The new DC Universe hasn’t truly started yet, but 28 characters have been confirmed to be appearing in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s new franchise. After several projects in Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe were met with poor responses and disappointing box office totals, director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran were hired in October 2022 as co-CEOs of the new DC Studios. Together, Gunn and Safran devised a plan for a reboot of DC’s live-action franchise, announcing their plans on January 31, 2023. With ten new projects announced, several new characters from DC Comics will be introduced into the DC Universe, and many from Warner Bros.’ previous franchise will be recast.
While Gunn and Safran’s plans for DC’s live-action future were originally expected to consist of a soft-reboot of the DCEU – allowing some to continue in the future – it has been confirmed that 2025’s Superman: Legacy will start a new canon for DC Studios. Some actors are reprising their DCEU roles, but they’ll be playing different versions of their characters, as 2023’s Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom will mark the end of the road for the DCEU. James Gunn revealed the future of the DC Universe in January 2023, and since then, 28 characters have been confirmed so far, gearing up to make their mark in the new franchise.
28 Adrian Chase, A.K.A. Vigilante
Freddie Stroma debuted as Adrian Chase, a.k.a. Vigilante, in Peacemaker season 1, a TV spinoff from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Vigilante was featured an associate of Cena’s Chris Smith in Peacemaker, and Gunn confirmed on Threads (via Reddit) that Vigilante would be returning “probably before Peacemaker season 2.” In DC Comics, Vigilante is the former District Attorney of New York City who became an antihero after his wife and children were killed by Scarapelli mobsters. This backstory was changed significantly for Peacemaker, which made Chase a restaurant busboy, but his return to the DCU’s future will develop his story even further.
27 Amanda Waller
Viola Davis appeared several times in the DCEU after debuting as Amanda Waller, the Director of ARGUS, in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Davis also showed up in The Suicide Squad, Black Adam, and Peacemaker season 1. The DCU is set to feature her more prominently, however, as Viola Davis will return in Waller, a Max TV series that will act as an aperitif to Superman: Legacy. This confirmation came during Gunn’s January announcement, and since Waller has ties to teams such as the Suicide Squad, the Justice Society of America, and Task Force X in DC Comics, she could have a part to play in several upcoming DC Studios projects.
26 Booster Gold
Booster Gold was confirmed to be joining the live-action DC Universe during Gunn’s January 2023 announcement after previously not being featured in the DCEU. Born Michael Jon Carter in 25th Century Gotham City, Carter traveled to the 20th Century using advanced technology from a museum and became the superhero known as Booster Gold. Booster Gold will premiere on Max and is set to be an “outright comedy” set in the DC Universe. It’s unclear who will portray the futuristic hero in live-action or when Booster Gold might release, but since the character has ties to ARGUS and the Justice League, he is an exciting addition to the DC Universe.
25 Bride Of Frankenstein
DC Comics’ Bride of Frankenstein will debut in 2024’s animated series Creature Commandos, which will see Amanda Waller (voiced by Viola Davis) assemble a black ops team of monsters, akin to the Suicide Squad. Game of Thrones and Torchwood’s Indira Varma will voice the Bride of Frankenstein, one of the leads of the series opposite Frank Grillo’s Rick Flag Sr. In DC Comics, the Bride works for SHADE, a counter-terrorism organization that deals with otherworldly threats and monsters, and the Creature Commandos consisting of its best agents. However, with Waller’s involvement, it seems the Creature Commandos could be brought together by ARGUS in the DCU.
24 Bruce Wayne, A.K.A. Batman
Batman is one of the most coveted superhero roles, and though it’s unknown who will assume the role of the Caped Crusader in the DC Universe, The Brave and the Bold will introduce a new actor as Batman. Ben Affleck portrayed Bruce Wayne in the DCEU, a billionaire who became the vigilante Batman to protect Gotham City. Robert Pattinson also portrays Batman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which will continue to develop as a DC Elseworlds project. The Flash director Andy Muschietti has been confirmed to direct The Brave and the Bold, which Gunn mentioned would be a “strange father and son story,” introducing the Bat-Family to the DCU.
23 Christopher Smith, A.K.A. Peacemaker
After debuting in The Suicide Squad and headlining his own series with Peacemaker, John Cena is set to return as Christopher “Chris” Smith in Peacemaker season 2. James Gunn confirmed on Twitter that Cena would be reprising the role in season 2, though it’s unclear when season 2 will release as Gunn has dedicated his time to working on Superman: Legacy. Christopher Smith aims to bring peace to the world and is willing to use extreme violence to complete this mission. With DCU canon resetting with Superman” Legacy, it’s unclear exactly what Peacemaker will be up to when he’s reintroduced.
22 Clark Kent, A.K.A. Superman
Perhaps the most highly-anticipated addition to the new DC Universe is Clark Kent, a.k.a. Superman. Henry Cavill portrayed the Man of Steel in the DCEU but was controversially dropped from the role in December 2022. Gunn announced that he would write and direct Superman: Legacy, the first film in the DCU, and that the film would revitalize the iconic hero. Born on Krypton, Superman’s powers are gifted to him from Earth’s sun, making him a superior hero in every way. In June 2023, it was announced that David Corenswet had been cast as Superman, a younger, more vibrant, and more optimistic version of the character than Cavill’s portrayal.
21 Damian Wayne, A.K.A. Robin
Damian Wayne will be introduced to live-action for the first time in Andy Muschietti’s The Brave and the Bold. The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul in DC Comics, Damian was raised by his mother and the League of Assassins and was introduced to his father after being trained as a cold-blooded killer. Although Damian became the Robin to his father’s Batman, the pair constantly had trouble connecting with each other. It’s unclear what storyline will unfold in The Brave and the Bold, but this will be the first time that the father and son dynamic has been seen on the big screen in live action.
20 Doctor Phosphorus
Doctor Phosphorus will be featured as a member of the eponymous team in the DCU’s Creature Commandos and is set to be voiced by Alan Tudyk. In DC Comics, Phosphorus is a villain to Batman with no connection to the Creature Commandos apart from in 2011’s Flashpoint event. He gained his powers after a nuclear plant that he insisted be built melted down, shifting his body’s chemical components from silicon to phosphorus. It’s unclear how he’ll join the DCU’s Creature Commandos, but he also has ties to the Secret Society of Super Villains in DC Comics, which could be set up as foes to the DCU’s Justice League.
19 Eric Frankenstein
Known only as Frankenstein in DC Comics, Eric Frankenstein is set to debut in the animated Creature Commandos, voiced by Stranger Things and Black Widow’s David Harbour. Based on Mary Shelley’s literary Frankenstein’s monster, Frankenstein was a member of the Creature Commandos in 2011’s Flashpoint event but also worked with organizations including SHADE, the Justice League, and Justice League Dark in the main DC continuity. This could set up an exciting future for Eric Frankenstein in the DC Universe, particularly since he will have a connection to the DCU’s Amanda Waller following her appearance as the team’s benefactor in Creature Commandos.
18 GI Robot
Another obscure DC Comics character that will be featured in the line-up of Creature Commandos is GI Robot, adapted from any of six robot characters who were featured in DC Comics. The robot soldier has been depicted as a member of the Suicide Squad, Checkmate, and the Creature Commandos, with the latter featuring the JAKE 1 and JAKE 2 versions of GI Robot. In the DC Universe, Sean Gunn, James Gunn’s brother who portrayed Kraglin in the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise and appeared as Weasel and Calendar Man in The Suicide Squad, will voice GI Robot in a double-role for the series, as he will also voice Weasel.
17 Guy Gardner, A.K.A. Green Lantern
Set to appear in Superman: Legacy, Nathan Fillion has been cast as Guy Gardner, a member of the Green Lantern Corps. This was an unexpected addition to the DCU’s premiere film but could help set up the DCU’s detective story Lanterns. In DC Comics, while Hal Jordan was perhaps the most prominent human member of the Green Lantern Corps, an intergalactic law enforcement organization, Gardner was chosen as Jordan’s backup should anything happen to the latter. Fillion previously portrayed Cory Pitzner, a.k.a. The Detachable Kid, in The Suicide Squad.
16 Hal Jordan, A.K.A. Green Lantern
Although Guy Gardner will debut before Hal Jordan, the more recognizable Green Lantern has been confirmed to appear in the DC Universe. Ryan Reynolds portrayed Jordan in 2011’s Green Lantern, which was expected to kick-start the DCEU, though these plans were scrapped after the film’s abysmal performance. The character will be revitalized with an as-yet-unknown actor in Lanterns, taking inspiration from True Detective for a grounded, Earth-based detective story featuring Hal Jordan and John Stewart as two Green Lanterns, aided by their mystical power rings. In DC Comics, Jordan was a founding member of the Justice League, so this could be a fun avenue to follow in the DCU.
Announced alongside Fillion’s Guy Gardner, Isabela Merced has been cast as Hawkgirl for the DC Universe, set to make her first appearance in Superman: Legacy. In DC Comics, Hawkgirl is a complex character who uses antiquated weapons and artificial wings to fly, often seen working alongside her partner and love interest Hawkman. Aldis Hodge portrayed Hawkman in 2022’s Black Adam, though it’s unclear if he’ll return. Merced is best known for roles in Sicario: Day of the Soldado and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, though it’s unclear which version of Hawkgirl she’ll portray, as there have been three versions in DC Comics’ history.
14 Jaime Reyes, A.K.A. Blue Beetle
James Gunn has revealed that Jaime Reyes’ Blue Beetle is the first official DCU character, despite Blue Beetle releasing long before 2025’s Superman: Legacy. Xolo Maridueña will debut as Reyes in Blue Beetle, scheduled for release on August 18, 2023. Blue Beetle is a standalone film with little connection to the wider DC Universe, as Reyes acquires an alien scarab that grants him a superpowered exoskeleton. Reyes has a great friendship with Booster Gold in DC Comics, so this may be a brilliant relationship to explore in the DCU’s future.
13 Jimmy Olsen
In April 2023, James Gunn confirmed on Twitter that Jimmy Olsen would make an appearance in Superman: Legacy. Olsen is a young photojournalist at the Daily Planet, the news publication that also employs Clark Kent and Lois Lane, and since Superman: Legacy will explore Superman’s work at the Daily Planet, Olsen is a perfect fit. It’s unclear who will portray Olsen or whether he will have abilities in Superman: Legacy, as he is regularly transformed in DC Comics, granting him a wide variety of temporary powers. Michael Cassidy portrayed Jimmy Olsen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, though this version was outed as a CIA Agent and killed by terrorists.
12 John Economos
Steve Agee is set to return as John Economos from The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker, and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and much like Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller, is expected to have a larger role in the DCU’s future. Gunn confirmed on Bluesky (via Reddit) in April 2023 that Agee would be reprising the role of Economos in Waller, and he is expected to have a role in Creature Commandos. Economos is a member of ARGUS and Waller’s aide, though he found himself at odds with her after The Suicide Squad. Last seen recruiting Billy Batson to the Justice Society, it’s unclear what the future holds for John Economos.
11 John Stewart, A.K.A. Green Lantern
As well as Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan being featured as Green Lanterns in the DCU, John Stewart is also set to debut in Lanterns, proving that Gunn and Safran are putting more emphasis on the intergalactic force than Warner Bros. did during the DCEU. In DC Comics, Stewart was chosen as Jordan’s backup after Gardner was seriously injured while trying to save a civilian, so this dynamic could play into the storyline of Lanterns. It’s not yet known who will portray John Stewart in the DCU, though with connections to the Justice League, Darkstars, and the Guardians of the Universe, he could be pivotal to the DCU’s future.
10 Kara Zor-El, A.K.A. Supergirl
Billed as a “big, science-fiction epic,” Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow will introduce Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. the eponymous Supergirl, into the DC Universe. Although Sasha Calle appeared as Supergirl in 2023’s The Flash, it seems as though the role will be recast, though nothing has been confirmed either way. Woman of Tomorrow is expected to balance Kara Zor-El’s upbringing on a chunk of the destroyed Krypton with the Earthly upbringing of her cousin, Superman. It’s unclear who will be cast in the role of Supergirl in the DC Universe.
9 Lois Lane
Alongside David Corenswet’s casting as Superman, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Rachel Brosnahan was announced as the DCU’s Lois Lane, taking over from Amy Adams, who portrayed Lois in the DCEU. Brosnahan will debut in Superman: Legacy, working with Clark Kent at the Daily Planet. Lois Lane is Superman’s primary love interest in DC Comics, and eventually his wife and the mother of Jon Kent. She is at the center of Superman’s stories and has even suited up as Superwoman, Red Tornado, and a variety of other heroes over the years. Although Adams only played a small roll in the DCEU, Brosnahan may see more attention in the new DC Universe.