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DC movie actors will play their superhero roles in DC games

James Gunn and Peter Safran want the DC universe to be completely connected, including video games.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 31, 2023

2 Min Read
Batman in promo art for Netherrealm's Injustice 2.

Going forward, DC movie actors will also reprise those roles in the video games to come. 

Earlier today, new DC Films heads James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiled their plans for the next slate of DC films and shows. As part of their plans for a cohesive universe, and to avoid audience confusion, Safran stated that an actor playing a live-action or animated character will also be expected to play that role in another medium, including games. 

While voice actors in superhero games have often continued that role in an unrelated TV show, it's been extremely rare to include live-action into that equation. The biggest example of an actor who's played a superhero across all three mediums would be the late Kevin Conroy in multiple games and shows featuring Batman. 

"[Actors} will also have to go back and forth between film and television because there’s no demarcation for us," said Safran. He used John Cena's Peacemaker as an example, calling that maintenance of continuity "a very important part of what we’re doing."

No games were announced as part of the duo's overall goals. But it's worth noting that one of WB Games' upcoming releases is a solo game for Wonder Woman, which gave no indication of who would play the Amazon warrior in its reveal trailer.

Gunn and Safran's DC plans may hit game devs where it hurts

Prior to Gunn and Safran's hiring, WB Games president David Haddad said in 2022 that the division was basically safe from the (still ongoing) cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery. The publisher's recent output includes Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Gotham Knights. 

Speaking to games more broadly, Gunn said that titles spawning from this new DC film universe would be "something that’s still set in the world with these characters, but is its own thing. We want to give the prominence to games that they deserve."

The idea of a cohesive DC universe that eclipses three different mediums is enticing, but has the potential to turn into a logistical nightmare, particularly for game developers. With how erratic scheduling for films and shows can often be, Gunn and Safran's plan may prove to be an issue for developers of its superhero titles. 

And this isn't even touching the issue of budgeting for these studios: triple-A games already cost so much, and that cost may balloon even further when a prominent live-action actor is carrying the lead role. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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