James Gunn created a little social media sensation for the DCU when he announced the partial Chapter 1 of the new slate. In a Gizmodo interview, he criticized the lack of interconnectedness between the previous DC films and vowed that this time he was going to do things differently. He and Peter Safran, the two CEOs of DC Studios, announced that the new DCU was going to be connected across films, TV shows, animation, and video games.
Upon hearing the last part of the statement, quite a few eyebrows were raised. After all, it’s easy to imagine how the DCU will be connected across movies, TV series, and animated projects. But video games? That wasn’t met positively by many, and this ensured a swift backlash against James Gunn’s decision. What was the backlash, and how did the co-CEO of DC Studios respond to it? Let us decode that.
James Gunn Gets Backlash From Video Game Developer
One of the prominent critics of Gunn’s idea of connecting the DCU across video games was Del Walker, an ex-developer at Rocksteady. Fans of the “Batman: Arkham” games will be familiar with the work of the studio. So as someone who has worked in the industry, he knows what he is talking about. In a Twitter rant, Walker expressed his disappointment regarding James Gunn’s announcement over maintaining consistency between games, TV shows, films, and animation.
He mentioned that video games aren’t movies, and they have hours of dialogue, of which only some are kept. As such, if James Gunn wants the same actors to play their characters’ animated and video game counterparts, it will take years for any game or even a live-action project to be released. Not to mention a bloated budget. Additionally, the production of video games takes years compared to the shorter turnaround time for a movie or show. As such, unless and until the slate is meticulously planned, it’s unlikely that James Gunn will be able to release a game that ties in perfectly with a movie or TV show getting released.
It’s such a daunting task to connect a franchise across the video game medium that DC’s distinguished competition, the MCU, hasn’t done it as well. While there have been plenty of Marvel games inspired by their movies, like the 2020s’ “Marvel’s Avengers” or the 2021’s “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy,” none of them are a part of the MCU. So if the most successful movie franchise of all time has sworn off interconnecting its storyline with video games, how does a fledgling franchise like the DCU hope to do the impossible? James Gunn has responded to this question.
How Will James Gunn Connect His Storyline Through Video Games?
During the press conference for the slate reveal, James Gunn clarified what he meant by interconnecting his slate with video games. The DC Studios co-CEO said that fans shouldn’t expect there to be a Superman game right after a Superman film comes out. Instead, the plan is to maybe release a Krypto game between the Superman and Supergirl films to explore the story of what happened between those movies.
Gunn said that the aim is to give video games the prominence they deserve. He is right about that aspect. For a long time, many video game publishers and developers have complained about being looked at as outsiders by the people who make movies or TV shows. It is only with the success of adaptations like HBO’s “The Last of Us” that things are looking up for the industry. But one question still remains. What about the years it takes to develop a game? One Twitter user asked Gunn exactly this and got a clarification.
The prolific director said that it takes about four years to develop a video game if everything is planned. Since he and his team have arranged everything beyond that point already, they are in a good position. Additionally, he also explained that fans who don’t play video games wouldn’t have to do so to understand the storyline of the DCU. His comments seem to imply that the games will be like fillers that will expand on the world of the DCU without setting up any major conflicts that will make playing the games mandatory.
James Gunn’s comment about having plans for more than four years is especially interesting. We know that the slate of 10 projects is just half of what will actually make up Chapter 1 of the DCU. So he could have scheduled what video games would be slotted where and maybe even begun development on some of them.
Some DC fans are welcoming of the idea. There’s a rumor going around already that the storyline of the Wonder Woman game that is in development could get tweaked to include it in the DCU. Others think that the games can flesh out the backstories of the Bat-family characters and elaborate on how they all came together. After all, we know that “The Brave and the Bold” movie will supposedly begin with an older and more experienced Bruce Wayne who has a team of vigilantes. Others are skeptical and are waiting to see what Gunn actually releases before forming an opinion. So which side are you on?
See more: James Gunn Clarifies The New DCU World Setting And The Ages Of Batman/Superman