James Gunn Reveals Surprising Winner of DC Studios Fan Poll

Shortly after news broke that James Gunn and Peter Safran would be the new stewards of DC's filmed entertainment as co-CEOs of the newly-formed DC Studios, Gunn took to social media to engage with fans. One of the things he asked was which characters deserved a first shot at the big screen, and today, Gunn returned to social media and revealed who had won that poll. And in spite of Gunn himself putting some social media clout behind heavyweights like Lobo and the Arrowverse favorite Mister Terrific, it was a totally different character who rose to the top of the voting.

That character, according to Gunn, was Booster Gold. A potential movie would not be Booster's live-action debut; he previously appeared in an episode of Smallville, as well as the series finale of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, a series that Gunn has been hearing about non-stop since he started his new gig. Still, Booster is a character who has had plans for TV and film going in and out of development for about a decade, without anything significant materializing yet.

"Interestingly, Booster was the MOST requested character when I asked people on Mastodon what character they'd most like to see on screen," Gunn tweeted on Sunday. "I'm not creating stories by public vote, but I found it fascinating nevertheless."

Not long after, Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens quote-tweeted the comment and added, "Understandable, though it should be noted that they clearly represent the best, brightest and most enlightened that society has to offer."

Jurgens created Booster Gold in the early 1980s, with the character first appearing in the comics in February 1986 in Booster Gold #1. He went on to become one of the most consistently popular characters developed in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths era, joining the Justice League International just a couple of years later and forming his defining relationship, with the second Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). 

A time-traveler from the 25th Century, Booster was a disgraced professional athlete who worked as a museum security guard. One night, he stole a number of items related to the "age of heroes" and traveled back in time, using the advanced technology from superheroes of his past to convince modern-day people that he had super powers. 

Booster is also a character who isn't afraid to make a few bucks on the side using his powers and reputation -- something that really separated the character from his contemporaries at the time of his creation. That aspect of his personality was his defining trait in Smallville, where he was played by Eric Martsolf. 

"I always had this idea that there would be a way to match superheroics up with this emerging celebrity culture and the idea of celebrity endorsements and everything else," Jurgens is quoted as saying in a 2021 book about Booster Gold. "Obviously it had been around before but it was getting bigger at that time. I had seen the Olympics in '84 and them talking about an athlete who was signing an endorsement contract and that sort of thing. It all seemed to sort of fit together that way for me. It was a theme I liked and it was something that I wanted to pursue."

The time-travel aspect as originally just a means to an end -- it's how Booster became a superhero -- but it later became a bigger part of his character, as he became a secret guardian of the timeline, working with Time Master Rip Hunter. It's that role that made him an obvious choice for Legends of Tomorrow, where he was played by Donald Faison.