James Gunn reportedly pitched two projects to DC Films, but what could they be? We’ve got ideas.

In a case of incredibly convenient timing, Gunn, the A-list director and apple of the DCEU fandom’s eye, along with Aquaman and Shazam! producer Peter Safran, have taken two ideas to the DC Films brass. Although the word on the internet is that the pitches are top secret at the moment, the signs clearly point in one direction: Man of Steel parts two and three. 

At the same time as the Gunn news hit the newswire, so too did word spread that not only would there be a direct sequel to Zack Snyder’s 2013 Superman film, Man of Steel, there reportedly will be two. It just so happens that James Gunn made a play to direct and possibly write two DC films. Put the clues together, and it would seem that he may finally get to make that Superman movie he’s wanted for all these years.

James Gunn helped produce the first-ever Superman-inspired horror film, 2019’s Brightburn. Technically, it wasn’t a DC movie, but the story was meant as a realistic view of what could happen if a child with godlike powers wasn’t inherently good. The film itself wasn’t acclaimed, receiving a 57% Rotten rating from critics and just 67% positive reviews from audiences. Still, it may have planted the seeds for what is to come. 

He rose to international fame when he wrote and directed arguably the best movie in the MCU canon, Guardians of the Galaxy. After old, controversial tweets got him fired from Disney, he took his talents to DC, where he reinvented The Suicide Squad and gave audiences one of the best-ever superhero comedy-drama series, Peacemaker. Now it seems he’s ready to revitalize the Man of Steel franchise, and it could lead to a vision of Superman like has never been put on the silver screen before.

While the stars seem to be aligning for Gunn to bring Superman back to the DCEU fold, there could be more at work here.

Earlier this year, he tweeted that Warner Bros. offered him the chance to use DC’s biggest names, but he ultimately turned those down. The director is known for showcasing obscure characters and turning them into mainstream stars. That could lend itself to a random character being ushered into the public spotlight: Captain Atom.

Thanks to Peacemaker, we’ve seen that Gunn appreciates the classic Charlton Comics oddballs. Besides the titular character, the show also featured Judo Master, and there’s plenty of speculation about which forgotten figures will appear in the next season. With Gunn aiming to take the director’s chair for two new movies, he could be looking to both introduce new superheroes to the mainstream while also connecting to The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. Using Captain Atom accomplishes those goals. Besides, he’s just quirky enough to suit Gunn’s filmmaking tastes. Given that Captain Atom is usually depicted as oozing toxic masculinity, it lends itself to more Peacemaker-style comedy but with an ample dose of CGI extravaganza.

What kind of comic spec blog would this be without an issue to chase down?

Captain Atom first appeared in Space Adventures #33 from 1960 under the Charlton banner. For those looking to track down a copy, a graded 8.0 sold for $2,640 in February. Across the board, prices are going up. This year, the two sales for 3.0s saw them hit $900 in February before an $899 sale in August.


While Captain Atom may be a strong contender for a Gunn project, the Charlton characters are all filled with such kitsch that it’s hard to narrow the choices to one. There’s the classic Blue Beetles (not to be confused with DC’s original creation, Jaime Reyes, who’s starring in his own movie), The Question, Nightshade, Thunderbolt, and many more. For that matter, Gunn could do a team-up movie featuring all of them, and it would likely be brilliant. 

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