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So, Will The DCU Not Have A Justice League Movie?

James Gunn’s plans for the DCU do not seem to place any immediate emphasis on the Justice League. Following the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery and the establishment of DC Studios, James Gunn and Peter Safran have begun overseeing the future of the DCU, which is effectively being given a new start. With a plan set to overlap movies, television, video games, and animation, the first portion of the DCU’s Chapter One has been revealed by Gunn, with Chapter One titled “Gods and Monsters.”

While the projects outlined for “Gods and Monsters” include films and shows involving characters connected to the Justice League, no actual Justice League movie, series, or any other project was included among Gunn’s announcements.

Moreover, with the overall story of “Gods and Monsters” unrevealed, it is not clear exactly where and how the Justice League would fit into the plans mapped out by Gunn and Safran. With that said, there are some likely reasons why the League is not present in the DCU’s chapter one, while their absence will probably not be permanent, either.

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Gunn’s announced slate for the DCU’s Chapter One is a mix of the DC characters both major and minor. Gunn’s Superman film, Superman: Legacy, is leading the charge, while the Dark Knight is both in the DCU and the Elseworlds pocket with Brave and the Bold and The Batman Part II. With the addition of the Green Lantern show Lanterns, several of the Justice League’s core members are clearly priorities, but Chapter One’s other projects do not seem to indicate the Justice League as being such.

With other projects like the DC TV shows Creature Commandos, The Authority, and Booster Gold, and the DC horror movie Swamp Thing, lesser-known DC characters are getting a shot at the spotlight, but none of the B-characters involved are traditionally associated with the Justice League. The Wonder Woman prequel series Paradise Lost also seems likely to not involve Diana at all, while the release schedule of Gunn’s DC projects does not appear to culminate in the Justice League being formed. As to why that is, the DCU’s past history with the Justice League helps put it into context.

The original DC slate under Zack Snyder’s stewardship placed Superman and the Justice League at the center of the universe, but the road to the team assembling was infamously fraught with behind-the-scenes struggles. The retooled version of Justice League that hit theaters in 2017, and the subsequent release of Justice League‘s Snyder Cut, are both forever enshrined in superhero movie history. After the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the revelation of Snyder’s plans for his Justice League sequels, the Justice League as a team has become a sensitive issue for DC on film.

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With DC Studios effectively creating its own DC universe, any new Justice League movie will inevitably face comparisons with Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Gunn and Safran’s decision to leave the League out of their plans is likely rooted in a desire to create some breathing room between Snyder’s version of the League and any they would create. While Gunn’s plans do not appear to have a visible build-up for the Justice League, the picture of DC Studios’s plans is also not a complete one.

With DC Studios’s announced slate beginning with James Gunn’s Superman: Legacy and plans for two movies and two shows every year, the Justice League in the DCU would not be seen until 2027 at the earliest. With other core members of the League not seen on the slate, it could well be even longer than that. However, per Gunn himself, the DCU’s full slate for Chapter One has only been partially revealed. While this could mean that the Justice League is being saved for the very end of Chapter One, even if the team does not form until later, the League is likely to be seen in Gunn’s DCU eventually.

On the surface, the slate announced by Gunn appears to emphasize more standalone entries, though crossovers among different properties are sure to happen. This could indicate that Gunn’s intent for the DCU is to show the heroes primarily operating on solo missions for an extended period (with Gunn’s DC Elseworlds label telling different stories.) Whatever the case may be, the DCU‘s ten-year plan very likely involves an eventual team-up of a version of the Justice League, but the world will probably have to wait longer than expected to see that happen.

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