James Gunn Wants To Give Lesser-Known DC Characters The Spotlight In The DCU

Fans of DC Comics got a glimpse of what the future of DC film will look like earlier in 2023. Some projects are to be expected, like a new "Superman" movie and another interpretation of Batman, this time teamed up with his son, Damian Wayne. Others are a bit more out of left field, like an adaptation of "The Authority." However, moving forward, it's possible Gunn and his co-DC Head Peter Safran will look toward lesser-known characters to fill out the film slate.

Gunn recently spoke to Variety about the 100th anniversary of Warner Bros. and the future of DC under the studio. He admitted his desire to bring greater diversity and newer stories to audiences, mentioning, "We think there's a lot of potential in some of these lesser-known characters to be the stars of the DC of the future." He didn't elaborate, so there's no clue of who some of these lesser-known characters might be, but it's exciting news for fans who may be tired of seeing the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight all the time. 

It's a strategy that worked well for Marvel, as it kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008's "Iron Man." It was an essential move to build up these other characters as the rights for Spider-Man and the X-Men were tied up at other studios. It's possible DC could see similar success breaking out of its comfort zone.

Don't expect any rehashes

DC's had a rough go at it the past decade when it comes to live-action films. Some have done incredibly well while others have floundered, all while Marvel's properties have generally found success on the big screen, elevating secondary characters like Ant-Man and Captain Marvel into major players. It seems as though DC is set to correct the ship and branch out in order to level the playing field. 

For starters, that means not looking toward the past with its marquee players. James Gunn will write and direct "Superman: Legacy," and it's clear he wants to put his mark on it: "I don't think the movie would be worth making if it was just a redo of any other Superman adaptation." The same holds true for "The Brave and the Bold." It'll be the second "Batman" film franchise going simultaneously with "The Batman — Part II," which is set outside the main DC film continuity. Gunn seems dedicated to ensuring these characters stand out in their new forms, "For us to truly thrive as a studio, we need to honor the past of these characters while simultaneously seeing them in a new light."

The final part of DC's trinity is also part of Gunn's plan. "Paradise Lost" will follow Wonder Woman's home of Themyscira. And there are plenty of other exciting characters getting projects, too, like "Booster Gold." It's entirely possible that in a few years' time, well-known and obscure DC characters alike could share the screen together. Hopefully, audiences respond to these new interpretations.