Director James Gunn, Peter Safran as co-heads of DC Studios

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BY LINDSEY BAHR

James Gunn, the writer-director who revived The Suicide Squad and made Marvel the Guardians of the Galaxy, will soon be responsible for the future of Batman, Superman and the entire DC Universe for Warner Bros. Discovery. The studio on Tuesday named Gunn and veteran CEO Peter Safran as co-chairs and CEOs of DC Studios.

In the roles, Gunn and Safran will develop a long-term plan for the company’s DC Comics products across film, television and animation. Both will continue to produce, develop and direct individual projects, the studio said.

“We are honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we have loved since childhood,” Gunn and Safran said in a written statement. “Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn and the rest of the DC character stable is matched only by our commitment to the wonders of human possibility that these characters represent. We look forward to enlivening the theatrical experience around the world by telling some of the biggest, most beautiful and greatest stories ever told.”

Safran has produced many films for Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema, including Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, as well as Aquaman, Shazam and the horror films in The Conjuring universe.

Beginning November 1, Gunn and Safran will report directly to Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav, who praised their “unique and complementary talents” in a statement.

“Her decades of filmmaking experience, her deep connections to the creative community, and a proven track record of inspiring superhero fans around the world make her uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, television and animation, and to advance this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling,” continued Zaslav.

For the past four years, Walter Hamada has directed what was previously called DC Films, but officially left the studio last week ahead of Black Adam’s theatrical release. Zaslav had promised a “reset” of the studio’s DC operations as part of an overhaul to implement a more Marvel-like 10-year structure and improve quality, and with that. Bring in a more centralized creative manager, much like Marvel’s Kevin Feige.

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