With the release of Dwayne Johnson black adam this Friday, and with DC Films head Walter Hamada quietly ending his tenure in the coming days, DC is heading into truly uncharted territory.
In fact, without a permanent leader to guide the stable of some of the world’s biggest and best-known pop culture figures, DC is witnessing a secret but dramatic land grab among some of Hollywood’s biggest actors.
Johnson is publicly touting his vision for a future Black Adam vs. Superman movie, with his lyrics stoking fans’ desire to see Henry Cavill return as the red-capped hero. Matt Reeves is planning an expansion of his The Batman universe, while JJ Abrams also remains in the mix with his own plans.
And The News84Media can exclusively report that James Gunn, the filmmaker behind Marvel’s guardians of the galaxy movies as well as Warner’s DC-based movies The Suicide Squad and Peacemakerangling for his own new DC project (or two).
Sources say THR that Gunn and producer Peter Safran are in talks with Warners for a mystery film, possibly more, that Gunn would tackle. (Safran is already present on the direct current market, being a producer on Shazam! and its upcoming sequel, as well as Aquaman and the sequel to this film.)
Warners hasn’t commented, but as an insider observes, a sculpting of the comics company’s intellectual assets is underway. “DC is definitely in play,” this person says. The amount of play can depend on your perspective inside or outside the studio.
While it’s unclear which hero or teams Gunn is aiming for, and the writer-director is reportedly focusing on a second season of Peacemaker First of all, the studio’s eyes are very much on Superman. Under the direction of David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, and Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy of Warner Bros. Pictures, Warners has an intense desire to reprise the Cavill iteration of the hero. The project which would essentially be man of steel 2 is produced by Charles Roven and is currently seeking writers. (There’s a wishlist, of course. And Christopher McQuarrie, the hand that guides the Impossible mission the movies were on it. McQuarrie worked with Cavill on the 2018 installment, To fallbut sources say no official outreach has been made and it may not be feasible as the director is working on the upcoming back-to-back Impossible installments.)
Johnson, however, has his own plans for Superman and has made his desire to make a Black Adam vs. Superman movie very clear, a desire he’s only reiterated more frequently before. Adam. It comes as he talks about his “surprise” cameo at the end of Adam, with the actor almost stating that Cavill will appear. Insiders wonder if these calls are meant to goose the film’s opening weekend box office numbers or maneuver Superman into his own chess place, or perhaps both.
Either way, Johnson is definitely at the center of Cavill’s return to DC, which hasn’t been without drama. Johnson’s manager is Dany Garcia, his ex-wife who is also his producing partner at Seven Bucks Entertainment. Garcia also represents Cavill.
Superman, as well as Cavill, were not in the initial plans for black adam. The idea originated during a series of reshoots of the film earlier this year, but the cameo was nixed by Hamada, the exec who for the past four years had worked hard to push DC past. beyond the days when a filmmaker, in this case Zack Snyder . , had outsized influence and could command an entire roster for years. Hamada had his own Superman plans, one of which involved the introduction of a Black Superman with a decades-long history by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates.
After Hamada said no, Johnson circled the executive, turning to De Luca and Abdy, who gave him the nod. A furious round of negotiations took place before Labor Day, a deadline insisted by Warners, with the scene shot in mid-September.
Meanwhile, in Gotham City, filmmaker Reeves is quietly hatching his own expansion plans. Reeves is developing a sequel to his The Batman, which grossed a respectable $770.8 million worldwide when it released in March. Already, a spin-off of Colin Farrell’s Penguin-centric series is set to film next year. But Reeves is plotting more. The filmmaker meets with writers and directors to create movies — yes movies, not just series — focused on the established yet more obscure Batman Rogue gallery, with characters ranging from Scarecrow to Clayface and more. by Professor Pyg. All of these projects are in the very early stages of gestation.
It’s unclear where Superman’s moves leave Abrams, who is still on track to produce Coates’ film centered around Krypton’s Last Son. This feature would exist outside of any broader DC movie continuity much like Todd Phillips Joker movies. The mega-producer suffered some setbacks when some of its DC shows — based in supernatural corners of DC and featuring characters such as Constantine and Zatanna — were removed from WBD’s HBO Max streaming service. They are now bought by other streamers. But he’s not out of the game and is yet another Hollywood powerhouse in the mix vying for a piece of the DC pie.
All this is happening while Hamada, who did not attend the Adam premiering in New York on October 12, packs away the last belongings from his Burbank studio office before his last day this week. The executive doesn’t even strike a production deal with the studio, a traditional decision among executives who are fired, but receive a soft landing and a courteous “thank you for your service.” For many, this action speaks volumes about the difficulty of the transition from the AT&T era to Discovery under Zaslav, including the controversial cancellation of the bat girl movie in August.
And it happens in the shadow of the total failure of the search for a new leader. After months of searching, Zaslav nearly hired executive producer-turned-producer Dan Lin for the role of DC’s lead, but talks fell through. Part of Zaslav’s intention for Lin was to act as supervisor of all things DC, both film and series, and he would have acted partly as a traffic cop among the IPs.
For now, De Luca, who is known for his fanboy roots and displays a deep knowledge of esoteric comic lore, remains firmly in charge of DC. He enlightened joker 2made decisions on Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and the flash, and met filmmakers. Rumors abound that his role could evolve into one with more permanent and even exclusive DC oversight. As for Johnson, last week he publicly expressed an interest in helping guide the search for a DC boss.
“The best job I could do for DC is as an advisor, where I can help. I love DC. It’s in my blood,” Johnson said. Variety on the Adam red carpet “In the spirit of growing with the DC Universe. I’m here to help in any way I can, including researching and finding the right leader or leaders.
This search continues even as intellectual property continues to be removed from the picture by powerful players.
“Right now it’s the Wild West,” an insider says. “Everyone tries to grab as much as they can. And that’s exactly what happens in a leadership vacuum.
A Warners insider challenges the idea of a leadership vacuum, saying the studio isn’t standing still and moving forward on multiple fronts, focusing on some of its A-list characters while planning and building the wave at -of the. A scenario for wonder woman 3 by Patty Jenkins is expected shortly and a script for a Glow the sequel is already written — by Aquaman scribe David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick – in case this movie, which will be released on June 23, 2023, goes well. (The film stars controversial actor Ezra Miller, who in August met with Warners management after a series of arrests and bad headlines, and today pleaded not guilty to a burglary charge.) Superman back on the active block, plus Reeves The Batman Following in the future, it puts the big stars of the business in the big-screen rotation.
Both De Luca and Abdy are said to want more things in development and more things on the track out of the box, a philosophy opposed to that of Hamada, who has taken a more focused approach.
Johnson, for his part, is keen to move beyond DC’s A-list.
As he said at New York Times for a profile published on Monday: “It’s the safest bet to continue investing in IP that the world knows. The Justice League: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman. I understand that. But it took convincing the studio to look beyond the Justice League into the DC Universe, and there are some really cool characters there. You just have to try and trust the investment.