Gal Gadot

What Movies Should Make Up DCU Phase 1?

The DCU is relaunching under James Gunn, and that means a new slate of films will be developed as Phase 1 of the universe. Here's what they could be.

A new DC Universe Phase 1 movie slate is coming as James Gunn and Peter Safran reboot the franchise, and here is a prediction for which DC films will be made first. There are still a few DC movies on the horizon that were made under the old DC Films regime. However, the appointment of James Gunn and Peter Safran as the co-CEOs of DC Studios is meant to breathe new life and a new direction into the superhero series. The ramifications of this decision have already started to surface, many of which point to the DCU moving past the Snyderverse era of the franchise and the few years that followed in favor of a near-complete reboot.

After years of working with Marvel Studios and under Kevin Feige’s Phase-structured narrative, it seems that James Gunn will use a similar concept for the new DCU plans. This is nothing new for the franchise, as Warner Bros. has wanted to use the Phase structure to a shared universe since early on. Dwayne Johnson even positioned Black Adam as part of a new Phase 1, but that was before Gunn confirmed Black Adam does not have an immediate future with DC. The co-CEO has been busy dropping teases of the future plans, which will be unveiled in early 2023. Here’s a DCU Phase 1 movie prediction.

6/6James Gunn’s New Superman Film


The only confirmed movie for James Gunn’s DCU Phase 1 slate is a new Superman film. Although it was thought that Henry Cavill would continue as the Man of Steel, it was decided that a reboot is coming instead. James Gunn is writing the script for a new Superman movie that will recast Clark Kent with a new actor. This new solo film after Henry Cavill’s Superman exit is the perfect place to begin Phase 1, as it establishes Kal-El as the centerpiece of the shared universe. The plan for the DCU’s Superman movie is to center on an already-established version of the hero and skip his origin story.

The DCU’s Superman could go in a different direction than many previous movies and let the Kryptonian fight Lobo. James Gunn has teased his interest in using the character, and Lobo and Superman have had many encounters in the comics. The alien bounty hunter would be a fun antagonist to pit against the DCU’s new Superman, especially if rumors of Jason Momoa playing Lobo prove true. This could help the first DCU Phase 1 movie set up a Lobo spinoff even, giving the franchise a lead hero and popular anti-hero to use moving forward.

5/6DCU’s New Batman Movie

Many iterations of the Bat Family have Catwoman as a member.

The second film in this DCU Phase 1 movie prediction is a relaunch of Batman. It is confirmed that Robert Pattinson’s version from The Batman is not joining the DCU, and it is also unlikely that Ben Affleck or Michael Keaton will stick around long-term. Christian Bale’s Batman return also can be ruled out. As a result, James Gunn and the DCU need to introduce a new version of the Dark Knight with a solo film of his own. Plans for The Batman 2 could complicate the timing of this release, but Batman needs to be part of the universe early on one way or another.

James Gunn and the DCU could use a new Batman movie to grow the franchise significantly. Just as Gunn’s Superman movie skips Clark’s origin story, the same should be true for Bruce Wayne’s DCU debut. That could mean bringing the Bat Family into the picture immediately, allowing characters like Dick Grayson/Nightwing or Barbara Gordon/Batgirl to be part of the franchise. The Bat Family has been underutilized in past movie iterations, so introducing the various heroes would immediately set the DCU’s new Batman apart from the rest. Furthermore, it again gives the DCU room to grow after Phase 1.

4/6Wonder Woman 3 (Reboot With Or Without Gal Gadot)

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in Justice League and Megan Gale in Mortal

Wonder Woman is guaranteed to be part of the DCU Phase 1 plans, which should include some version of Wonder Woman 3. Warner Bros. scrapped Patty Jenkins’ plans for the sequel, but reports have since surfaced that the studio still wants to make another Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot. If the DCU still uses the actress, it should be expected that Wonder Woman 3 would be a soft reboot in some fashion. With a new modern-day setting, a new cast of supporting characters, and possibly even some altered parts of her past, the film would affirm that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is key to DC’s future.

If Gal Gadot does not return, Wonder Woman 3 will be a full-on reboot. This would include recasting the role and having a new actress play Diana Prince in the DCU. The new Wonder Woman film would then be a place to reintroduce DC’s most famous female superhero. Its place in the DCU Phase 1 plans would also make sense for how the film could play a role in establishing the mythology of DC’s gods. However, retelling her origin story likely would not happen as the reboot can make it so Wonder Woman is already an established hero, teasing how she has impacted human history instead

3/6Green Lantern DCU Movie

All the Green Lanterns flying in the DC Comics

It has been over a decade since a new Green Lantern movie was released in theaters, and it would be surprising if a franchise restart is not part of James Gunn’s DCU Phase 1 movie plans. The co-CEO has teased that Green Lantern will play a critical role in the shared universe. Any Green Lantern film is arguably most likely to focus on Hal Jordan and/or John Stewart, as they are the most well-known versions of the hero. HBO Max’s John Stewart-led Green Lantern show, which is not confirmed to be connected to Gunn’s new DCU plans, could make his leading role in the movie less likely, though.

James Gunn is no stranger to seeing how an intergalactic comic book movie franchise can take off, and Green Lantern is DC’s best chance to do that. Regardless of which Green Lantern hero the movie focuses on, there is a huge franchise and DCU potential with the film. There are other Lantern factions, the Guardians of the Universe, and more to tease that could heavily shape future events. This could include the DCU’s Green Lantern movie teasing the franchise’s first Justice League-level cosmic threat that will soon reach Earth and provide a reason for the DCU’s Justice League team to assemble.

2/6Harley Quinn Movie/Suicide Squad 3

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in The Suicide Squad

James Gunn’s plans for the DCU Phase 1 movies will surely include another Harley Quinn-led project. This could manifest with a new Harley Quinn solo film or her return for Suicide Squad 3. While many DC characters are either being recast or forgotten about, Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is someone James Gunn has repeatedly said he wanted to bring back even before his DC promotion. This was emphasized when Harley Quinn’s name was put in the same sentence as Justice League heroes Superman, Batman, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman as characters Gunn and Safran were committed to using.

A new Harley Quinn movie or Suicide Squad 3 would allow James Gunn to keep some of DC’s villains/anti-heroes at the forefront of the universe. This could include bringing the Peacemaker characters back after season 2 or the other surviving villains from The Suicide Squad, like Bloodsport and King Shark. It also would not be surprising if the Harley-led villain project somehow incorporated Deathstroke as a villain and brought Poison Ivy in as Harley’s love interest. James Gunn can also use the film to feature more obscure DC villains, as he did in The Suicide Squad.

1/6Justice League Rebirth

Justice League DC Rebirth

The final entry in the DCU Phase 1 movie slate is all but guaranteed to be another Justice League movie. After taking a few years and movies to reintroduce some of the universe’s biggest heroes, Justice League Rebirth can be where they all assemble for the first time. This could include recasting more DC heroes like Aquaman, Flash, Shazam, or Cyborg. The new Justice League movie is also the perfect place to introduce new heroes who could then play significant roles in Phase 2, such as Mister Terrific, Mr. Miracle, Big Barda, or Booster Gold.

When it comes to the villain of the DCU’s Justice League, an intergalactic threat teased in Green Lantern‘s ending works with this slate prediction. That could mean the team encountering Brainiac after the powerful DC villain finally makes its way to Earth. The DCU can also improve upon 2011’s Green Lantern use of Parallax and have the fear-inducing villain attack Earth. Whether it is Brainiac, Parallax, or another massive cosmic threat, the villain’s eventual defeat can unite the DCU heroes and set them on a new course for the future.

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