With David Zaslav and his team overseeing the new Warner Bros. after the merger with Discovery, massive turnover and changes have been made for the film studio. In recent weeks, we’ve seen Batgirl get shelved, as well as the sequel to Scoob!, despite both of those films being well within the post-production process. Batgirl, Scoob!, and the countless content removed from HBO Max are the casualties of Warner Bros. Discovery trying to save money through tax write-offs. And now, following news that the studio was shuffling around more release dates, it appears Warner Bros. Discovery needs all the financial help it can get at the moment.
The latest bit of news coming from Warner Bros are the delays of both Shazam: Fury of the Gods and Aquaman: The Lost Kingdom, with Fury of the Gods moving to March 2023 and Aquaman moving to December 2023 respectively. This has been in line with the consistent delays of DC superhero films that have plagued the studio since the beginning of the pandemic. However, these moves have further indicated a large amount of financial turmoil for the studio according to Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter.
The revelation of Warner Bros. Discovery only having the financial capital to release two films for the remaining near-half year of 2022 is certainly damning. It indicates a massive rocky road that Zaslav will have to try and navigate without, in theory, “rocking the boat” too much more. If that isn’t possible, the company could be forced to face even more upheaval despite being within this dire state for a considerable time. The financial sacrifices they’ve made thus far have caused some level of alienation with the creative base of Hollywood, and Warner Bros Discovery will have to tread carefully to remain in the upper echelon of the American film hierarchy.
If there is any solace, Don’t Worry Darling and Black Adam both hold the potential to be relatively successful breadwinners for Warner Bros. Discovery. After all, Don’t Worry Darling has held a decently strong marketing campaign highlighting the intrigue of Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial feature. In addition, the all-star cast led by the likes of Florence Pugh and Harry Styles could drive audiences to theaters. Meanwhile, Warner Bros is certainly hoping that Black Adam can serve as a much-needed kickstart for a direction that the studio can take with its DC Extended Universe. It remains to be seen if Dwyane Johnson’s portrayal of the titular character alongside the Justice Society of America can change the narrative of the struggling franchise.