HBO Max sets DC slate with first projects from Gunn & Safran

Creature Commandos. Pic credit: DC Studios

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD)-owned DC Studios has unveiled its first slate of superhero projects in development for HBO Max, with a slew of projects designed to connect its streaming and cinema universes.

At a press event this week, recently-installed co-chairmen and CEOs, James Gunn and Peter Safran, shared five TV and five film projects in the works under the banner that WBD created to house film, TV and animation projects from the DC Universe.

The first series to launch on HBO Max will be Creature Commandos, a seven-part animated series that is already in production. Written by Gunn it follows the adventures of a black ops team formed by Amanda Waller (voiced by a returning Viola Davis) from a group of monstrous prisoners. It will follow the escapades of characters including Rick Flagg Sr, Dr. Phosphorus, Nina Mazursky, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, G.I. Robot, and Weasel.

Also in the works for HBO Max include the live-action Waller, also featuring Davis as the titular character, who she previously portrayed in films such as The Suicide Squad. Created by Christal Henry (Watchmen) and Jeremy Carver (Doom Patrol), it will also feature characters from Gunn’s existing HBO Max series Peacemaker and will be set between season one and the upcoming season two of that show.

With Davis’ return, Gunn and Safran confirmed that other actors reprising roles from previous DC titles is a possibility, with the exceptions of Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman, despite their intention to relaunch the DC Universe on both TV and film.

Meanwhile, Booster Gold is a live-action series following “a loser from the future” who uses basic technology from the future to pretend to be a superhero in present day, while Lanterns is described as an “enormous TV event series” that follow intergalactic cops (aka Green Lanterns) John Stewart and Hal Jordan as they uncover a dark mystery. Gunn and Safran described the show as a “True Detective-type mystery” but with superheroes.

Lastly, Paradise Lost is set in Themyscira, the home of the Amazons and birthplace of Wonder Woman, and will be a drama focused on the genesis and political intrigue of an island entirely populated by women.

Superman & Lois

Superman & Lois to continue

These projects will be joined by five films, including rebooted theatrical outings for Superman, Batman, Supergirl, The Authority and Swamp Thing and will form what Gunn and Safran refer to as the beginning of “Chapter 1” focused on “Gods and Monsters”.

“As we craft the plan for DC Studios, we are thrilled to share with fans the first 10 stories they can expect from the unified DC Universe featuring some of our most well-known characters as well as the next generation of marquee characters” said Safran.

Plans to reboot the DC Universe has seen shows such as Titans and Doom Patrol canned in recent days and the end of the CW’s Arrowverse, with series including The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow cancelled over the past year.

Gunn and Safran did, however, confirm that the Berlanti Productions CW series Superman & Lois will continue for “one or two more seasons.”

Gunn commented: “It’s a show everybody likes, so it’s going to keep going for a little bit.”

Safran, meanwhile, also addressed the Batgirl film that was cancelled last year during the event. He described the film as “not releasable” and while praising the talent of the people that worked on the project praised WBD president and CEO David Zaslav’s decision to cancel Batgirl because it would “have hurt DC.”

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