If you’ve been following the news this week, you know the last couple of days have somewhat chaotic for the HBO Max and Warner Bros. team. Even though a shift in strategy when it comes to both production companies’ titles has been slowly hinted at in previous weeks, it all sparked more attention, controversy and speculation after the announcement that the anticipated Batgirl movie was going to be shelved – even though production was well underway and the project had already cost a whopping $90 million to come to life.
Earlier today, it was hinted that scrapping the Batgirl movie was part of a decision to distance the studio from the Snyderverse, the studio’s attempt at reproducing the Marvel Cinematic Universe that new Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav flat-out admits “is something we think could be better.” Today, during the Warner Bros. Investors Call, Zaslav unveiled what the actual plan is, and what is happening with the DC Extended Universe in the coming years.
“We have done a reset. We’ve structured the business. There will be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC. It’s very similar to the structure that Alan Horne and Bob Iger put together very effectively with Kevin Feige at Disney. We think we could build a long-term, much more sustainable growth business out of DC, and as part of that, we’re going to focus on quality. We’re not going to release any film before it’s ready… The focus is going to be, how do we make each of these films, in general, as good as possible? DC is something we can make better, and we’re focused on it now. We have some great DC films coming up. ‘Black Adam,’ ‘Shazam!,’ and ‘Flash.’ We’re working on all of those. We’ve seen them, and we think they’re terrific, and that we can make them even better. That’s what Mike [De Luca] and Pam [Abdy, Warner Bros.’ new motion picture heads] are doing.”
During the Investors Call, Zaslav also praised the WB content by saying that “the Warner Bros motion picture group has fantastic IP”, and that “between DC, the animation group, together with the entire Warner library, our ambition is to bring Warner back.” By that, Zaslav is probably referring to the fact that Warner Bros., as one of the biggest studio companies in the world, has shown some lackluster results in theaters when it comes to their products, especially their super-hero and Harry Potter franchises – who have been plagued with several on and off-screen issues that affected box office results.
Other information revealed during the Investors Call is the plan to make HBO Max and Discovery+ a unified streaming platform with a single, global brand. The idea is to also prioritize customer experience and quality, since HBO Max users’ complaints about the platform’s functionality is frequent. HBO Max is also reportedly dialing back on original productions, in order to focus on the cinematic experience.
Of course, all of these announcements mean that we’ll get a lot of news about upcoming titles, returning franchises, course-corrections and beloved titles that may end up getting the ax. For now, we can only speculate as to what’s going to happen with the company’s bold decision to do a creative and operational 180 at this time.
Stick with Collider to know further information on Warner Bros., HBO Max, Discovery+, and what’s next for their upcoming unified brand.