It is hard to pinpoint the exact moment when superhero movies and TV shows became formulaic. Sure, there are several superhero films, especially out of Marvel Studios and Amazon's The Boys, that surprise and delight us, but the vast number of films in the genre feel the same.

This is a problem that superhero studios like Marvel and DC are well aware of. Rather than try the same thing and fail, the new DC Studios leaders, James Gunn and Peter Safran, have a new plan of attack.

At a press event on the Warner Bros. studio lot on Monday, Variety reports that Gunn and Safran announced their upcoming slate for DC Studios and a new philosophy for constructing an interwoven universe in an oversaturated market.

DC Studios vows to put screenwriting first.'The Suicide Squad'Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

The New Philosophy at DC Studios

Both men emphasized how they intended to stand apart from other studios – specifically Marvel and the previous regimes at Warner Bros. – and their approach to superhero storytelling. Gunn and Safran were adamant that they would not greenlight a movie until the script met their standards for the DCEU.

In their statement, Gunn touched on the modern studio habit of scheduling tentpole films and sequels for theatrical release before the creative teams have had the chance to come together, saying, “People have become beholden to [release] dates, to getting movies made no matter what. I’m a writer at my heart, and we’re not going to be making movies before the screenplay is finished.”

According to Gunn, if the script is not ready, then the release date of those films will be pushed down the calendar.

Why I am not sick of superhero films or TV showsJames Gun and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn on set of 'The Suicide Squad'Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Gunn believes that the superhero fatigue we are all experiencing comes from a lack of care given to the writing process.

“They make these movies where they don’t have third acts written,” he said. “And then they start writing them during [production], you know, making them up as they’re going along. And then you’re watching a bunch of people punch each other, and there’s no flow even to the action.”

Safran adds that the “bad movie fatigue” is curable. According to Gunn and Safran, by diversifying the kinds of stories they are telling at DC Studios, which is an approach Marvel Studios has been taking with their last few projects.

“You can’t be telling the same ‘good guy, bad guy, giant thing in the sky, good guys win’ story again,” Gunn said. “You need to tell stories that are more morally complex. You need to tell stories that don’t just pretend to be different genres, but actually are different genres.”

Gunn also pointed out the disorganization that has led DC to struggle in many aspects. The undercooked DC adaptations, the randomness of film and TV debuts, the disappointments and busts like Black Adam or Birds of Preyand the adaptations that place themselves in a different universe, which the pair call “DC Elseworlds,” like Matt Reeves’s The Batman and Todd Philips’s Joker.

“No one was minding the mint,” Gunn said. “They were just giving away IP like they were party favors to any creators that smiled at them.”

DC Studios vows to put screenwriting first'Joker'Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Luckily, DC Studios will have the ability to exist outside of theatrical runs and HBO Max. As Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav continues to find new ways to reduce the company’s debut, Gunn and Safran will be looking to house their upcoming series elsewhere, like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix.

There are some nerves around whether or not WBD will fully support these projects, but Safran reassured everyone that “Their investment in content creation is spectacular. It’s huge. There, they haven’t cut back.”

Maybe one of the reasons WBD will not cut back on DC Studios's projects is because of Gunn's and Safran's devotion to screenwriting.

“The degradation of the writer in Hollywood has been a terrible story,” Gunn said. “It’s gotten much worse since I first moved her 23 years ago. Writers have been completely left out of the loop in favor of actors and directors, making the writer more prominent and more important in this process is really important to us."

Although Gunn stresses the importance of screenwriting in the production of their upcoming projects, the filmmaker and Safran presented ten DCU titles, including one with a release date. Written by Gunn, Superman: Legacy is set to open on July 11, 2025. The other projects announced on Monday will have release dates, according to Gunn, once their scripts are solid.

With DC Studios prioritizing screenwriting, could DCEU have films that lay the groundwork for an intertwining universe?

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Source: Variety