Warner Bros. Discovery has been quite the chaotic merger for many reasons. The cancelation of almost finished products left a sour taste with many, but taking down exclusive projects from streamers may have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. In a new report by The Hollywood Reporter, they showcase a lot of uncertainty that’s brewing between talent agencies and investors for the company.
Their current hunt for a “Kevin Feige” for DC has many concerns as no one really would want that job. Even if you do a decent job, like Walter Hamada did dragging the franchise to its current popular standing after the Zack Snyder fallout, you’re always stuck in comparison. One talent representative highlights the biggest issue anyone would face:
DC is so fragmented. J.J. [Abrams] had this one, Zack Snyder had that one, Todd Phillips had the other thing. And they’re all such huge egos.
With that many egos, it’ll be hard to truly bring a united franchise together as WBD hopes to accomplish. Plus, they are still moving forward with Elseworld stories like a Joker sequel and The Batman franchise. Some are suggesting that new CEO David Zaslav, who has been reported in the past to have a harsh leadership style by former Discovery employees, is simply prepping the company for its next sale.
Most of his endeavors and that of the CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels is to cover Warner Bros.’s massive $50B+ debt; no simple task for anyone. As such building up their biggest brands and covering as much of the debt as possible opens up that very possibility. It seems Comcast’s Brian Roberts is the one that has his eyes on the studio the most to further build up NBCUniversal and combine it with WBD. One executive with inside knowledge gave the following statement in regards to why there’s a good possibility:
Obviously Peacock sucks. There are some good synergies. I’m sure [Roberts] is licking his chops because the [WBD] stock is so low. And I think that’s Zaslav’s endgame. Get the place sold.
The head of another company highlighted just how sad this development would be as it would mark the end of another massive studio after Disney purchased Fox some years ago. The issue is simply becoming challenging for these massive studios to stay afloat and handle their debt management. Not everything is doom and gloom, as some are highlighting that some additions have been more talent-friendly unlike under AT&T’s leadership and a seller isn’t something that’s definite as of yet.