The hierarchy of power in the DC Universe is about to change...though not in the way most of us expected.
According to a lengthy investigative feature from The Hollywood Reporter, the publisher's film and TV division is about to experience a Crisis on Infinite Earths-level shift in cinematic continuity as new DC Films co-chiefs — James Gunn and Peter Safran — attempt to wipe the slate clean with a more cohesive plan that emulates the strictly-regimented blueprint of Marvel Studios.
As a result, Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly looks to do away with the "Snyderverse," which began with 2013's Man of Steel and has struggled to compete with the MCU for nearly a decade across titles like Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League.
While the Wonder Woman and Aquaman films fronted by Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa were critical and box office smashes in their own right, they represent isolated triumphs, while the worlds they inhabit apparently don't fit into the larger narrative Gunn and Safran have been hammering out during an extended story retreat in Aspen, Colorado. To that end, THR writes that Patty Jenkins' treatment for a third Wonder Woman movie (co-written with Geoff Johns) "is not moving forward and is considered dead in its current incarnation."
And that's not the only casualty of the recent regime change. Despite Henry Cavill's celebrated declaration that he was "back as Superman" following Kal-El's brief cameo in Black Adam, it sounds like WB may not be moving forward on a second Man of Steel. Cavill allegedly filmed a guest spot for The Flash (out in theaters this summer), but that may end up on the cutting room floor as the studio continues to illuminate the path forward.
The same principle applies to another "Snyderverse" alum — Jason Momoa — whose tenure as Arthur Curry is purportedly set to conclude with next December's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. With that said, odds are apparently good that Momoa could end up playing another DC character like Lobo, which sounds like a perfect fit for the actor if he's forced to abdicate the Atlantean throne.
In addition to James Wan's Aquaman sequel, David F. Sandberg's Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17), Andy Muschietti's The Flash (June 16), and Angel Manuel Soto's Blue Beetle (Aug. 18) also remain holdovers from the previous studio leadership under Walter Hamada. The Flash, which has yet to lock down a final edit, stands the best chance of establishing a fresh status quo for DC's shared cinematic universe with its multiverse-centric storyline.
A sophomore outing for Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam is also reportedly unlikely, given how the character's feature debut has only brought in $380 million globally against an estimated budget of $190 - $230 million. While Johnson, who has been incredibly vocal about building an entire franchise around the powerful antihero, claimed Black Adam would net a profit of $52 - $72 million, Variety offered a dueling perspective, reporting that the movie stands to lose $50 - $100 million by the end of its theatrical run. Regardless, it's worth comparing Black Adam to comparable Marvel Studios releases from 2022. Where Black Adam made $380 million, Thor: Love and Thunder made $760 million globally, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness made $900 million.
Matt Reeve's follow-up to The Batman (as well as its two HBO spinoffs) and Todd Phillips' Joker: Folie à Deux are safe for the time being, as they both take place in standalone realities that do not clash with Gunn and Safran's grand plans.
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