James Gunn and Peter Safran have been tapped to head DC’s film, tv, and animation endeavors as co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios, a new division within Warner Bros. Discovery that will replace DC Films.
- The appointments begin tomorrow, November 1, and run for the next four years. They were announced after a monthslong, very public search for someone to take the helm of Warner’s efforts in the DC film and tv universe as the studio looks to create a more unified canon going forward.
- The pair replace DC Films boss Walter Hamada, who left the studio a couple weeks ago, but will expand on the work he did by adding tv and animation to their remit. What that means for DC animation isn’t entirely clear yet, but it seems to suggest that the new execs will play a role in the output from Warner Bros. Animation, which produces DC series (Harley Quinn, Teen Titans Go!, Batwheels) and direct-to-video films, as well as the feature-side Warner Animation Group (DC League of Super-Pets).
- Gunn will handle the creative side of DC Studios, with Safran focusing on business and production. In addition to their new responsibilities, Gunn will continue to direct, and both Gunn and Safran will continue producing individual projects. Each will report directly to David Zaslav and work closely with Warner’s film co-chairs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy.
- Said Zaslav in a statement: “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. 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.”
- Gunn and Safran added, in a joint statement: “We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children. We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told.”
Pictured at top: DC League of Super-Pets produced by Warner Animation Group