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What Could James Gunn And Peter Safran's Elevation Mean For David Zaslav's DC Priorities?

We're now officially entering a new age within DC Studios. News that Warner Bros. Discovery has hired "The Suicide Squad" director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran to head Warner Bros. Discovery's DC film and television studio rocked fans of DC's collection of iconic heroes and villains. Gunn will be in charge of the creative end, while Safran handles the business end of projects (via The Hollywood Reporter). But the two will mainly aim to build a universe of connected film and television projects similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The new positions for Gunn and Safran already give some brief clues about what superhero fans can expect in the future. Notably, Gunn's work with the MCU will likely end with his upcoming projects within the "The Guardians of the Galaxy" series, which includes "The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special." Yet the hiring of Gunn and Safran may also give insight into how important Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav sees the hopeful future of DC Studios. Gunn and Safran will report directly to Zaslav. So with that in mind, what does their new status mean for Zaslav's DC priorities?

James Gunn and Peter Safran could help DC mirror Marvel's unique balance

If anything, hiring James Gunn and Peter Safran to head DC Studios proves that David Zaslav still views DC Studios as a top priority for Warner Bros. Discovery, despite earlier controversial decisions such as canceling a planned "Batgirl" film. However, according to Variety, it appears that Zaslav is aiming to place DC's collection of characters and worlds on the same level that Disney did with Marvel regarding the organic synergy between their box-office films and streaming spin-offs. And he trusts Gunn's stylish eye and Safran's savvy business mind to take DC there.

Variety also noted that the closest DC has done in this regard is "The Suicide Squad" movie and the "Peacemaker" spin-off, which both projects included Gunn and Safran's involvement. "The Suicide Squad " had some trouble at the box office, likely due to COVID-19 and the decision to simultaneously stream it and run it in theaters. But critics loved it, as it earned 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. In addition, "Peacemaker" performed arguably better, with its finale even shattering an HBO Max record. Disney has enjoyed this type of interconnected success tenfold with its slew of Disney+ MCU shows and movies. So it's not hard to imagine that Zaslav is looking at the team-up of Gunn and Safran to deliver similar results to Warner Bros. Discovery.

If that's the case, it looks like Zaslav views the future of DC as a massive component of the success of Warner Bros. Discovery, especially on the streaming front. Variety further reported that some executives within the Hollywood industry feel that, with Gunn and Safran, DC may finally be able to mirror the MCU's unique balance for success. One anonymous powerbroker told Variety, "If Marvel proves anything, you need someone with fanboy chops and producer chops. That's what they seem to have here, for the first time, at DC."