We finally have a better idea about the shape of the merged Warner Bros. Discovery under the leadership of CEO David Zaslav. This news follows the departure of Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich, who announced he was stepping down earlier today. In a memo obtain obtained by Variety, Zaslav talked about his vision for the company.
“Over the last few months, Toby and I have been talking about the best structure for Warner Bros. Pictures Group and the idea of creating three distinct film segments around Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Feature Animation, and DC-Based Film Production. I have greatly appreciated his insight and partnership throughout this process and feel confident this is the right strategy for our company going forward,” said Zaslav in the memo.
That would put all of the DC Films production under their own division, similar to Marvel Studios over at Disney. It also earmarks DC Films, and potentially DC Entertainment as a whole, as one of the key pillars of the Warner Bros. side of Warner Bros. Discovery. (Sadly, there has been no news about Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment yet.) DC Films is currently under the leadership of Walter Hamada.
A further report from The Hollywood Reporter directly points toward the Disney inspiration, stating that Zaslav is seeking to restructure Warner Bros. in the same way that former Disney CEO Bob Iger changed that studio structure. Zaslav has apparently consulted Iger himself and former Disney studio chairman Alan Horn on the matter. That report also says that Zaslav has been talking with Joker director Todd Phillips about “more in the DC universe, potentially acting as an advisor though he will not serve in an executive capacity.”
While Warner Bros. Discovery looks for leadership for the DC and Animation divisions, Hamada is expected to report to the new leadership of the Warner Bros./New Line division, Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy. The pair were previously the executive leadership of MGM before that studio was sold to Amazon. They left their positions in April, following MGM’s sale to Amazon.
In the near term, not much will likely change in the DC Films slate. Shazam: Fury of the Gods, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and The Flash have finished shooting and are in the post-production process, with the former film releasing this year. Likewise, the HBO Max-bound Batgirl has finished filming while Black Adam and Blue Beetle are currently shooting. Zaslav did cut a planned Wonder Twins film for HBO Max, with executives believing the project was “too niche”.
If things will change for DC Films and DC Entertainment, it’ll likely be productions planned for 2024 and beyond. DC Films has been on an upswing, with The Batman doing great in theaters and Peacemaker being a fantastic show on HBO Max. Hopefully, the new leadership can continue that success.