Here’s How James Gunn’s DCU Will Be Different From the MCU

The DCU is coming our way, and many fans wonder how it will compare to the all-mighty MCU. Well, according to James Gunn, there will be some significant differences between the DCU and its Marvel counterpart. The co-CEO of DC Studios dove into the topic with Inside of You podcast to give fans more insight. (Thanks to IGN for putting this on our radar.) On the podcast, Gunn shares the DCU will lean heavily on secret identities and fantasy settings, which is certainly not like the MCU.

“If you look at the MCU, there are very few traditional superheroes,” Gunn affirms. “There was never a guy with a secret identity until Spider-Man in the MCU. Their Cap was turned into a soldier even though he wears a mask. Iron Man outed himself at the end of the first Iron Man because they don’t want to deal with the whole secret identity stuff.”

He goes on to explain that the DCU is also more fantasy based than the MCU because many of its heroes, like Superman, are larger than life. To him, Clark Kent and Superman are very much two different characters. And the DCU will find a way to deal with both of them in its world. Speaking of its world, Gunn is excited to explore fictional places like Gotham City. DC’s settings create a much different feeling than putting heroes in our real-life cities as the MCU tends to do. 

split image of Captain America and Superman DCU different from MCU
DC/Marvel Studios

“One of the things that I love about DC, that excites me about DC, is that in a way it’s another alternate history,” he notes. “It is Gotham City and Metropolis and Star City and Bludhaven, and all these different places in this other reality, and it makes it a little bit like Westeros in some ways.” And, in fact, Gunn even noted on Threads that he is even planning “an incredibly detailed world map” for his DCU that we can’t wait to see take shape.

The ways that the DCU will be different from the MCU make a lot of sense and will give fans a fresh approach to DC’s roster. In the meantime, we will be (not so) patiently waiting for Superman: Legacy to fly our way in 2025.

Originally published on June 14, 2023.

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