DC’s movie and TV division has finally found its own version of Marvel’s Kevin Feige

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Idris Elba and director James Gunn on the set of "The Suicide Squad."
Idris Elba and director James Gunn on the set of “The Suicide Squad.”

  • James Gunn and Peter Safran will run DC Studios together.
  • The announcement ends Warner Bros. Discovery’s search for an exec similar to Marvel’s Kevin Feige.
  • The pair inherit a baggage-heavy DC film universe.

Warner Bros. Discovery has finally found an executive to lead its DC movie and TV franchise — well, executives, plural, that is.

Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Tuesday that filmmaker James Gunn, who directed the DC movie “The Suicide Squad” and created its TV spinoff “Peacemaker,” and Peter Safran, who’s produced a number of movies for Warner Bros. including ones in the DC and “Conjuring” film universes, will run DC’s film, TV, and animation division.

The division going forward will be called DC Studios, and Gunn and Safran will be co-CEOs and co-chairs.

“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,” Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.

He added: “Their decades of experience in filmmaking, close ties to the creative community, and proven track record thrilling superhero fans around the globe make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, TV, and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling.”

Since Discovery and WarnerMedia merged earlier this year, Zaslav has been looking for someone to lead DC’s movie and TV efforts. He said during the company’s first earnings call that it was charting a “10-year plan” similar to what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has done with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Gunn jumped to Warner Bros. and DC after getting temporarily fired from the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie in 2018. He then made “The Suicide Squad” and its HBO Max spinoff series, “Peacemaker.” 

While Marvel quickly re-hired Gunn to direct “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” which hits theaters next year, Gunn’s return to the Marvel universe will seemingly be short-lived.

Gunn and Safran will inherit a DC film universe that carries plenty of baggage. Notably, Ezra Miller, star of next year’s “The Flash,” recently pleaded not guilty to burglary and petit larceny charges, of which they face 26 years in prison if convicted.

The two newly appointed executives also have the messy task of sorting through a lot of different projects in development from different parties.

“The Batman” director Matt Reeves is looking to expand the world of the movie with villain-centric films, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Henry Cavill confirmed this week that he will return as Superman in future movies after a cameo in “Black Adam,” which would compete with a Black Superman movie written by essayist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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