Warner Bros Discovery Looking To Shake Up DC Entertainment
Discovery’s $43 billion deal for WarnerMedia closed just a few days ago. Along with some staffing changes and a new name–Warner Bros. Discovery–the new bosses are looking to shake things up at DC Entertainment, Variety reports.
The top brass at the newly-minted, combined company is looking at turning DC into its own “solidified content vertical,” according to Variety’s sources. CEO David Zaslav was already looking into candidates with experience in bringing big franchises to life, presumably to serve in a similar role to that of Kevin Feige at Disney and Marvel Studios. The sources note that while Aquaman and The Batman have done well for Warner Bros., Superman hasn’t had a dedicated picture since Man of Steel (though Henry Cavill appeared in the team-up films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder’s Justice League following Man of Steel). The studio reportedly wants to develop more projects with characters outside the most popular members of the Justice League, pointing to Todd Phillips’ Joker film and the Harley Quinn vehicle Birds of Prey.
While the company is already starting to find ways to connect content–Suicide Squad spin-off Peacemaker, and the two planned spinoffs for The Batman, for example–executives are looking to focus on these comic book projects, including doubling down on gaming. Zaslav is looking to spend $3 billion on new projects, and DC’s deep stable of characters and stories is seen internally as a way to bring lots of new intellectual property to life without having to license it from outside sources.
There will likely be other knock-on effects to this. Warner Bros.’ terrestrial network, The CW, has been the home of weekly superhero shows since Arrow debuted in 2012, followed by The Flash and a handful of others. That network has been officially on sale for a few months now, and if it goes, the DC content could go with it or become an HBO Max product. DC has a number of projects currently in various stages of production, including the Ezra Miller Flash film (which is now reportedly up in the air thanks to the actor’s recent behavior), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Wonder Woman 3, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and the Blue Beetle film, which would be the first comic book movie centered on a Latino superhero.
DC also has a variety of television and streaming projects currently airing or in development, including things like the Batgirl film, Peacemaker, Doom Patrol, Stargirl, the Green Lantern series, and more. Many of the films are deep enough into production that they’re not going anywhere, but the television series will almost certainly receive additional scrutiny as Zaslav and the other executives look to get the most out of their investment.
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