How DC’s Movies May Survive the Warner Bros. Discovery Merger

As Warner Bros. Discovery looks to revamp its DC Films slate, we break down which projects we feel are safe and which we fear are dead.
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The Warner Bros Discovery merger has led to a lot of uncertainty regarding the current plans for the DC Extended Universe. It was reported just a few weeks ago that the studio was looking to overhaul DC Entertainment and looking for a Kevin Feige-like figure to lead its film universe into something similar to that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With the overhaul, some casualties were bound to happen and the first of what could be many is Wonder Twins. What was initially planned to be an HBO Max exclusive is now dead in the water, just a few weeks after casting its leads with the intent to film this summer. The message this sends is that anything not already far along in development, or in front of cameras, is on the chopping block.

There are currently many live-action DC projects in the works at Warner Bros Discovery and a lot of them have made little movement since being announced. Some projects, while having had little movement, could still very well be happening due to the fact that they can fit within a universe moving forward, while others won’t be as lucky. With that in mind, we take a closer look at previously announced DC films and what we expect to see happen with them.

Hourman – Our Guess: Dead

We have heard very little about this project since it was announced last March, and that seems to be a trend amongst many of these projects. Hourman seems like something Warner Bros would ax quite quickly due to its status, but the project could just hit the shelves for now. Then again, Hourman could be seen as viable to the studio depending on the success and reception of the Justice Society of America in Black Adam. The studio could also evaporate the movie and move the character into a future JSA project as a new character. 

Plastic Woman – Our Guess: Dead

Another film that has had absolutely no movement on it since it was announced is Plastic Woman. The film was expected to a genderbent Plastic Man and was set to be written by Cat Vasko. Interestingly enough, Vasko was brought on to take the project in a new direction as it was initially set to follow Patrick O’Brian. The character could find a place in a new DC extended universe, but this project is likely to be another casualty of the overhaul. 

Bad Robot’s Justice League Dark Projects – Our Guess: Safe

These are probably some of the most anticipated projects with characters like Zatanna, Constantine, and Madame Xanadu set to make their DC Extended Universe debut. It has been radio silent on projects like Zatanna and Madame X, but Constantine looks to have already found its lead and is aiming to begin production later this year.

These projects are being produced through a deal between Warner Bros Discovery and Bad Robot. With that in mind, it’s hard not to think these are safe, especially as many of these projects are planned to all lead into each other with a Netflix Defenders-like setup for a Justice League Dark crossover.

Blackhawks – Our Guess: Dead

Blackhawks was originally announced back in 2018 with Steven Spielberg attached as a producer. At the time, there were suggestions he could ultimately go on to helm the project too, but just as quickly as it was announced, the project seemed to go silent. Writer David Koepp provided an update stating the script was done, but leadership changes had stalled the project. This is a project that will most likely end up on the chopping block, most likely because it doesn’t fit anywhere in the DC Extended Universe. Who knows? If a follow-up is made to Birds of Prey, it is entirely possible Lady Blackhawk could make her live-action debut there instead.

Static Shock – Our Guess: Safe

Not to kick anyone while they’re down, because this one is really gonna sting if it hits the bin, but Static Shock has seen no movement since being announced. The movie was officially announced during DC’s Fandome in August 2020, and a couple of months later, Michael B. Jordan was confirmed to be producing the project. Despite the fanfare, though, it has been quiet, but in this instance, that might not be a bad thing as the project is part of a first-look deal with Jordan.

The sheer popularity of the character is another driving factor, too, as to why I feel it is safe. Static Shock s an iconic staple of the DC Universe and has many fans, this is a viable project, so it would be a shame to see it canned.

Wonder Woman 3 – Our Guess: Safe

This is a no-brainer, this project is happening no matter what. The Wonder Woman films have been far too successful for this to be scrapped. While the second film was not as well-received as the first, it was still very successful with its HBO Max release and has some of the service’s strongest streaming numbers, raking up 3.2 million streams on the service with a dual release in theaters towards the end of 2020. While this one could still be a bit away due to Gal Gadot’s packed schedule, it will likely find a home in the future of the DC Extended Universe. 

Nightwing – Our Guess: Shelved

Nightwing was announced back in 2017 with Chris McKay set to direct the film from a script by Chris Dubuque, but of course, it has since fallen into limbo with a plethora of other projects. This is a project that could still happen, though, with rumors of Dick Grayson making his DC Extended Universe debut in the upcoming Batgirl solo film with a spin-off in mind. As it stands, though, we have no clue if McKay is still involved and if Dubuque’s script can even be used. 

Black Canary – Our Guess: Safe

Black Canary is a spin-off to 2020’s Birds of Prey and The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn and it was only just announced last year. The project is set to feature Jurnee Smollet-Bell reprising her role with Misha Green set to pen the script. I feel this project will be safe because the upcoming Batgirl film will reportedly lead into this project, and Easter eggs have been spotted on the set of Batgirl hinting at the character’s appearance in the film. Black Canary is set to release exclusively on HBO Max, but there is always the chance the movie makes its way to theaters instead. 

Joker 2 – Our Guess: Safe

This is an interesting situation as this is a film that does not fit at all with what Warner Bros Discovery is looking to do, but it’s a film that they’re interested in making more of. Variety reported that the studio saw Joker as the prime example of how characters who usually are not the protagonist can be taken and explored deeper. While many don’t believe the story needs to – or should continue – the first film is the most profitable comic book movie of all time, grossing over a billion dollars at the box office on a $64 billion budget. 

Matt Reeve’s Plans – Our Guess: Safe

The Batman was yet another resounding success for everyone involved, welcoming us to a new Gotham City with an all-new caped crusader. Many are on the edge of their seat, hoping Matt Reeves‘ plans do not get caught in the crossfire of the DC overhaul to meet an early end. These projects like The Batman sequel, the Arkham series, and The Penguin series will most likely be safe due to the success of the film both critically and financially. Let’s not forget, The Batman also became the highest viewed film on HBO Max in its first week, beating every day and date release last year. It would not be very beneficial for Warner Bros Discovery to stop these projects now, just as they’re all getting going. 

Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman – Our Guess: Safe

Superman is a character directly mentioned in Variety’s exclusive on Warner Bros Discovery’s overhaul of DC entertainment, believing the character to be left in the dust and in need of a strong return. This project seems like the fresh start the studio would want for the character, it’s even rumored that the project, if possible, could use Henry Cavill as its Superman, although none of that has been confirmed. Toby Emmerich even stated at CinemaCon that progress on the next Superman film is being made, so it seems this project could indeed see the Man of Steel’s long-awaited return.

We’re still in the dark about just what moves the new leadership will make next but it’s always possible WBD pulls the plug on something we thought was safe. For the film of things many of these projects still look to be safe for now but where things could get real choppy is the TV side of things, with many projects remaining facing an early grave.

Source: Twitter, CBR

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