Keep up with what’s new in the DCU and Extended DCU! We deliver breaking news on DC Studios projects from the Pop Culture Press perspective.
Yes or No? Blue Beetle In New DC Universe
August 25, 2023 — If you’ve done your homework, you may have read conflicting statements from both the director of Blue Beetle and a co-CEO of DC Studios. Director, Angel Manuel Soto has proclaimed Blue Beetle resides in the new DC Universe. Meanwhile, Co-Chairman/CEO of DC Studios, James Gunn is on record stating Blue Beetle is not in the DCU. Which is correct? First, both are, and second, Gunn is.
You see, the Blue Beetle Director has every intention of his character being part of the new DCU. And frankly, he is to the extent that the Blue Beetle was intended to be in it. To that end, sure, the Blue Beetle is in the new DCU, but most likely won’t go beyond one film due to poor ticket sales. Had the move not bombed at the box office and done very well, it would have lived on. It’s just old-fashioned capitalism in Hollywood. This is why James Gunn rode the fence on proclaiming Blue Beetle is part of the new DCU. It did not take long after the film opened for him to finally announce Blue Beetle was not in the new DCU. So here is your answer. Blue Beetle could have been in the new DCU but is not. In a way, you decided.
DC Studios Clips Chris McKay’s Nightwing, Only
August 23, 2023 — James Gunn & David Zaslav at Warner Brothers Discovery have reportedly killed off the Chris McKay Nightwing film. The truth is the project was always in limbo once James Gunn and David Zaslav were joined in power over the new DC Studios. It’s just finally official that it’s not going to happen. What is interesting is that reports also indicate they will be producing a Nightwing movie. One that fits into the new DC Universe, eskrima sticks and all.
Spoiler Free Blue Beetle Quick Summary Review
August 20, 2023 — With little hype leading up to the release of Blue Beetle, few fans had any previous knowledge of Blue Beetle, most have been exposed to the televised Young Justice version. It’s that same incarnation from Young Justice (and perhaps Retcon) that forges the history in this live-action version of the character. This incarnation is the third which debuted in Infinite Crisis #5 in March 2006. Well before any woke or demands for a variety of representations of race, color, creed, or sexuality — the third Blue Beetle was a Spanish-Mexican teen. It’s for this reason, that there is no backlash related to Blue Beetle being a Spanish-speaking Mexican.
This story does however pay a significant bit of respect to modern Mexican family culture. It’s practically a tribute in many respects. It delivers some of it in tongue-in-cheek humor and some with a bit of condemnation of the US’s history in southern border immigration. In both cases, the foundation of Blue Beetle is grounded firmly with a theme of ‘family’. It’s all throughout the story and the characters are all motivated by it.
As for our Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes is oblivious to any racism or self-pity. Deftly portrayed by Xolo Maridueña, Jaime Reyes is simply a young man who fully understands the importance of what standards a superhero must abide by and is awe-struck by his good fortune in becoming Blue Beetle. As for origin stories, it plays well but as in most origin stories, the hero generally battles a villain with similar powers. To this end, the real challenge for the filmmakers was to create a believable world with relatable characters with balanced action scenes that feel at least someone original. Blue Beetle makes a solid attempt. While it comes up short it’s still a great family film that deserves a place in the new DCU.
New DCU Crossovers Confirmed
James Gunn’s Twitter feed is always a goldmine of DCU info and updates. He’s most recently announced that the new Superman movie will have crossover characters from the DC Universe.
The Flash Set To Lose Money
The June release of The Flash had the momentum of hype with mostly positive reviews. Unfortunately, since its opening day, the film has underperformed. After two weeks at the box office, The Flash has broken the 200 million dollar mark. Production is reported at 190 million. The marketing campaign alone is approximately 150 million. It’s clear this film is hurting Warner Bros. Discovery. With losses like this, the pressure is building for the new studio crew to rebuild an audience for superhero movies.
DCU’s Third Director
The new DCU’s first two directors have been announced within six months of James Gunn and Peter Safran taking the helm of Warner Bros. reboot of their superhero universe. We have Any Muschietti, (The Flash 2023) directing the Batman reboot, Brave and the Bold while Gunn himself will be directing Superman: Legacy. The third director for a DCU film is James Mangold. He is taking on Swamp Thing. Mangold will not only direct Swamp Thing, but he will also write it. Who’s next won’t matter as much as when the first of any new DCU films hit the big screen — currently set for July of 2025 with Superman: Legacy.
Streaming Strike Hits DCU Show
Since the writer’s strike began on May 2nd, 2023, many shows have been able to able to continue their shooting schedule due to finished scripts. Unfortunately, Max’s Penguin series has been picketed by writers a few times and is finally calling it quits until the strike is over. The eight-episode series follows the DC Batman villain (played by Colin Farrell) as a spin-off of Matt Reeves’ 2021 film, The Batman.
James Gunn Shows The Good of Twitter
There was a time when celebrities had little means to fight back against rumors beyond putting out press releases. We all wished for some means of direct contact with them too. James Gunn has time and again shown how being your own press agent is possible through Twitter. Twitter also allows us to see the real character of the celebrities we often put on a pedestal. In his case, he’s an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10 as a good person. He recently went straight to a source and debunked a rumor to aid a fellow celebrity. In this case, it was Margo Robbie. One popular Twitter account claimed she was done as Harly Quinn in the DCU. He got deeply involved in nipping this rose in the bud by tweeting to that user. He called them out as a liar and even followed up once with that user instead of just making a hit-and-run statement.
Dude, why do you just keep posting lies? Sometimes they’re just stupid made up stuff. But other times, making up bullshit like this about people I care about, can be hurtful. Maybe you’re having a difficult time in life & lying for attention is how you get solace. But please find…
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) May 14, 2023
The Flash Drops Two New Posters
Did you see the new posters Warner Bros. dropped for The Flash movie?! It looks like we’re gonna get to see Supergirl AND Michael Keaton’s Batman in the same movie. Apparently, it’s all because of Barry Allen’s time-traveling through the multiverse. Early word is this film holds up due in part to all the extra time before release. The story has been tuned up and the special effects had loads of extra time to explore and perfect. Poster one is for the US market with a release date of June 16, while poster two displays June 14 for the rest of the world. Note Theaters vs Cinemas.
James Gunns’ Pet Project Creature Commandos Character Actors Are Set
The Creature Commandos are a fictional team of super-powered beings in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Pat Broderick, the Creature Commandos first appeared in “Weird War Tales” #93 in 1980. The team consists of a group of unique individuals who were transformed into monstrous creatures during World War II through scientific experimentation. Led by Lt. Matthew Shrieve, the Creature Commandos include Warren Griffith, a werewolf (absent the DCU); Dr. Myrna Rhodes, a vampiric being (absent the DCU); Sgt. Vincent Velcro, a patchwork Frankenstein’s monster-like creature (absent the DCU); and Pvt. Elliot “Lucky” Taylor, a gorgon-like creature (absent the DCU).
So who are these new Creature Commandos? James Gunn has re-imagined a modern-era Creature Commandos with some pulled from DC comics. They are externally led by Rick Flag’s father Rick Flag Sr. (portrayed by Frank Grillo). The team leader is Eric Frankenstein (David Harbour). The Bride (of Frankenstein) is known as The Bride (Indira Varma), Dr. Phosphorous (Alan Tudyk), Nina Mazursky (Zoe Chao), Robot (Sean Gunn), Weasel (Sean Gunn), and a character created by Gunn, Princess Ilana Rostovic (Maria Bakalova). A returning character from Suicide Squad is John Economos played by Steve Agee.
Despite their monstrous appearances, the Creature Commandos use their unique abilities and military training to fight against supernatural threats and protect humanity. With their distinctive powers and backgrounds, the Creature Commandos have been featured in various comic book storylines, showcasing their adventures in the war-torn era and beyond.
DC Drops First Trailer for Blue Beetle
The Blue Beetle has arrived with a huge wow on YouTube. The first trailer gives the impression the fun escape-style superhero popcorn flick is back. It features Xolo Mariduena from the hit Cobra Kai Netflix series.
The woke culture may approve of this version of Blue Beetle but the choice of a teen superhero of Latin origin predates any cultural affirmative action requirements in comics. He’s the best choice in the timeline of Blue Beetles. Let’s examine them all for perspective.
The Blue Beetle is a superhero character that has been featured in various DC Comics since 1939. Throughout the years, many different characters have taken up the mantle of the Blue Beetle, each with their unique story and set of skills. Thanks partly to the animated show Young Justice, the Blue Beetle has been a beloved character. Eight decades of different characters have taken up the mantle of the Blue Beetle each having their unique story and set of skills. From Dan Garret, the original Blue Beetle, to Jaime Reyes.
Dan Garret – Dan Garret was the original Blue Beetle, who made his debut in Mystery Men Comics #1 in 1939. He was a police officer who donned a blue costume and used his gadgets to fight crime. Dan Garret was the Blue Beetle until 1950 when he was killed off in an issue of his own comic book.
Ted Kord – Ted Kord was the second Blue Beetle, who made his debut in Captain Atom #83 in 1966. Ted was a brilliant inventor and scientist who used his skills and gadgets to fight crime. He was also a member of the Justice League of America. Ted Kord was the Blue Beetle until 1985 when he was killed off in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Jaime Reyes – Jaime Reyes is the current Blue Beetle, who made his debut in Infinite Crisis #3 in 2006. Jaime was a teenager who found the Blue Beetle scarab and became its host. He possesses a suit of alien armor that gives him enhanced strength, speed, and the ability to fly. Jaime has also been a member of the Teen Titans and the Justice League.
Garrett Day – Garrett Day was a character who briefly took up the mantle of the Blue Beetle in 2011. He was a former Marine who became the Blue Beetle after Jaime Reyes was injured.
Daniel Garrett – Daniel Garrett was Dan Garret’s grandson, who took up the mantle of the Blue Beetle in 2006. He was a student at a university in Chicago and used his grandfather’s gadgets to fight crime. Daniel Garrett was the Blue Beetle until he was killed off in an issue of his own comic book.
Paco Testas – Paco Testas was Jaime Reyes’s best friend who briefly became the Blue Beetle in 2011. He used the Blue Beetle scarab to help Jaime in a fight against the villain Black Beetle.
Reyes’ Scarab AI – In the Future State: Justice League miniseries published in 2021, an alternate future version of Jaime Reyes had his Blue Beetle scarab taken from him, and the AI within the scarab developed its personality and became the new Blue Beetle.
No One Is Going GaGa Over Harley Quinn
Set photo leaks finally revealed Lady Gaga in her Harley Quinn outfit. She appears to be led out of a courthouse by Gotham patrol officers flanking her from all sides. She’s wearing minimal make-up and sporting a red diamond stitched jacket with short frilled wrists. Under it, is a black and white diamond blouse that fits more like an aerial acrobat artist. The overall look is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Meanwhile, her lips and cheeks are contrasted by bright red lipstick against a light white base. It’s not a timid look but it is underwhelming for such an iconic character.
Will James Gunn Keep Gal Godot at Wonder Woman?
While Wonder Woman’s end role in Shazam Fury of the Gods gave everyone a final look at Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, James Gunn continues to respond to fans on Twitter with what seems like hope she’ll be back. Remember, Shazam is a leftover of the DCEU, Gunn has answered enough tweets about Wonder Woman being an important part of the DCU that many people think Gal Gadot has a shot of crossing over from the Elseworlds Universe. However, since Gunn insists he’s looking for actors who have voices they can also use in animation, the choice in Gadot may seem a bit more difficult to consider.
Joss Whedon Defends Himself on Gal Godot Complaint over Justice League Filming
It’s been years since Joss Whedon got hit with cancel culture over numerous complaints about his behavior towards film talent. His side of each issue has been absent in most cases, in others it’s been cryptic. For years fans and critics speculated on the truth. Some agonized over what Whedon really is, others decided enough accusations equaled guilty. In the end, everyone took the safe bet and either remained silent or condemned him. Is there still a point in asking if he is deserving of his ostracization? Let’s just call it a slow news day and explore one topic he’s responded to.
When Whedon took over as director of Justice League, the project ended in failure. More than that, he made some enemies with both Ray Fisher and Gal Godot. Fisher made a formal complaint. Gadot may have but it remains unknown. She did however take her case to the media after filming, and after Fisher began campaigning against Whedon.
Focusing on one part of Gadot’s complaints was the now often talked about scene in which the Flash falls onto Wonder Woman. It was meant as some sophomoric slapstick humor.
By now know everyone has read Godot’s side of the story. Whedon was rude, crass, and used intimidation on set. In one scene, Whedon requested an incidental slapstick moment where the Flash saves Wonder Woman, but in doing so, lands on her. Because he is so fast, she hardly notices other than to catch him standing over her with a bashful embarrassed look on his face. According to Whedon, Gadot refused to do the scene. He made comments she didn’t understand fully due to English being a second language (perhaps), but in the end, he had a stand-in shoot the scene.
After filming, Gadot wanted the scene cut. According to Whedon, he stated something she took as crass and meant to intimidate. In short, she would need to, “tie him to a railway track and do it over his dead body.” Maybe, just maybe there’s a lot to misunderstand in translation, but only if Gal Gadot has a good bit of trouble with English. Who knows? She’s done enough films in English that this seems impossible. Even then, the statement seems like something a director would say and without malice. That statement alone doesn’t support an argument that he’s a racist or sexist or has bias beyond that of a director wanting to keep something in a film. But it does give everyone a little bit more to consider.
We all know when someone tells their side of a story, it can cloud our judgment without hearing both sides. Whedon’s recent answer to Gadot in an interview with the NY Times gives some insight but certainly can’t answer to every allegation against him.
James Gunn’s Twitter Response: New Batman!
If Twitter’s use has been in question recently, James Gunn has proven it is the common man’s best friend. The Co-CEO of DC Studios has been dispelling rumors and answering the public’s questions outright on Twitter throughout January and February of 2023.
The latest mystery to be put to rest opens up a new mystery. Gunn was recently asked on Twitter if any of the previous actors or iterations of Batman would be reprised. He answered with absolute clarity there will be a new Batman. No one is returning to the role.
It all started when a rumor that had been circulated was asked of Gunn. “Will George Clooney of the 1997 Batman and Robin be coming back?” Gunn answered, “Absolutely not.” Then another fan got his attention with a follow-up if any other actor would reprise the cowl? Gunn answered, “New actor” leaving everyone buzzing with no real answer as to who it would be.
Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods Shorter Than Shazam
Fans of Shazam are being slightly short-changed for the sequel. Fury of the Gods runtime is coming in just a few minutes shorter than the original at two hours and ten minutes. To be precise, it’s only two minutes shorter. Perhaps it’s actually longer if you count the non-Henry Cavill Superman cameo. It’s less than a month away. Shazam: Fury of the Gods is in theaters on March 17, 2023.
DCUs First Crossover Character Revealed
As DC Studios begins its first production in their Chapter 1 plans, James Gunn responded to fans once again on social media in regards to the animation Creature Commandos that will appear on HBO Max. While outlining characters in a group image Gunn gave away another interesting factoid. Creature Commandos’ team leader Rick Flag Sr. will cross over into the Amanda Waller series, Waller.
The First Two to Return to the DCU from the DCEU
In recent DC announcements by James Gunn about the DCU, we learned that when possible the same actors would be used across its three media platforms of film, animation, and gaming. A slow reboot will take place between 2023 and the following year 2024. It’s no surprise the first person to survive the DCEU and carry over to the DCU is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller in her own show, Waller. The second actor confirmed returning from the DCEU to the DCU is no other than James Gunn’s family member, Sean Gunn returning to the role of Weasel in Creature Commandos.
James Gunn Lays Out the Future of the DCU in Video
In a true James Gunn style move, the man himself delivers the news directly to the fans in a video. What we learn is that some of the DC films are labeled as DC Elseworlds (outside of DC continuity). That includes Matt Reeves The Batman. James lays out an 8 to 10-year plan divided into two chapters. Characters will be live-action and animated. To keep continuity clear, Gunn announced that actors would portray their characters not only live but when in animated and gaming projects.
DC Announces The Batman Sequel Release Date and More
James Gunn and Peter Safran have made independent announcements on their plans for their DC universe. Gunn has tweeted a lot of details but at the top of the list is The Batman sequel will be released on October 3, 2025. The name is a bit uninspiring, The Batman Part II. In total, Gunn has announced that a total of ten new stories will drop and that any games, animation or film will share one thing in common. They will all be voiced by the same actor. For all the talk of a single DC Universe, The Batman storyline under the helm of Matt Reeves will remain outside the DC Universe — as will Shazam. And anything else DC wants to break its own rule on. At a recent press event, Safran offered his feedback about the canceled Batgirl movie featuring Leslie Grace. He said the film was unwatchable and the decision to cancel it was “bold and courageous.”
The MCU moves to DCU
Co-DC Studio head James Gunn recently revealed in an interview with Empire that many of his former MCU actors will have roles in the DCU. Specifically the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy. “This cast are like my family, I cannot tell you how close I am to Chris Pratt and Pom [Klementieff] and Dave [Bautista] and Zoe [Saldaña] and Karen [Gillan]. But I also know I will work again with all those people individually again. Probably at my other job.” Said, Gunn. This follows a recent December 2022 Twitter exchange with a fan who commented they hoped Pom was part of an upcoming project. Gunn responded, “Pom’s always part of our plans.” In a twist, while Gunn is bringing MCU actors to the DCU, many DCU actors are moving to the MCU.
The HBO Max DCU Titans Offer Uninspiring Raven Costume
Teagan Croft plays Raven in Titans on HBO Max. Raven moved from her purple to white costume in varied animated stories as a clear statement she wasn’t under her demon father’s influence. It’s gone the same way in the live-action series. The costume however fails to make a visual impact on fans. It looks like a cocktail dress with a chiffon cape. In Teagan’s studio poses, she looks as if she feels ridiculous wearing it.