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James Gunn Wants The DCU To Be Writer-Driven, Proves It By Holding Press Event Without A Single Casting Announcement

James Gunn and Peter Safran's first slate of plans for the DC Universe is now out in the world, in the shape of a vast array of intriguing movies and TV shows that will reimagine the live-action — and in the case of "Creature Commandos," animated — future of beloved DC characters (per /film). The plan they've mapped out is an interesting mix of major character reboots and fascinating live-action newcomers, and the projects are diverse enough to offer something for everyone.

However, there's one thing that the press event didn't reveal. Though the main players of Matt Reeves' ongoing "Batman Crime Saga" trilogy will presumably remain, the presser didn't announce one single new actor for any of the projects. Instead, the focus was on the overall nature and feel of the various shows and movies, as well as their writing. This, it turns out, was by design. Gunn is on a mission to make the DCU writer-driven, and the press event certainly proved his point on that front. 

Gunn believes in finishing the script before shooting the movie

James Gunn's DCU decision to put writers front and center stems from the fact that he dislikes the way many movies are shot these days. In fact, he feels that movies in general aren't as good as they used to be, due to the tendency to lock them into a date, which can easily lead to rushed writing when the filming commences before the final act of the script is even ready. Instead of taking that approach with the DCU, he has chosen to elevate writers again.

It makes sense that Gunn, a writer and a director himself, would want to avoid shooting huge movies without a properly prepared script. In fact, he's given similar statements in the past. In September 2022, he wrote a Twitter missive about this exact subject. 

"Movie studios lock in release dates early on, often years in advance, &, desperate to make that date, often start shooting whether the script is ready or not," Gunn stated in a reply to a fan's question about lack of great scripts in major movies. "At the end of the day I agree with you — it's a massive waste of money & an impediment to quality."

Now that Gunn's a studio executive himself, he clearly seems determined to put writing first — and it'll be interesting to see what results his approach will achieve.