“We’ve done the reset.” That’s how the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav described DC on August 4, days after he issued a call to postpone the $90 million HBO Max movie. Bat girl. The mogul said there will now be a “10-year” planning team for DC, though who’s on that team remains unclear.
And Zaslav delved into the streaming strategy of former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. “We will focus on quality. CEO said. “DC is something we can do better.”
The comments were not well received inside DC, according to multiple insiders, who used the same word to describe members of the filmmaking department: “angry.” And the president of DC Films, Walter Hamada, almost left after learning about Bat girl before being persuaded to stay at least until the October 21 release of Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam. (That movie had a preview screening in June, which included a new post-credits scene that introduced a new element of Johnson’s place in the DC Universe.)
Before selling Warners to Discovery, Hamada was preparing to release three or four films a year. The CEO was brought in in 2018 to map out a new route for DC after a road map led by Zack Snyder exploded following the disastrous release of Alliance justice in 2017.
Hamada’s plans are said to include the event Crisis on Infinite Earths, a DC Comics sequel that has been adapted for TV on The CW. There are rumors about the introduction of the Secret Six, a group of villains that in the comics are the villains of Suicide Squad. More specifically, Warners has movies based on Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps, and Static Shock slated for the next few years, along with a JJ Abrams-produced Black Superman movie from writer Ta- Nehisi Coates. Development has slowed, none of which attach the directors.
Several key contributors have received reassurance that their projects are secure. Suicide Squad filmmaker James Gunn has many projects in development in DC, including the second season of People of Peace, is moving forward. Insiders say Green beetlestarring Xolo Maridueña as DC’s first Latino superhero to the forefront for a movie, is also gearing up for an August 2023 release date. Bat girlObservers feared the project was cancelled, as it was at one point slated for HBO Max before being upgraded to a theater. The studio is also in full swing with a sequel to Jokerwith Lady Gaga confirming she participated in the morning of the WBD earnings call.
Zaslav turned his head when, among DC’s upcoming films, he insisted on an earnings call that not only Black Adam and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom but also The Flash, starring glamorous actor Ezra Miller. “We have seen them. We think they’re awesome and we think we can make them even better,” Zaslav said of those movies. The optics are not good, a few days after the shaft Bat girl, this will be the first DC Extended Universe movie to star Latina, Leslie Grace.
Work continues The Flash, has been tested well. Miller took part in regularly scheduled additional photography throughout the summer, seemingly without incident, before being charged with burglary – their third arrest this year – on August 7 in Vermont. However, neither DC nor Zaslav has said the film will move its release date to June 2023, although insiders say the studio is evaluating all options.
Kim Masters and Borys Kit contributed reporting.
This story appeared in the August 10 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.