Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn’t Fit James Gunn’s Plans

Written By Kieran Bugg and Mikey Sutton • Editor-in-Chief • Owner

Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn't Fit James Gunn's Plans

Netflix bought a DC project that doesn’t fit in James Gunn‘s slate of connected projects. While their luck on the theatrical side has been mixed, DC Comics has always done better on the small screen.

With the DCEU struggling to get off the ground, the CW’s Arrowverse managed to keep the brand relevant. In fact, Greg Berlanti created his own mini-DCEU on the CW. Although restricted to lower budgets, Berlanti explored the multiverse years before The Flash film will.

Berlanti introduced such DC icons as Deathstroke, Nightwing, and even the Suicide Squad. It’ll take a decade or more for Gunn to reach Berlanti’s accomplishments. Indeed, Berlanti even pulled off a Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation. Former DC Films president Walter Hamada planned an ambitious theatrical version before his job was yanked from him.

In retrospect, the Arrowverse excelled at promoting the DC brand. Especially with the blooming success of the MCU and the ongoing behind-the-scenes drama at Warner Bros. and DC.

Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn’t Fit James Gunn’s Plans

Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn't Fit James Gunn's Plans

Image: Netflix

Even the more bizarre characters from DC’s vast library have finally had their time to shine on TV. One instance being the Doom Patrol who made their live-action debut in the first season of Titans. The team would then star in their own critically acclaimed spin-off series soon after.

Furthermore, the series would go on to fully explore the more weird side of DC Comics’ history. This includes the appearance of downright bonkers characters like Flex Mentallo and Danny the Street. Yes, an actual street is a living, sentient being.

It doesn’t get much crazier than that.

In Season Three, two more unknown characters made their live-action debuts.

The Dead Boy Detectives.

Legendary writer Neil Gaiman co-created them with artists Matt Wagner and Malcolm Jones III. They made their first appearance in The Sandman No. 25 in 1991. Their real names are Edwin Payne and Charles Rowland.

Both rejected entry into the afterlife in favor of solving paranormal mysteries on Earth. In 2021, it was announced that the Dead Boy Detectives would be receiving their own HBO Max series.

However, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that HBO Max handed it over to Netflix. This is due to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s decision to sell off certain IPs, especially DC, to other studios. Netflix is also home to another DC TV series based on characters created by Gaiman: The Sandman.

For those following YouTube personality Skiiwalker tha Jedi’s #SellZSJLtoNetflix campaign, the move raises curious eyebrows. Not necessarily the deal itself but the words THR used to describe it:

“The move of Dead Boy Detectives illustrates the importance of continuing to sell shows to third-party buyers for the Channing Dungey-led Warner Bros. TV studio as being an arms dealer remains a top priority for WBD.”

Detractors have bashed the #SellZSJLtoNetflix for using the word “sell.” Impossible, they bellow. Granted, the Dead Boy Detectives is a much smaller property than Zack Snyder’s Justice League. On the contrary, Zaslav never said certain DC IPs were too big to license. Be careful what the anti-SnyderVerse crowd spews. So much of it is uninformed speculation in line with their own points-of-view.

In regards to its HBO Max roots, its unlikely that the two shows will be connected but a potential crossover could happen. You never know. The supernatural duo were portrayed by British actors Sebastian Croft and Ty Tennant in Doom Patrol. Croft is known for his portrayal of a young Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark in HBO’s flagship series, Game Of Thrones.

Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn’t Fit James Gunn’s Plans

Netflix Buys DC Project That Definitely Doesn't Fit James Gunn's Plans

Image: HBO Max

Tennant has become known for his brief role as Aegon II Targaryen in the prequel series, House of the Dragon. Moreover, he’s also the son of Doctor Who star David Tennant. Nonetheless, both roles have ultimately been recast for the upcoming Netflix series. Jayden Revri and George Rexstrew will now star as the peculiar pair alongside Kassius Nelson as Crystal Palace.

Netflix has bought another DC IP. Eyes are glued to Netflix to see what they’ll take next.