As part of their plan to tell a unified story with DCU characters, new co-heads of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran announced that they are currently developing a feature film about The Authority. The Authority was originally part of the WildStorm comic book universe, a label bought by DC Comics in 1999.
Founded in 1992 by comic book legend Jim Lee, the WildStorm universe was created to introduce new superhero stories outside the restraints of DC and Marvel’s canon. After DC Comics bought Lee’s universe, they kept printing WildStorm issues independently of the main DC Universe. However, after 2011’s New 52 initiative, several WildStorm characters were incorporated into the DC canon. Similarly, Gunn and Safran will use WildStorm characters as part of their main DCU, with The Authority existing in the same world as the Justice League. Gunn said:
“So this is one of my real passion projects. I’ve been working really hard on it with the writers, we’re starting to put together the entire story. […] This is a big movie. […] I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the authority WildStorm characters. WildStorm was a comics imprint that was bought by DC that I really love, we’re moving a lot of these WildStorm characters into the DCU.”
In addition to working with the writers attached to The Authority film, Gunn also contributed to the outline for the project. In discussing his creative involvement with the slate, Gunn shared:
“I only have seven days in the week, all of which are used in the service of DC storytelling. I’m working all the time. I can only do what I can do. So we’re going to have to make a decision at some point. Whether or not, you know, is it better for me to, you know, I can write more. I already wrote all of that. I’ve written a lot of that. I’ve worked a lot on the outline for The Authority myself. So what best serves DC? What best serves the fans? Is it me really focusing on Superman and making sure we have a great opening? Or is it me kind of giving a little bit to that, a little bit to this? It’s not an easy answer, and I’m figuring it out as I go along. It’s the number one unknown thing about this, I don’t have all the answers. I’m just trying to learn as best as I can, how we can keep the quality because that’s what matters.”
What Is WildStorm’s The Authority?
What makes The Authority so different from other superhero teams is that they are not exactly good guys. All the members of The Authority want to make the world a better place. However, as Safran explains, “They think the ends justify the means, and they’re the ones that decide what the right ends are.” That means the members of The Authority are ready to use their power to seize control of the government and dispose of their enemies with extreme prejudice. Still, they are not exactly villains since they have a genuine concern for public safety. No wonder the project interests Gunn, who’s a sucker for gray moral storylines like Suicide Squad and Peacemaker. In Gunn’s words:
“The Authority is very different kind of superhero story. They’re basically good intentions, but they think that the world is completely broken. And the only way to fix it is to take things into their own hands, whether that means killing people, destroying heads of state, changing governments, you know, whatever they want to do to make the world better, and we’ll see how that journey goes for them. But as I said earlier, there’s morally gray characters, which these are.”
It’s not hard to imagine The Authority will clash with other DC heroes in the future, possibly with Superman and the Justice League. Unfortunately, there’s still no release date for The Authority movie.