and Grant Morrison’s Batman comics. For example, when talking about the comic book inspiration behind The Brave and the Bold, he said, “This is a story of Damian Wayne, who is Batman’s actual son that he didn’t know existed for the first eight to ten years of his life. He was raised as a little murderer and assassin. He’s my favorite Robin. It’s based on the Grant Morrison comic run, which is one of my favorite Batman runs.”

Then, on Thursday, Feb. 2, Gunn tweeted out more of the DC Comics inspiration behind the new DCU: (1) All-Star Superman by Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Jamie Grant; (2) The Authority by Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Tom Peyer, Bryan Hitch, Dustin Nguyen, and Quitely; (3) Batman by Morrison, Andy Kubert, and Jesse Delperdang; and (4) Absolute Swamp Thing by Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, John Totleben, Rick Veitch, Shawn McManus, and Dan Day.

In addition to tweeting images of four comics that inspired him, Gunn wrote, “We’re talked a lot about Woman of Tomorrow, but these are more of the comics inspiring #DCStudios and the new #DCU in these early days. That doesn’t mean we’re adapting all these comics, but that the feel, the look, or the tone of them are touchstones for our team. Check ’em out!” See the tweet for yourself below:

Related: James Gunn Says Unkind Minority Will Never Impact DC Studios Decisions

James Gunn Responds to Fans on Twitter

DC Studios / DC Comics

Gunn is a social media maven and Bane of the nerdlingers, regularly engaging with his fans on Twitter (and occasionally lightly antagonizing his more “vocal” detractors).

In response to Gunn’s recommendations, one person tweeted, “The Brave and the Bold really does need to be the tonal/visual opposite of The Batman to stand out. It can’t just be ‘It’s got the Bat Family, we haven’t seen that in a movie.’ I think it really needs to embrace everything outlandish, flashy and surreal about those Batman comics.”

Gunn responded to the fan, writing, “I don’t think a vision for any good film starts with being ‘not’ something. It must be fully its own thing, not the shadow (nor the copy) of another work.”

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