James Gunn Bringing The Biggest Story Arc To The DCU?

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Rumor has it that James Gunn may adapt the 1996 mini-series Kingdom Come for the DC Universe.

By Nathan Kamal
| Published

James Gunn may be incorporating the famous Kingdom Come storyline in the future of the DC Universe. According to Screen Rant, rumors are swirling that the new head of DC Studios might be planning to adapt the 1996 Mark Waid and Alex Ross Elseworlds story for the DCU, based primarily on the filmmaker’s profile on the new social media platform Hive. It seems that James Gunn has set up his account with a cover photo of art from Kingdom Come, which people are taking as a kind of clue. 

There has been a lot of speculation of what direction the new DC Universe will go in since the surprise announcement that the Guardians of the Galaxy director and his producing partner Peter Safran were being appointed co-heads of DC Studios by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Of course, there has always been a lot of speculation as to what is happening with the future of DC comics book adaptations, from the early chaos of the Zack Snyder years to the middle chaos of disconnected projects like Joker and The Batman to the current chaos of establishing what’s going on with Henry Cavill as Superman. James Gunn doing Kingdom Come is as good a guess as any. 

Kingdom Come

While there has been no overt indication from James Gunn that Kingdom Come is being prepped from the DC Universe, there are far worse ideas. The 1996 miniseries was instantly acclaimed for its vivid, realistic art and its dark storyline, in a potential future of the DC Universe saw new, violent superheroes taking over for a retired Superman, to terrible consequences. Superman himself returns to take his place as the moral center of the world, only to find himself in conflict with both an aged, battered Bruce Wayne and a mind-controlled Shazam. 

While Kingdom Come was originally presented as (at least the potential) future of the DC Comics continuity (inspired in part by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen), it was eventually relegated to the now defunct-Elseworlds and designated as Earth-22. At the same time, a number of spin-offs and related series were developed by DC, further establishing the idea of the isolated, distant Superman with a stylized black S-symbol in DC fan’s minds, and it was frequently referenced in both the DC Animated Universe and the CW’s Arrowverse.

James Gunn did recently say that no one but he and Peter Safran knew what the future of the DC Universe held, but that does not necessarily mean that rumors are wrong. James Gunn seems to have been installed in a creative position in order to right the ship over at DC Studios, and he could do a lot worse than to use some of the best source material available to him. The continuity of the DC Universe is pretty confusing right now, which could allow James Gunn to do a hard reset with a Kingdom Come adaptation via some time travel and dark futures that must be avoided. We will have to wait and see.