James Gunn is sticking by The Flash’s side. Despite a mounting history of arrests, threats and concerning allegations surrounding the upcoming film’s lead actor Ezra Miler, Gunn, who is co-CEO of DC Studios, is excited about its June 16 release.
The Flash has been overshadowed by multiple controversies involving Miller, including legal troubles in Hawaii and Vermont. Most recently, Miller took a plea deal on Jan. 13 to avoid jail time for their alleged break-in at a Vermont home last May.
The Suicide Squad director doubled down on his support for The Flash on Tuesday while announcing DC Studios’ upcoming slate of films and TV shows. He said Miller’s film chronologically connects to Shazam! Fury of the Gods, another superhero movie that drops on March 17.
“Shazam has always been off in his own part of the DCU [DC Universe], so he connects really well. That moves directly into The Flash, a fantastic movie that I really love that resets the entire DC Universe,” Gunn says in a video shared on Twitter.
David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns DC Studios, also said at a quarterly earnings call last August that The Flash was one of the upcoming projects he was excited about. According to Rolling Stone, the company held an emergency meeting in March 2022 to discuss Miller’s future in the DCU.
Gunn, who took over as co-CEO of DC Studios alongside Peter Safran in October, said on Tuesday that most DC films, television, video games, and animated features will be connected in the same world. The first chapter of the DCU will be called “Gods and Monsters.” DC Studio films that aren’t a part of the DCU, like Matt Reeves' The Batman Part II and Todd Phillips’s Joker: Folie à Deux, will be labeled “DC Elseworlds.”
In addition to Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Gunn also announced release dates for the forthcoming 2023 films Blue Beetle (Aug. 18) and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 25). The next Superman film will be called Superman: Legacy, he said. It’s scheduled to be released on July 11, 2025. He said he’s in the middle of writing the film, which will be “the true beginning of the DCU.”
The DCU is also bringing back a major sidekick for its film slate. A Batman and Robin movie titled The Brave and the Bold will focus on Bruce Wayne and his son Damian Wayne, which Gunn said is his favorite iteration of Robin. “He’s a little assassin who Batman tries to get in line, so this is the story of the two of them and the beginning of the Bat family in the DCU,” he said. A date wasn’t announced for the film.
DCU will also update its TV slate. While Gunn did not state which network or streaming service will air the new series, it likely will be HBO Max, which is already home to much of the superhero studio’s collection.
Viola Davis will star in a new series called Waller, reprising the role of Suicide Squad’s Amanda Waller. It will show the high-ranking government official working with characters from the HBO Max show Peacemaker, which stars John Cena.
A prequel series for Wonder Woman is in the works too. It’s titled Paradise Lost, and it will focus on Themyscira, the island nation of Amazon warriors that Wonder Woman calls home. Gunn said the series’s focus on Themyscira will be similar to the land of Westeros in Game of Thrones.
The series Lanterns will focus on two Green Lantern characters: Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Gunn described the series as a “terrestrial-based TV show” similar to True Detective, with the two Green Lanterns working as space cops watching over precinct Earth. They discover a mystery that ties them into the greater DCU.
Gunn touched briefly on animated projects, saying actors who play the live-action character will likely voice them in animation, including in the forthcoming series based on the Creature Commandos comics.
Other projects include shows based on the superheroes Booster Gold and Swamp Thing, as well as films centered around the Supergirl and Authority comics.