What’s Going On With Warner Bros. Discovery & the DCEU?
Right now, whatever is going on at Warner Bros., following their merger with Discovery, with the man in charge, CEO David Zaslav, the news has only led to confusion and frustration among fans. From the desolation of The CW and the axing of Batgirl to the weird gendered way in which they have discussed HBO Max and Discovery+, nothing about this merger has inspired confidence in the future of DC—which sucks because it felt like, despite how chaotic it was, at least DC was interesting to discuss.
Word is that Zaslav has his own plans to unify DC movies under a 10-year plan—a new one, despite the company’s existing plans to that effect. As Variety points out, while we know the status of a few of DC’s current projects, there are a bunch that have been entirely up in the air since we first heard of them, which is a bit anxiety-inducing for fans now that they’ll clearly just change or cancel whatever they want at the drop of a hat. The COVID pandemic already took steam out of the momentum for some of the better installments in the DCEU or relegated them to HBO Max, which they’re not planning to do anymore, only releasing movies in theaters.
What also complicates matters is that despite wanting a streamlined universe, most of the biggest successes in the DCEU don’t organically fit into the same world. Plus, while MCU films are still making money, it has been clear for a while that the burden of a connected movie universe that doesn’t reset as easily as the comics, and requires a lot more hours watching, which doesn’t equal happy fans—not to mention it has been (overall) great to see so many adult-centered projects.
It also stings that while The Flash remains a contender, we saw a female Afro-Latina led movie get used as a tax-break—especially following the news that the new leadership has filled the six open seats on their board entirely with white men. Bloomberg reports, “The majority of the chief executive officer’s 13 direct reports, many of whom were recent hires, are white men. Meanwhile, Zaslav in April fired Warner Bros. chief Ann Sarnoff, one of the highest-ranking women in Hollywood — without filling her role — and replaced WarnerMedia’s heads of communications and finance with white men from Discovery.”
That does not inspire confidence, especially coupled with his algorithm-driven mindset that has led to programs like Sex Sent Me to the ER, Wives With Knives, Naked and Afraid, Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?, and My Big Fat Fabulous Life.
You know, it has been hard being a DC fan for a while, and whenever we are at the cusp of making something happen, the monkey’s paw just comes through. Right now, Zaslav has to prove his instincts to us and hopefully not take every massive step back possible. We can hope, but it’s time to stop wishing.
(via Variety, featured image: DC)
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