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James Gunn says Elseworlds films are in work Outside The DCU

by John Paul
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James Gunn has confirmed that films set in the Elseworlds universe would take place in settings other than the DCU. Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Studios will oversee the DC Universe’s future in the mediums of television, cinema, and animation, replacing the DC Films division. On November 1, the two CEOs officially assumed their new responsibilities, and since then, there has been a never-ending stream of news coverage detailing their exploits at the DCU. Despite Gunn’s denials, it appears that some speculations were correct: Wonder Woman 3 is dead, and Henry Cavill’s run as Superman in the DCU is over (Gunn is writing a reboot). DC Studios has been in the news frequently over the past few weeks, but many questions remain unanswered.

Gunn has been engaging with fans on Twitter, where he has dropped hints regarding DC Studios’ plans for the DC Universe. Recently, a fan of Gunn’s inquired if he is creating any Elseworlds DC projects that aren’t situated in the DCU?” during Gunn’s tenure at DC Studios. Gunn’s affirmative response came quickly afterward. He precisely said, “That is actively happening.”

Here’s How DC’s “Elseworlds” Can Improve Their Media Adaptations

For those unfamiliar, Elseworlds is a DC Comics imprint that features stories set in another universe from the standard DC Comics narrative. For decades, this company’s products have brought to life memorable comic book stories, such as DC’s Kingdom Come and Gotham By Gaslight. In 2018, a three-part crossover in the Arrowverse titled Elseworlds laid the stage for Crisis on Infinite Earths. The DC Black Label imprint debuted in 2018, basically replacing Elseworlds.

Although the creators of The Batman and The Joker have never used the term “Elseworlds,” it is a fair description of their respective brands because they exist independently of the DC Universe. DC is definitely aiming for a shared universe, with many The Batman spinoffs in the pipeline and Joker 2 currently in production. However, the company has also succeeded with standalone films and television series. Instead of harming the new DCU, WBD would benefit from having more content to offer its audience by tapping authors for Elseworlds stories. Canceling the Strange Adventures TV show was a missed opportunity for them to expand their audience, particularly on smaller screens. Given Gunn’s many hints on social media that the Kingdom Come story arc may play a role in his DC plans, it’s hard to imagine another story arc being a better fit.

As a comic book publisher, DC has always been at its best when it allows stories to take place in both canon and alternate realities. If one aspect of the brand doesn’t resonate with a specific demographic, they can try another and perhaps find something that does. There was always another reality for fans to turn to if anything in the movies didn’t strike their fancy. So, the Arrowverse and the DCU could coexist for a long time without alienating either set of viewers. We can only hope that as 2022 winds down, we hear more about the DCU’s plans for 2023 and what Elseworlds-style ventures are in the works.



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