Online backlash from fans prompted Gunn to release a statement calling the response to their creative decisions “uproarious and unpleasant”.
However, the DC boss said that their decisions are based upon what they believe is best for the story and “the DC characters who have been around for nearly 85 years”.
Here are the projects that have been cut so far, whether partially or in their entirety, by Gunn and Safran.
Black Adam 2
Black Adam 2 is the latest project to face the chopping board at DC. On 20 December, Dwayne Johnson shared a tweet confirming the news.
The Jungle Cruise star said: “James Gunn and I connected, and Black Adam will not be in their first chapter of storytelling.”
However, Johnson explained that DC and Seven Bucks (his production company) have agreed to continue exploring “the most valuable ways Black Adam can be utilised in future DC multiverse chapters”.
Gunn responded to Johnson’s tweet, saying that he “can’t wait to collaborate soon”.
Black Adam was a passion project for Johnson, who was set to take on the role 15 years before it premiered. Originally, the character was set to be introduced in Shazam! as a villain before Johnson convinced Warner Bros and New Line to develop a solo film.
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Cavill announced the news of his departure on Thursday 15 December, despite his reprisal of the DC role just two months prior, in October.
“After being told by the studio to announce my return back in October, prior to their hire, this news isn’t the easiest, but that’s life,” he wrote on Instagram.
He added: “The changing of the guard is something that happens. I respect that.
Gunn also responded to the news on Twitter and informed fans that he and Safran have a DC slate “ready to go,” which includes Superman.
“In the initial stages, our story will be focusing on an earlier part of Superman’s life, so the character will not be played by Henry Cavill,” Gunn said.
“But we just had a great meeting with Henry and we’re big fans and we talked about a number of exciting possibilities to work together in the future.”
Fans were not happy with Cavill’s firing, and many highlighted the fact that the actor quit the Netflix series The Witcher, purportedly because he had been asked to return as Superman.
Wonder Woman 3
Wonder Woman has also been axed by Gunn and Safran, according to reports that the third instalment in the franchise was shut down.
On 7 December, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that a treatment of Wonder Woman 3 that was submitted by director Patty Jenkins had been rejected as it “did not fit in with the [studio’s] new plans”. Deadline also reported the news.
The news came just a day after Gal Gadot told fans she was excited about the superhero’s “next chapter”.
Jenkins shared a statement on Twitter, saying that she “never walked away”.
“I was open to considering anything asked of me,” she said. “It was my understanding there was nothing I could do to move anything forward at this time. DC is obviously buried in changes they are having to make, so I understand these decisions are difficult right now.”
Gunn also addressed the situation, responding to a fan who said that the “move to boot Cavill and Gadot, especially after they’d announced their return, doesn’t inspire confidence”.
The filmmaker kept things vague and simply said: “I’m not sure where you’re getting that we ‘booted’ Gal.”
On 8 December, he shared a tweet that read: “As for the story yesterday in The Hollywood Reporter, some of it is true, some of it is half-true, some of it is not true, & some of it we haven’t decided yet whether it’s true or not.”
The Independent has contacted DC, Gadot’s and Jenkins’ representatives for comment.