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Actors In The New DCU Will Reportedly Play One Role And One Role Only

Nearly four months after James Gunn and his longtime producer Peter Safran took the helm of the DC Division at Warner Bros., the co-CEOs have finally released the their vision for the DC Universe. Consisting of both films and TV shows, Gunn and Safran have all but wiped clean the slate of prior DC films — most notably the works of Zack Snyder — yet they are allowing some versions of characters in the multiverse to continue, like those established by filmmakers Todd Phillips and Matt Reeves with "Joker" and "The Batman," respectively. As for the final word on the fate of the cancelled HBO Max film "Batgirl," Safran said the he's seen it and noted that while he praised talent in front of and behind the camera, the film "was not releasable."

The aim of the new effort by Gunn and Safran, naturally, is to rival the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in 2008 with "Iron Man" and includes Gunn's own "Guardians of the Galaxy" trilogy, set to conclude this summer. As such, Gunn and Safran revealed Tuesday their first 10 DCU projects.

It seems to follow the "Phase" model that the MCU has perfected, with Variety reporting that the filmmakers are calling the first slate of projects "Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters." Kicking off the DCU on July 11, 2025 is "Superman: Legacy," which the filmmakers note is not an origin story. And while the cast has yet to be announced, Gunn and Safran have already made it clear that Henry Cavill will not be reprising the role that was established under the auspices of Snyder.

One of the more interesting developments about the new DCU came in a tweet by Discussing Film that pinpoints a new rule from Gunn involving casting.

A new 'one role' rule

According to Discussing Film's tweet, "James Gunn says they won't have actors playing more than one role in the DCU." That information was not included in the story on Discussing Film that the tweet linked to, nor has the outlet revealed the source of the information elsewhere. Either way, it's hard to tell who this "one role" rule would affect and how. One potential actor who may be caught up in the quandary is Jason Momoa, whose turn as Aquaman may well come to an end when "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" is released in late 2023. Fan excitement has been building since Gunn and Safran took charge of DC, though, as Momoa has emerged as fan favorite to play DC bounty hunter Lobo.

The Lobo idea seems logical but there's a potential bump in the road. According to Variety, "Safran and Gunn left the door open for Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller and Zachary Levi to continue playing their respective DC superheroes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash and Shazam." That means, according to Gunn's reported "one role" rule, that Momoa would have to give up playing Aquaman if the opportunity to play Lobo materializes and he opts to play that character instead.

One thing that appears certain that Gunn is open to casting actors from the MCU if the opportunity presents itself. According to Deadline, Gunn responded to criticism of casting MCU actors in the DCU by tweeting recently that the projects will include "some will be actors I've worked with before, & some will be actors you know who I've never worked with. What matters most is the actor fits the role & they're easy to work with."