James Gunn and Peter Safran named co-CEOs at DC Studios

Extremely exciting, but not at all surprising.

words by: Alee Kwong
Nov 11, 2022

The search for the “DC Kevin Feige” has not been an easy one. The Marvel Studios competitor has now found not one, but two leaders to lead this potential-filled franchise towards greener pastures. James Gunn (best known for his work on Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy and DC’s Suicide Squad and Peacemaker) and Peter Safran (currently attached to DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) have been appointed as co-chairmen and co-CEOs of DC Studios.


Gunn and Safran started their new roles on November 1 and will oversee all film, television, and animation projects in the works under DC Studios, and will report directly to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. While their positions will take up a considerable amount of time, they are still expected to continue on with their personal projects within the company — so Peacemaker fans can rest easy, knowing Gunn will continue to be involved during the HBO Max series’ second season, and Blue Beetle fans will have their dream project remain in the hands of Safran.


“DC has among the most entertaining, powerful, and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the singular and complementary talents of James and Peter joining our world-class team and overseeing the creative direction of the storied DC Universe. Their decades of experience in filmmaking, close ties to the creative community, and proven track record thrilling superhero fans around the globe make them uniquely qualified to develop a long-term strategy across film, TV, and animation, and take this iconic franchise to the next level of creative storytelling,” Zaslav said of Gunn and Safran.


As we’ve seen with Gunn’s superhero work in the past (and as of late), he cares a lot for the characters he writes and directs, and to be teamed up with someone like Safran — who seems to be doing the same with Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Aquaman 2 — means that Zaslav might have found 2 formidable opponents to rival Kevin Feige’s Marvel Studios.


“We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children. We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told. We’re especially enthusiastic about doing all of this with Mike, Pam, Casey, Channing, and the whole Warner Bros. Discovery team, and are grateful to David Zaslav, whose bold vision for the future of the franchise we share and allows for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Most of all, we can’t wait to bring you all into the story of the DCU.”


We’re excited to see what Gunn and Safran bring to the DCEU. If the Harley Quinn series is any indication, we’re stoked. Hopefully, there’s a bright future ahead, and no more certifiable evil people coming back.


Photo via Getty Images