Just two days later Warner Bros. Discovery”. made a stunning move cancel an HBO Max movie Bat girlan unapologetic CEO David Zaslav sought to convince Wall Street that there was a coherent plan for DC’s future.
“You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, these are brands that are known around the world,” Zaslav said on Thursday’s earnings call. “We did it again. We’ve restructured the business where we’re going to focus where the team will be with a 10-year plan focused on DC. We believe we can create a much more sustainable business.
DC has long wanted to follow the success of Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which Kevin Feige built into the highest-grossing film franchise in history. Zaslav recently tapped Feige’s former boss, retired Disney film executive Alan Horn, as an adviser. During the earnings call, Zaslav suggested that DC try to emulate Marvel’s playbook.
“It’s very similar to Alan Horn’s structure, [former Disney CEO] Bob Iger and Kevin Feige teamed up very effectively at Disney. We believe we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC,” said Zaslav. “We will focus on quality. We are not going to release any film until it is ready. … DC is something we can improve on.
DC has stopped and is starting to follow the conclusions of Christopher Nolan’s definition The Dark Knight The trilogy ended a decade ago. The studio originally tapped Zack Snyder to oversee its planned universe, which the filmmaker began in 2013. Man of Steel. But Snyder lost the trust of studio executives after a divisive 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justiceand some in 2014 announced ambitious 10-project films never materialized, incl Justice League 2. Executive Walter Hamada took over the reins of DC Films in 2018. and produced a number of films, including several for HBO Max, to fulfill the mandate of then-WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. Now those plans are changing again.
Zaslav has promoted a number of upcoming DC films including Black Adam and Shazam! Wrath of the Godsand noted rumors that some of those films may change dates without confirming or denying anything specific.
“We are very happy for them. We have seen them. We think they’re great, and we think we can make them even better,” Zaslav said of the marketing and distribution of the upcoming films, including Flashstarring controversial actor Ezra Miller.
Miller was charged suffocating fan in Iceland in 2020 in April and Business Insider published Thursday’s report, which features a lengthy interview with the 18-year-old’s parents, who say the actor has been grooming their child since age 12. Warners plans Flashwhich has a release date of 2023. in June was closely monitored.
The executive also revealed that while he’s focusing on theaters, “a lot of movies will be released with shorter windows…and with different marketing campaigns.” But we will always be mobile, and the focus will be on the theater.
Before the pandemic, theater owners could claim an exclusive theater window of 74 days to 90 days. Now, a movie costing $50 million or less can be available at home two or three weeks after it opens in theaters (Universal was the first major Hollywood studio to be subject to such terms.).
Zaslav’s comments come at a difficult time for DC. On Tuesday, Warners announced that it is delaying the $90 million Bat girl a film that finished post-production ahead of its planned release on HBO Max. Multiple sources noted that Warner Media Discovery decided to use the film’s losses as a tax write-off rather than release it. The move raised concerns that other films could follow suit Blue beetle Filmmaker Angel Manuel Soto is relishing the tweets asking Warners to protect his DC film, which was originally made for HBO Max, before renewing it theatrically.
Zaslav said that expensive films for broadcast do not make economic sense.
“The goal is to grow the DC brand. To grow DC characters. But it’s also our job to protect the DC brand, and that’s what we’re going to do.