In a shocking move, filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran have been chosen to head up DC’s film, TV, and animation division as co-chairs of a newly formed division within Warner Bros. Discovery.
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The announcement (via The Hollywood Reporter) sees both Gunn and Safran named as co-CEOs of the newly formed DC Studios, a division within Warner Bros. Discovery that will replace DC Films. The deal will run for four years, with Gunn exclusively working with DC within those four years. The move also puts an end to a months-long search by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav to try and find a replacement for former DC Films head Walter Hamada, who left the studio.
While it’s unconventional that a filmmaker is given a top executive role overseeing an entire division, Gunn’s success in the DC world — his film The Suicide Squad and HBO show Peacemaker have been massive hits — as well as his success in the larger world of comic book movies (with the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise) were likely a huge boon to him. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn will focus on the creative side with Safran — a producer with credits on a ton of films, including past DC films Aquaman and Shazam! — will focus on the business and production side of the division.
The report mentions that both are still expected to continue directing and producing other projects. Also important to note is the fact that, according to early reports, the separate universes established at DC — including that of Todd Phillips’ Joker films — will not be overseen by Gunn and Safran. At this point, it’s unknown if Matt Reeves’ The Batman films will be, but any future DC project will be overseen by Gunn and Safran moving forward.
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“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,” said David Zaslav in a statement. “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.”
This story originally appeared on Comingsoon