Earlier this year, DC Studios co-CEOS James Gunn and Peter Safran announced a full slate of film and television projects that will launch the newly minted DC Universe in the coming years, but one thing that has remained a big question mark is whether or not stars from the existing DC Extended Universe canon will be returning in their respective roles. Today, we have learned that at least three actors are set to be back as their established characters, but their existing continuity will not be maintained.
As he has been known to do, James Gunn took to his personal Threads account this morning to answer questions from fans, and in one of his posts, he confirmed that Xolo Maridueña, Viola Davis, and John Cena are all a part of the plans for the DC Universe. Or in his words,
Xolo Maridueña will continue playing Blue Beetle in the DCU, as Viola Davis will Amanda Waller, and John Cena will Peacemaker.
Admittedly most of this isn't super new information. Viola Davis was confirmed to return as Amanda Waller when the news came out that she was getting her own TV show, and James Gunn went on record earlier this summer calling Xolo Maridueña's Blue Beetle "the first DCU character."
But here's where things get a bit complicated.
In another post on Threads, James Gunn was asked "will the audience/viewers need to watch ANYTHING prior to Creature Commandos to understand what's going on?" The filmmaker/executive offered a succinct response:
They will not, no.
That's a pretty big deal. It seems that in the DCU, Jaime Reyes, Amanda Waller, and Christopher Smith will look exactly like their counterparts from movies and TV shows like Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker and Blue Beetle, but they will be different versions of the characters. We can expect that some details will remain consistent between the canons, but otherwise the slate is being cleaned (if it makes it easier to digest, think about the supporting characters in the James Bond franchise who carry over after a new 007 is announced).
This presumably means that fans shouldn't expect a direct follow-up to the end credits scene in Blue Beetle, and it raises a whole lot of questions about what is being planned for Peacemaker Season 2.
With their roles in the DC Universe, Xolo Maridueña, Viola Davis, and John Cena are presently part of a rather small group. The other actors who are confirmed to be in the franchise are limited to the announced casts of Superman: Legacy and the animated series Creature Commandos. The former will include David Corenswet as Superman, Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane, Isabela Merced as Hawkgirl, Nathan Fillion as Guy Gardner, Anthony Carrigan as Metamorpho, and Edi Gathegi as Mister Terrific. The latter will have Frank Grillo as Rick Flag Sr., Alan Tudyk as Doctor Phosphorus, David Harbour as Eric Frankenstein, Zoe Chao as Nina Mazursky, Sean Gunn as G.I. Robot, Indira Varma as Bride of Frankenstein, and Maria Bakalova as Ilana Rostovic.
As described by James Gunn, Creature Commandos is coming out next year as an "aperitif" to the DC Universe, and then Superman: Legacy, which will be released on July 11, 2025, will be the first big dive for audiences into the rebooted franchise. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for all of the latest news and updates about what's going on behind the scenes, and to keep track of everything that is on the way in the new canon, check out our Upcoming DC Movies and Upcoming DC TV guides.