The new owners of all things Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are exploring a general overhaul of DC Entertainment, many sources close to the situation said. Variety.
It has been less than a week since Discovery closed the $ 43 billion WarnerMedia deal, bringing together one of the largest reality programming producers with one of the most prestigious entertainment brands under the new Warner Bros. brand name. Discovery. David Zaslav, CEO of the combined companies, and the top leadership played with the idea of turning DC into its own solidified content company, the sources said.
The move will potentially affect the development of DC feature films on Warner Bros. Pictures Group, the streaming series on Warner Bros. Television and the creative side of DC – all in an effort to align dissimilar elements more closely to maximize the value of the superhero stable – are often seen as at odds with Marvel.
Prior to the merger, Zaslav looked at candidates with experience in creating and cultivating highly productive intellectual property in order to potentially find someone to serve as a creative and strategic tsar similar to Marvel’s Kevin Feige. One of those candidates was Emma Watts, a former top film executive at 20th Century Studios and Paramount, but it does not appear that Watts will take the job. One confidant suggested that Zaslav was less interested in finding a creative guru and more willing to hire someone who had the kind of business background needed to keep all the different factions in DC running more harmoniously.
Experts say Zaslav believes the success of the merger, a merger that led the company into high leverage, will rely heavily on unlocking the full potential of the DC Comics character universe. Discovery connoisseurs believe that although DC has achieved cinematic success with recent films such as “Aquaman” and “The Batman”, it does not have a coherent creative and branding strategy. Discovery believes that several characters on the top shelf, such as Superman, have been left to wither and need to be refreshed. They also believe that works such as Todd Phillips’ “Joker” are a shining example of how secondary characters from the DC library can and should be used (another example is Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn).
DC is starting to find ways to make its big-screen movies inspire more streaming content – recent examples include the HBO Max show “Peacemaker,” which was a spinoff of “The Suicide Squad,” as well as an upcoming series scheduled for Colin Farrell’s The Penguin and Gotham City Police. However, the company believes that DC needs to do more to develop its approach to comics, including enhancing gaming. Under Walter Hamada, who took over DC Films from Jon Berg and Geoff Johns in 2018, the unit achieved greater consistency in both the critique and commercial reception of the company’s films. He has a contract until the end of 2023 and can play an important role in what Zaslav has planned.
Zaslav has pledged $ 3 billion in synergies to the newly merged company, a sign of how significant cost reduction will be for Warners’ new owners. Mining the DC Character Library could help control costs as Warner Bros. Discovery holds the underlying intellectual property, experts say.
Upcoming DC Films projects include a sequel to Zachary Levi’s “Shazam,” a sequel to Jason Momoa’s “Aquaman,” the long-awaited “Black Adam” franchise with Dwayne Johnson, and a third installment of “Wonder Woman.” of Gal Gadot.