Discord over at Warner Bros. Discovery? You don’t say. Fans of DC or those who enjoy watching car crashes will recall that new CEO David Zaslav’s entreé onto the scene was to cancel the nearly-completed Batgirl movie and announce a “reset,” which includes a 10-year DCEU plan that focuses on theatrical releases. “Expensive films going to streaming … can’t find an economic value for it,” he said during last week’s earnings call.
No surprise here, but multiple insiders from DC’s film division told The Hollywood Reporter they were “pissed” by Zaslav’s comments. It was previously reported that current DC president Walter Hamada nearly quit after the Batgirl fiasco. Hamada spearheaded DC’s current loosely connected universe, with plans including a Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation, a rumored Secret Six project, and a slate of films including Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps, Static Shock, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Superman produced by J.J. Abrams–all of which have “slowed” in development, per THR.
Still on track are James Gunn’s “multiple” projects (including Peacemaker’s second season) as well as the Blue Beetle movie starring Xolo Maridueña. Bizarrely, TVLine reports that the Black Canary is still a go at HBO Max, despite the whole “focus on theatrical” thing. And of course, the studio is still moving forward with Black Adam, Shazam 2, and The Flash, although insiders tell THR they’re “evaluating all options” ahead of that controversial film’s June 2023 release.
All in all, the upcoming slate calls into question Zaslav’s assertion that “we have done a reset.” It doesn’t seem like they have done much of anything at all, besides hurting Batgirl fans’ feelings and alienating two promising up-and-coming franchise directors. (The fact that all the other films are going forward seems to be a point in the “Batgirl was too terrible to exist” column, but THR previously revealed that an unfinished cut “scored in the low 60s” with test audiences, which is not great but far from “irredeemable.” On the other hand, Deadline sources suggested that other projects in the work might be safe simply because “the accounting opportunity expires by the middle of this month,” so Zaslav can’t take the same tax write-off that he did for Batgirl.)
TLDR: the DCEU is messier than ever (and that’s saying something), and there are a lot of unhappy people on the inside. Just your average day as a DC fan.