James Gunn and Peter Safran have named the new heads of Warner Bros. ‘ DC studies

James Gunn and Peter Safran will be the next co-managers of Discovery of Warner BrosThe company announced the DC Comics film and television unit on Tuesday. Their appointments will take effect on November 1.

The news comes during a tumultuous time for the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery. CEO David Zaslav attempted to redo WarnerMedia after merging it with Discovery in April, including through layoffs and deletion of content from the HBO Max streaming service.

Zaslav sought someone to stabilize the ship at the DC film division, home to superheroes like Wonder Woman and Superman, as Warner Bros. Discovery aims to capture the kind of steady success it enjoys. DisneyMarvel Studios.

Both Gunn and Safran have experience with the superhero genre and have brought heroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Universe to screens big and small, including “Guardians of the Galaxy”, “The Suicide Squad” and “Peacemaker”.

“DC has one of the funniest, most powerful and iconic characters in the world and I am thrilled to have the unique and complementary talents of James and Peter join our world-class team and oversee the creative direction of the legendary DC Universe,” Zaslav he said in a note Tuesday.

The couple will be responsible for the creative direction of the franchise through film, television and animation.

“We are honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were kids,” Gunn and Safran said in a joint statement. “We look forward to collaborating with the world’s most talented writers, directors and actors to create an integrated, multi-layered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved.”

Warner Bros. Discovery has been looking for a new head of this firm for months, but has had little luck in convincing an executive to take the job.

“The Lego Movie” producer Dan Lin was at one point considered for the job, but ultimately the discussions about the contract resulted in complications due to Lin’s ownership of the production company Rideback and how Warner. Bros. Discovery would make up for it.

Another possible candidate was Emma Watts, a former film executive at 20th Century Studios and Paramount, who was said to have been approached to take the role last April, but didn’t take the job.

Gunn and Safran take the helm at a time when the DCEU is on unstable ground. Although the franchise has an ardent fan base, critical reception for the films has been poor and the overall direction of its films and television shows has been questioned.

“Black Adam” currently holds a 39% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 227 reviews, the lowest ratings of a 2017 “Justice League” DCEU movie, which also stands at 39%.

Over the weekend, the film grossed $ 67 million at the national box office, the best debut for star Dwayne Johnson as a lead. The opening is a solid start for the film, on par with other films with lesser-known heroes set in the DC Extended Universe, but significantly inferior to those of the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last time an MCU movie released under $ 70 million was in 2015 with the release of “Ant-Man”.

Warner Bros. recently moved its sequel to “Aquaman”, which was scheduled for release in March 2023, to December 2023. “The Flash”, also out next year, is under a cloud of controversy due to of its star, Ezra Miller, facing several charges, including child grooming. Zaslav withdrew the nearly complete “Batgirl” from his list of HBO Max releases, allowing the company to cancel taxes.

Zaslav recently discussed his desire to build “a much stronger and more sustainable long-term growth business outside DC” that focuses on quality. The executive is looking at a restoration of the DC cinematic universe that would establish a ten-year plan for the franchise.

Zaslav asked Hollywood producer Alan Horn in July to play a consultant role to help the CEO navigate the world of film. Horn, a respected Disney executive and veteran, was with the Walt Disney Company when it began shaping its Marvel Cinematic Universe and relaunching the Star Wars film franchise.

He also helped bring the “Hobbit” films to the big screen for Warner Bros., as well as the eight-film Harry Potter series and Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBC Universal owns Rotten Tomatoes.