Could DC hit the restart button?
A sequel to director Patty Jenkins’ 2020 ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ is stalling at Warner Bros., as new DC Studios chiefs James Gunn and Peter Safran prepare to unveil their strategy next week for the future from DC adaptations to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
Only Gunn and Safran know for sure what they will say to Zaslav. But the presentation has the potential to mark a critical inflection point for the company, with the very real possibility that the cinematic universe created by filmmaker Zack Snyder will come to a definitive end after the premiere of ‘Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom’. in December 2023.
According to a studio insider, after Jenkins submitted a treatment for a third “Wonder Woman”, she was told by studio management that it didn’t fit Gunn and Safran’s emerging plans for the DC Universe, and the studio would not do the project. Oddly enough, on Monday, “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot posted on social media that she was “so grateful to have the opportunity to play such an incredible and iconic character” and that she “can’t wait to share his next chapter with you,” sparking a lot of speculation about what that next chapter would be.
A representative of Warner Bros. declined to comment and a representative for Jenkins did not respond to a request for comment.
‘Man of Steel’ star Henry Cavill also recently teased that he’s set to return to performing as Superman after his brief appearance in October’s ‘Black Adam’ post-credits scene opposite. to Dwayne Johnson. But now the two Cavills and Johnson’s future with DC is an open question, with a story from The Hollywood Reporter suggesting DC Studios’ new plan could kill any potential ‘Man of Steel’ sequel, while the prospects for another episode of ‘Black Adam” have been adversely affected by the financial crisis. returns to the box office.
At the heart of it all is the deeply charged history of what fans have dubbed the Snyderverse – DC’s series of adaptations first launched with 2013’s ‘Man of Steel’ and starring Cavill, Gadot of “Aquaman” Jason Momoa and “The Flash” star Ezra Miller as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. From the start, Snyder’s morally gray and visually gritty approach proved divisive with DC fans and the general public – some loved her, some hated her. But while Snyder effectively left the DC Universe after 2017’s “Justice League” (only returning for the 2021 recut “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” after a relentless online campaign), most of the actors Snyder cast remained in their own individual franchises.
Most of these post-Snyder films were major financial successes, but the Snyderverse was also plagued by scandals. Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in both “Justice League” movies, has parted ways with Warner Bros. in 2021 after running his own relentless online campaign alleging misconduct by the studio’s previous management. And while ‘The Flash’ is still set to debut in June, Miller – who apologized in August ‘to anyone I have alarmed and upset about my past behavior’ after withstanding a litany of allegations of misconduct and abuse – is almost certain to be done with character.
There’s still every chance that Cavill, Gadot, Momoa, and Johnson could return to the DC fold one way or another. They are hugely popular stars with global appeal who all seem eager to get dressed again. However, only Gunn and Safran know for sure if they will get the call.