Is James Gunn on his way to ruining the DC Universe?

James Gunn and Peter Safran have been shaking things up as the new head honchos of the DC franchise. But their recent moves have the fandom up in arms and concerned for the future of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Should fans give James Gunn a chance to redeem the DC extended universe?
Should fans give James Gunn a chance to redeem the DC extended universe?  © Collage: IMAGO / Everett Collection & MATT WINKELMEYER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

Mad man or genius?

Currently, it's hard to make a case for James Gunn, who is completely reshaping the DCEU.

From the axing of Wonder Woman 3 to Henry Cavill permanently ditching the red cape, there's been a lot going for DC fans to process recently.

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And sure, many are probably still holding out hope that perhaps there is a method to the daring director's madness.

But with most recent news that Dwayne Johnson's blockbuster movie, Black Adam, won't be getting a sequel, it's getting harder and harder to hold on to that hope.

So is the 55-year-old filmmaker ruining a project that, if we're being honest, already had issues competing with ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)?

Or conversely, should the DC fandom give Gunn more time to put his vision in place?

James Gunn is taking the DCEU in a new direction, but is worth it?

James Gunn has been radically reshaping the DCEU.
James Gunn has been radically reshaping the DCEU.  © Chris Delmas / AFP

It may be asking a lot of anyone to have some faith in the Guardians of the Galaxy director right now.

Days ago, the hashtag #FireJamesGunn became the number one trending topic, clearly signifying how pissed off fans are right now.

Still, he has stuck to his guns and assured DC fans that he's not trying to lead everyone astray.

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"Perhaps these choices are great, perhaps not, but they are made with sincere hearts & integrity & always with the story in mind," Gunn wrote in his statement that was a response to the "disrespectful outcry" from fans.

But can he really blame them for it?

It's bad enough that the DCEU was subjected to a lot of controversy and all around bad press regarding a few of its stars – ahem, Ezra Miller, Amber Heard, to name just a few.

Not to mention how crushing it was to have Cavill's anticipated return as the Man of Steel confirmed to then have the complete opposite reported.

Though a few long-awaited DC projects are safe, for now, many of them were created as a prelude to future films in the film franchise.

Now with Cavill out, Johnson and Gal Gadot's future still not clarified, and other films scrapped, is the DCEU's future even worth it anymore?

What the DCEU will look like in 2023

Ezra Miller (l.) and Jason Momoa are the only two DC stars whose films are still set to be released in 2023.
Ezra Miller (l.) and Jason Momoa are the only two DC stars whose films are still set to be released in 2023.  © IMAGO / Everett Collection

So far, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, The Flash, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods will still debut in 2023.

But as mentioned, these flicks were set-ups for future films in the DCEU.

For instance, the Shazam film series was supposed to lead to the hero confronting Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam.

Since the sequel to the anti-hero's origin tale isn't happening, the jury is out on Shazam and Black Adam having their showdown, even if the Rock did clarify that his character will still be around,

Then there's The Flash and Aquaman, who are both part of the Justice League.

Though the sequel to the Justice League movie hasn't been confirmed either, since Cavill isn't returning as Superman, there probably won't be another JL film.

All in all, it's looking a messy and uncertain for the DCEU.

But there's still a case to be made for hope. Gunn did bring some pretty rocking projects to life in the MCU and in the DCEU before he took over as the new DC exec. That kind of talent doesn't just disappear.

Here's to the silver-haired daredevil not leading the DC fandom down.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / Everett Collection & MATT WINKELMEYER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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