DC Shocker: James Gunn and Peter Safran Lead the Film, Television and Animation Division (Exclusive)

The hierarchy of power in the DC universe is already changing.

In a stunning turn of events, director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran have been chosen to lead DC’s efforts in film, television and animation as co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios, a newly formed division of Warner Bros. Which will replace DC. Movies.

The unprecedented move, in which a senior director will assume a senior executive role, marks the end of a months-long search by Warner Bros. CEO. Discovery David Zaslav to replace DC Films president Walter Hamada, who left the studio last week. This search had all the guesswork in Hollywood and executive bingo play for who would get one of the most coveted – and challenging – jobs in town.

In recent weeks, Gunn and Safran have been seen on the set of Warner Bros., where they meet Warner Film Co-President Michael De Luca about future projects. According to sources, the initial offer for Sfran and Jean came from De Luca over the summer, even as the studio was in shaky talks with producer Dan Lin to take the job.

Gunn will focus on the creative side of things, while Safran will focus on the business and production side. Both are expected to continue directing and producing projects, respectively. They will report directly to Zaslav and work closely with Warner Film Directors, De Luca and Pamela Abdi. Sources say the deal spans four years and that Gunn will be exclusive to DC. And the goal is not just to be producers, but to really work as CEOs even when Gunn polishes up a movie at times.

Unlike Marvel Studios, DC has several movies set in separate creative worlds, and according to sources, joker Director Todd Phillips’ work in the upcoming sequel, which begins production later this year, will not be directed by Gunn and Safran and will instead be directed by De Luca and Abdy. Matt Reeves, who worked under Hamada, has a nascent world to base him on Batman Movie. It’s unclear who Reeves’ future projects will fall under, but everything else moving forward will be under the guidance of John and Safran.

“DC is among the most exciting, powerful and creative characters in the world, and I am thrilled to have the unique and complementary talents of James and Peter join our world-class team and oversee the creative direction of the DC Universe,” he said. Zaslav in a statement. “Their decades of experience in the film industry, close ties to the creative community, and a track record of excitement for superhero fans around the world make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, television and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of novel Creative stories.

Jan is one of the most respected minds in the comic book film industry. He appeared in the field of independent films and became an A-list director in 2014 with Marvel Studios Guardians of the Galaxy and sequel 2017. Jumped to DC in 2018 for development suicide squad After rival Marvel fired him as director Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3. (The studio later brought it back, and this project is due to finish in May 2023.) DC Foray suicide squad He was very well liked and produced the HBO Max movie peace makerStarring John Cena. Gunn is currently working on season two.

Safran emerged as a manager, with Gunn among his clients, and is fully immersed in the DC world as a $1 billion revenue producer. Aquaman And a sequel to come, as well TeamAnd the peace maker And the Shazam! and its supplement. His relationship with Warners spans 10 years and includes $2 billion Sorcery Horror franchise. Safran recently re-uploaded its production deal with Warners.

Jan and Safran will work with senior WBD executives, including TV President Channing Dungey; HBO and HBO Max’s Casey Bloys; Kathleen Finch, US Networks Group President and Chief Content Officer; Head of Consumer Products Pam Lyford; and David Haddad of Warner Interactive Entertainment. DC Studios will share resources across the company.

“We are honored to be the moderators of the DC characters we’ve loved since we were kids,” Gunn and Safran said in a statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the world’s most talented writers, directors, and actors to create an integrated, multi-layered world that still allows for individual expression for the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of DC’s characters is matched only by our commitment to the wonders of human potential. represented by these characters. We are excited to revitalize the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful and wonderful stories ever told.”

The move comes at a seismic moment for the center of the capital, which for the past four years has been led by Hamada under the banner of DC Films. CEO left amid friction with new Warners leadership under Zaslav, who made the controversial decision to stop HBO Max-bound bat girl In August, it pledged to remake DC with a 10-year plan as it seeks to compete with rival Marvel Studios. Although Zaslav has talked about finding a CEO modeled after Kevin Feige, over the summer the team began looking at emulating the Pixar model, with producers and directors serving as CEOs. This has never been tried in the field of live action.

DC . released black Adam Over the weekend, which stars Dwayne Johnson and featured Superman actor Henry Cavill, and back in DC, Shazam! wrath of the godsin March.

As for the future of Gunn in Marvel, there has been talk that he could continue in some form after finishing for him Guardians of the Galaxy triple. However, today’s news, which comes hours after Marvel announced its upcoming Gunn directing guardians A special holiday, he seems to have closed the door on his MCU chapter.

The appointment is effective November 1, and comes as De Luca and Abdy make creative decisions and oversee post-production on everything from Sparkle to me Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom Since they took office in early July.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have James John and Peter Safran join the team and take over the leadership of DC Universe,” De Luca and Abdi said in a statement. James is a brilliant filmmaker and storyteller and Peter a successful and prolific producer, and having them commit to working together to shape this new era of DC is a true dream come true. Waiting to start working, researching and collaborating with these unparalleled creative minds.”

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