After years of indecision, mixed critical and commercial success, and a lack of direction, it's the dawn of a new era for DC Studios.
New DC Studios co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran have finally unveiled their initial plan for their rebooted DC Cinematic Universe (DCU). And, without wanting to sound hyperbolic – we've been burned before, after all – the lineup of movies and TV shows sounds very exciting.
Chapter One of the DCU officially titled Gods and Monsters, is led by a new Superman movie (and release date!) and a Batman and Robin film. However, there were plenty of other fan-favorite, surreal, and unexpected projects revealed. Surprise announcements included news of a Game of Thrones-style Themyscira TV series, Booster Gold and Creature Commandos HBO Max shows, and a film based on a relatively unknown property called The Authority. You can learn more about every announcement in Gunn's Twitter video below:
Here are just a few of our plans. Up, up, and away! #DCStudios #DCU @DCComics pic.twitter.com/8XNDNLUEPqJanuary 31, 2023
The TechRadar team might primarily focus on, well, covering the technology industry. But we're also big fans (who isn't?) of the superhero genre. From Marvel's cinematic juggernaut to debating the best superhero movies, we love this entertainment-based catalog, so we're as keen as anyone to see Gunn, Safran, and company breathe new life into the DCU and make it worth investing in.
So, which DCU Chapter One film or TV series caught the attention of TechRadar's various staff members?
Keeping it real with the Man of Steel
Tom Power, entertainment reporter
Okay, I imagine you're rolling your eyes over my choice. We already knew that Gunn was developing a new Superman movie, so this announcement was the least surprising of the lot.
But there are multiple reasons why I'm incredibly excited for Superman: Legacy – not least because it's the only DCU project so far to receive an official launch date (July 11, 2025, for those interested).
A great Superman movie has been long overdue. Henry Cavill's Man of Steel was one of the more enjoyable aspects of Zack Snyder's DC movie lineup. However, Snyder's Superman was far too gritty, somber, and divisive (from a character arc perspective) to be a live-action knockout.
Superman: Legacy sounds like it'll lean into what makes the legendary superhero so great. For starters, it won't be an origin story (thank goodness), so we'll be meeting a Clark Kent who's already mastering his Kryptonian powers. Next, it's being written by Gunn, so you know it'll be full of humor, heart, and the right blend of terrestrial and cosmic elements. Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy films prove he knows how to handle similarly positioned properties. Couple that with Gunn's dark, horror-infused Superman-inspired movie Brightburn, and the acclaimed director has all the tools to do justice to a Superman film.
More than that, though, we need a Superman flick that puts kindness and positivity above all. The world has become a cynical place, particularly in the last few years. Movies provide us with a form of escapism and, in some cases, hope for the future. Superman is the physical symbol for hope, and it's my hope that – nay, trust in – Gunn that Superman: Legacy will give us the triumphant, optimism-laced Man of Steel movie I (and many others) long for.
Lanterns to light the way
Matt Evans, fitness and wellbeing editor
I’m tempted to say The Brave and the Bold is the project I’m most excited for. After all, I was a spotty comic-store-going teenager in the mid-2000s, when Damian Wayne was first introduced as Robin.
But another DC book came out in that era that I instantly gravitated towards, and it’s the one I’m most excited about seeing done right on the small screen.
A short comic book mini-series – Green Lantern: Rebirth – dropped in 2004, and it was successful enough to kick off a new line of Green Lantern comics and DC Universe-spanning crossover events. Rebirth looked weird and otherworldly, the art was hyper-detailed, and I had never read another comic like it.
That Green Lantern comic made one of DC’s lamest heroes cool again. It was full of plenty of death-defying stunts, a little detective work, and a lot of creepy-looking aliens. It was like Top Gun meets Star Wars meets the X-Files – and the description of James Gunn’s new Lanterns show as "True Detective" in style and tonality means it’ll at least have the X-Files part down. The fact it'll star two of the best-known Green Lanterns in Hal Jordan and John Stewart, too, only raises my expectation levels further.
The 2011 Green Lantern movie – starring none other than Ryan Reynolds – may have been relegated to a recurring Deadpool joke by this point, but I’m most looking forward to seeing DC give this superhero another go. Here's hoping it becomes one of the best HBO Max shows of all time when it's released.
A boost for an unknown quantity
Matt Bolton, entertainment managing editor
Give me the Booster Gold TV show, and give me Top Gun: Maverick's Glen Powell as Booster, please!
For starters, the basic premise of the character – a disgraced former sports star from the future who travels back to our time, and uses advanced technology and knowledge of history to become a superhero in an attempt to satisfy his craving for adoration, fame and (most importantly) riches – gives you so many places to go for a comedy show.
Subsequently, I want a version of Booster Gold who has to grapple with predestination paradoxes he's not smart enough to understand, ethical quagmires he's not morally equipped to handle (yet!), inaccurate future-record-keeping that causes total confusion, and him generally screwing things up by being too desperate.
The danger is making sure that he stays likable through all of this. But, if you get someone with enough pure charisma (Powell! I'm telling you!) you can get away with a lot. You could really have some fun with making sure that every step forward he takes to become a hero is balanced out with two steps back in his success-seeking, too. And, ultimately, it helps that he wants to do the right thing – even if it's not necessarily for the right reason.
Bat-Father and son
Josephine Watson, lifestyle managing editor
As a lover of all things Batman (from the camp to the classy), I'm most excited to see Damian Wayne brought to the silver screen as Robin.
Damian was always one of my favorite caped crusaders, and it's been a love reignited since DC started releasing Batman: Wayne Family Adventures on Webtoon. The father-son dynamic that The Brave and the Bold promises is totally foreign to non-comic fans – and, if done right, it could bring a new perspective on the iconic, money-rich hero. Even better, if they present Damian as the violent narcissist he is in the comics, I'll be smitten.
More than anything, though, I'm hoping this heralds the beginning of a wider set of Batman-adjacent heroes and give us more food for thought when it comes to ranking the best Batman movies. A cinematic world with Nightwing, Red Hood, and Red Robin sharing the same Bat-dad could be on the horizon, and I'm totally here for it.
For more DC-based coverage, find out how to watch the DC movies in order. Additionally, read up on how to watch the Batman movies in order, our review of The Batman, or see which DC Extended Universe films made it onto our best HBO Max movies list.