James Gunn to Reboot DCEU: Future of DCU Explored

DCEU is officially dead! Hello, DCU!

by Abhirup Sengupta

While DC Universe co-CEO James Gunn’s recent tweet debunking the feud with Henry Cavill fuelled hope in fans, the fandom took a gut punch following the latter’s official departure as Superman. Gunn, who tweeted glimpses of the upcoming DCU slate, further mentioned: “But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old British star took to Instagram with an emotional post. The Witcher star stated: “I have just had a meeting with James Gunn and Peter Safran and it’s sad news, everyone. I will, after all, not be returning as Superman. After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life.”

Following the announcement and Cavill’s farewell post, fans poured in their support for the actor. In contrast, Gunn received massive heat for this decision, and some fans even called for a boycott of future DCU films. A legion of tweets further demanded that Gunn should be fired, which trended “#FireJamesGunn” over Elon Musk’s Twitter.

What do James Gunn’s Recent Tweets Hint About the Future of DCU?

Amid a plethora of rumors, James Gunn’s recent tweets are the only window into the fate of DCU. In his current series of tweets where the DCU honcho announced Henry Cavill’s departure from the role of Superman, Gunn posted updates about an upcoming live-action take on the famed Kryptonian. Gunn revealed that a new Superman script is being written by him where the focus would be on a younger version of the character. This likely means that DCEU will be rebooted, where Gunn and his co-CEO Peter Safran will start fresh.

While Gunn’s tweet regarding a meeting with DCEU Batman star Ben Affleck provided insight that the actor may return to direct a project, it is all but confirmed that Batfleck is also getting nixed in DCU. This is unsurprising as in a recent update, industry insider KC Walsh tweeted, “Heard is unchanged, no Affleck no DaFoe,” regarding the Aquaman 2 test audience screenings. While previously, Aquaman star Jason Momoa confirmed that Ben Affleck would have had a cameo in the upcoming sequel of the DC Atlantean’s solo film, Walsh’s report insinuates that Affleck’s reprisal as Batman has been cut.

With the recent announcement about Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 being dead in the water, all threads point to a clean slate reboot of the DC’s live-action cinematic universe.

The Flash Movie and Possible ‘Flashpoint’ Timeline Reset

Prior to the addition of James Gunn and Peter Safran at the helm of DCU, it had long been rumored that The Flash movie would have acted as a soft reboot for the cinematic universe. It was further hinted that Michael Keaton’s take on the caped-crusader from Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman would have replaced Affleck after the Flashpoint-based timeline restructure. However, the cancellation of Batgirl movie, where Barbara Gordon was rumored to be mentored by Keaton’s Bruce Wayne, has likely struck out consideration of a reboot.

While Andry Muschietti’s The Flash is expected to hit theaters next year, the film’s fate may also end up like that of Batgirl if Gunn and co. proceeds with a complete reboot. As insinuated by the departure of Cavill and Affleck, the possibility of a clean slate is more likely.

With The Flash having gone through multiple reshoots, Warner Bros. Discovery may be in possession of footage that can cater to multiple endings. This will potentially be a critical factor in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s decision about the future of DCU.

What About Matt Reeves’ The Batman Universe as the Primary DCU?

Amid reports of Matt Reeves’ The Batman being possibly canonized in the main DCU, Gunn took to Twitter to call out Variety’s Adam V. Bary. In his report, Bary cited a “well-placed” source and claimed that the inclusion of Robert Pattinson’s Batman is now being considered in the DC Universe. However, Gunn dubbed the claims as “entirely untrue.”

Following Gunn’s clarification, The Batman director Matt Reeves took to Twitter to praise the DCU co-CEO for debunking such rumors. In his tweet, Reeves mentioned, “The source I’m really liking on this is Mr. @JamesGunn.”

Although James Gunn’s younger Superman could gel well with Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, the Reevesverse will remain in a separate franchise. Gunn has further clarified that more official updates and plans about the future of DCU will reach fans in early 2023. However, much to certain fans’ chagrin, the new DC Universe will be built upon the ashes of the DC Extended Universe.

- This article was updated on December 16th, 2022