James Gunn appears to be going around doing an apology tour, of sorts, addressing upset fans about his recent decisions, asking them to bear with him, though he understands many things he’s doing now will not be popular. But he’s also meeting with big players in the old era of DC, doing the same thing.
First, he met with Henry Cavill, who recently was supposed to return as Superman onscreen, only to have that idea cancelled by Gunn who told Cavill he would be working with a younger Clark Kent for now. Yesterday, Gunn made his way to The Rock to bury the hatchet, and The Rock posted the following statement on Twitter reflecting the reality that his passion project, Black Adam, would not survive the DCU transition, though the door remains open to “multiverse” possibilities.
“James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling. However, DC and Seven Bucks have agreed to continue exploring the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilized in future DC multiverse chapters.”
Before this, The Rock was trying to do math to show that Black Adam was actually going to be profitable, pitching it as a “first step” in building something larger, but Gunn appears to have put those plans on ice, as expected. Unlike the no-Cavill-as-Superman news, you are not hearing a similar outcry from DC fans about no Black Adam sequel.
I do wonder if the last phase here is meeting up with Zack Snyder, the creator of the famed Snyderverse that still has canon movies being produced to this day like The Flash and Aquaman 2. While Snyder himself severed his relationship with DC and has moved on to make Netflix movies, it feels like a public “peace talk” between Gunn and Snyder may do some good here, given that Snyder’s fans are absolutely, positively relentless. They hounded DC for Snyder to return after he left. They hound James Gunn now for ditching Snyder’s universe and cast members like Cavill, even if it’s pretty clear a mostly clean slate is the best option, given that Man of Steel was in 2013 and the DCEU has been a wild rollercoaster of ups and downs ever since.
Also this week, Gunn has said that there will continue to be DC projects developed outside the DCU, the new “main” connected universe he’s currently building. The idea here is that it should include greenlit projects like Joker 2, co-starring Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman universe, which may not be absorbed into the DCU, and might continue to be its own thing. And of course, you know Gunn will continue on other projects like the Harley Quinn animated series, which he loves so much he guest starred in. Other current DC things like remaining Snyderverse movies, Titans, Doom Patrol and Superman and Lois remain up in the air, however.
I absolutely do not envy James Gunn’s position here. He knew what he was getting into with Snyder’s extremely vocal fans who have made #FireJamesGunn trend almost every day on Twitter. But at this point, it feels like judgement should be reserved until he actually produces something new in the DCU. So far, Suicide Squad and Peacemaker have both been solid DC entries from him, but those wacky characters and say, Superman, are pretty far apart, and I think we have to see his take on the larger DC icons that he now has access to.
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