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Enter DC Studios: James Gunn And Peter Safran Will Lead Warner Bros' New DC Film And TV Division

After months of searching for a figure to head up its DC division, Warner Bros. Discovery has tapped "The Suicide Squad" director James Gunn, along with producer Peter Safran, for the executive role. The move to install two people rather than one as the head of WB's DC film and television efforts is a surprise, as is the move to place a director like Gunn in the position of studio executive. Gunn and Safran will function much like Kevin Feige does at Warner Bros.' competitor Marvel Studios, creating a plan for an interconnected universe of movies and television series in the DC superhero universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn and Safran will tackle different aspects of the DC venture, with Gunn heading up the creative side and Safran dealing with business matters. Both individuals will report directly to Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav and collaborate with Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, the current film bosses at the legacy studio. In a statement, Zaslav said, "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." The executive praised the two creators' experience and creativity, expressing his confidence that the pair will chart out a long-term plan for the future of DC film and television.

Some DC projects may fall outside the purview of Gunn and Safran

According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Gunn and Peter Safran have signed a four-year deal but will continue to direct and produce projects of their own, presumably under the WB banner. However, some currently ongoing projects may fall outside of their purview. "Joker: Folie à Deux," directed by Todd Phillips, will continue to be overseen by WB film executives Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy. Matt Reeves, director of "The Batman," will continue to develop films in that universe, which is disconnected from the DC Extended Universe, and it is unclear to what extent Reeves will coordinate or communicate with Gunn and Safran. However, all other film and television efforts under the DC label will be under their leadership.

Gunn's films, including the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series from Disney (which will still continue through the upcoming holiday special and the upcoming third film in the series) and "The Suicide Squad" from his new Warner Bros. home, have been widely loved by fans and critics alike. The news of his hiring may help the studio's flagging image, which was marred to a potentially irrevocable extent by the shelving of "Batgirl" late this summer and the slew of bad press which followed in its wake, leading Zaslav scrambling to reassure creators. The cancelation is also reportedly responsible for Dan Lin's decision to turn down the role Gunn and Safran have now accepted.

The Hollywood Reporter republished a joint statement from Gunn and Safran, reading in part, "We're honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we've loved since we were children. 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."