Director James Gunn and Peter Safran will co-direct DC Studios

James Gunn, the writer-director who revived ‘The Suicide Squad’ and made household ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ names for Marvel, will soon be in charge of the future of Batman, Superman and the entire DC Universe for Warner Bros. Discovery. The studio on Tuesday named Gunn and veteran executive Peter Safran co-presidents and CEOs of the newly formed DC Studios.

The roles will allow Gunn and Safran to develop a long-term plan for the company’s DC Comics properties in film, television and animation. The two will also continue to produce, develop and direct individual projects, the studio said.

“We are honored to be guardians of these DC characters we have loved since we were children,” Gunn and Safran said in a written statement. “Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn and the rest of DC’s stable of characters is matched only by our commitment to the marvel of human possibility that these characters represent. We are thrilled to invigorating the theatrical experience across the world by telling some of the biggest, finest and grandest stories ever told.

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

Beginning November 1, Gunn and Safran will report directly to David Zaslav, Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, which hailed their “singular and complementary talents” in a statement.

“Their decades of experience in film, their strong ties to the creative community, and their proven track record of enthusing 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 creative storytelling,” Zaslav continued.

For the past four years, Walter Hamada helmed what used to be called DC Films, but officially left the studio last week ahead of the theatrical launch of “Black Adam.” Zaslav had promised a ‘reset’ of the studio’s DC operations in an overhaul to implement a more Marvel-like 10-year structure and improve quality, and with that bring in a more centralized Kevin Feige-like creative director. from Marvel. Some in Hollywood were surprised Tuesday when, instead, two were named.

Unlike Marvel, DC has several different threads running simultaneously in its movies with Todd Phillips’ sequel “Joker” and Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” in addition to Henry Cavill’s Superman movies, which made a cameo in “Black Adam”.

Gunn, the rare filmmaker with active projects with both major superhero powerhouses, is also wrapping up his “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy, which is due out in May, and he’ll have a “Guardians” holiday special on Disney+ in November, too—-the trailer was revealed shortly before DC’s announcement.

Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, co-presidents and CEOs of Warner Bros. Film Group, said in a joint statement that “having the two committed to working together to forge this new era for DC is a literal dream come true. We all share a very similar sensitivity and passion for this universe and the stars couldn’t have aligned better.”