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After James Gunn Ousts Henry Cavill, Christopher Reeve’s Superman Becomes Officially Canon to The Larger DC Universe

After James Gunn Ousts Henry Cavill, Christopher Reeve's Superman Becomes Officially Canon to The Larger DC Universe

James Gunn has never been one to come up short. His election as the head of DC Studios was, in a way, the best thing to ever happen to the franchise. But with such magnitude of power comes the authority of acting as the judge, jury, and executioner of all those under his care. And as of right now, every constituent that makes up the body of work at DC is under the supervisory eye of the writer/director and visionary.

With the revolutionary move by David Zaslav to unify DC’s entire canon under one umbrella, James Gunn now has an all-encompassing reach over the books, film, television, gaming, and animation that make up the franchise. And so, he can dictate whether a shift in one could produce a ripple strong or significant enough to cause a storm in the others.

James Gunn
James Gunn

Also read: NCBD Review: Batman ’89 #1

James Gunn Begins Casting His Web Over the DC Universe

Henry Cavill’s ousting was an aftermath of dethroning the cruel regime that existed when different men ruled the franchise. With James Gunn now taking over, an era of reconstruction was instituted. But, the numerous cracks in the foundation of the existing DC universe could not hold long enough to support a new and reinvigorated world. And so demolition began.

When Gunn started putting the building blocks up again, he made sure to account for the original cornerstone that makes up the entirety of the DC Universe. After all, the DC Bible can never be complete without the material existence of a text.

Henry Cavill's Superman breathes his last at DC
Henry Cavill’s Superman breathes his last at DC

Also read: James Gunn Reportedly Pushing DC Publishing To Focus More on Heroes and Villains He Wants to Make Movies On

Gunn’s control over the comics thus also ensures that the CEO can control what happens to each of his five wards and mold them into the likeness of each other. To simplify, the ousting of Cavill has now been also reflected in the comics by establishing Rick Donner’s Superman as canon in the larger DC universe. SnyderVerse is not only erased from DCU’s mainstream continuity but wasn’t even accounted for in an alternate universe timeline in the comics. In light of these new changes, it will now be like it never existed at all.

The elaborate plan that has helped James Gunn’s creative vision and Peter Safran’s business insights to constitute a world in which DC can flourish for all time is expected to be nothing short of extraordinary. But no great monument worthy of remembrance has been built without bloodshed. In this case, however, the bloodletting was metaphorical, but it hurt all the same.

Earth-789 Canonizes Superman (1978) & Batman (1989)

While James Gunn builds his DCU cinematic arc, elsewhere, the publications of the franchise have been hard at work building their own canon to sustain the larger universe at play. A recent development at DCHQ has released new comics that have encompassed several storylines and made them a part of the DC Universe. In the aftermath of the Dark Crisis, realities were created within the new infinite Multiverse. Among them, Earth-789 has now been elected as the world that hosts Richard Donner and Christopher Reeve‘s Superman (1978) and Tim Burton and Michael Keaton‘s Batman (1989).

Superman (1978) and Batman (1989) become canon
Superman (1978) and Batman (1989) become canon in DC

Also read: 9 Things That Still Hold Up Today From 1978’s Superman

Both these iconic fan-favorite movies have been adapted into their comic counterparts. The 2021-22 issues — Superman ’78 written by Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres, and Batman ’89  written by Sam Hamm and Joe Quinones — both take place within Earth-789, not only interconnecting the heroes to each other within the same universe but also officially making these cinematic creations now a part of the DC comics.

This gives all those who now come to work at DC the authority to adapt and extend the continuity of the Earth-789 arc, and by extension, keep the Donner-Reeve and Burton-Keaton legacies alive. While across the alleyways of DC’s dark and grimy underworld, Snyder’s Superman and Batman die in the shadows, almost undeserving even of Gotham’s hostile brutality.

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.