Without question, the last few months have been a series of ups and downs for fans of DC Comics adaptations. In addition to the shelving of the movie Batgirl, fans have also seen the brisk end of the beloved Arrowverse on The CW, including the cancelation of fan-favorite time-traveling superhero series Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman. Muddying things further were indications that the Snyderverse had ended, from no less a respected source than DC chief creative officer Jim Lee, followed by the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman in Black Adam. While the recent announcement that director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran would become the CEOs of a newly-formed DC Studios suggested that some stability was finally on the way, many still have questions about the future of DC on the big and small screens. And could DC’s new direction mean the return of recently-shelved favorites?
In a Twitter thread, Gunn began to answer those questions, specifically acknowledging two of the biggest fan requests sent his way since taking over DC Studios: a new season of Legends of Tomorrow and the release of the Ayer Cut of Suicide Squad.
“Opened up Twitter at the end of a long, creative weekend to see the many tweets to #SaveLegendsofTomorrow & #ReleaseTheAyerCut & fan support for other DC projects over the years. The majority of these requests were enthusiastic & respectful,” wrote Gunn.
Not that Gunn’s promising any movement on either project, but it’s the first time a WB executive has addressed Legends of Tomorrow in quite a while (the show was canceled in April). At the very least, an acknowledgment from the new CEO of DC Studios seems like a positive start to his relationship with the fans who have long been petitioning for the return of the series.
Don’t expect to hear anything new on Legends or the Ayer Cut any time soon, though. Gunn seems busy sketching out the future of DC, not digging up the past. He clarified that he and Safran will be primarily focused on “the story going forward, hammering out the new DCU, & telling the Biggest Story Ever Told across multiple films, television shows, & animated projects.”
While such an approach would be consistent with the desires of Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav, who had been open about his search for a Kevin Feige-like figure to manage the DC equivalent of the MCU, Gunn said he wouldn’t dismiss fan’s requests in the future, either.
“As the new (& first ever) CEOs of DC Studios, Peter & I think it’s important we acknowledge you, the fans, & let you know we hear your different desires for the pathways forward for DC,” Gunn promised. “Although our ability to interact on Twitter has been lessened due to the workload of our new positions, we are listening & open to everything as we embark on this journey, & will continue to do so for the next few years.”
Even if WB were to consider more Legends of Tomorrow or the Ayer Cut, both projects would face significant hurdles. Zack Snyder needed $70 million to complete his cut of Justice League, and it seems likely that David Ayer would need a similar amount to restore his version of Suicide Squad before WB executives gave a competing cut to the company who created the movie’s trailer. While Legends of Tomorrow and other Arrowverse series may not cost quite as much, The CW is currently shifting away from scripted television toward shows that are cheaper to produce and target an older audience — so basically, the complete antithesis of the strategy that made the Arrowverse possible in the first place. There just doesn’t seem to be much room for the return of a show like Legends under the leadership of Nexstar, The CW’s new majority owner. It’s worth noting that the universe’s flagship series, The Flash, is coming to an end next year, which the network could potentially use as a natural endpoint for the Arrowverse as a whole.
Despite those obstacles, Gunn’s comments should at least be some consolation for fans who haven’t felt heard by WB’s new leadership in the past few months. But time will tell if these ongoing petitions one day evolve into actual projects under Gunn and Safran. If there’s one thing Legends has taught us, it’s that there’s always hope in the future.