The new owners of all things Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are exploring an overhaul of DC Entertainment, reports Variety.
It’s been less than a week since Discovery closed its $43 billion deal for WarnerMedia, joining one of the largest producers of reality programming with one of the most venerable entertainment brands under the new moniker of Warner Bros. Discovery. David Zaslav, the CEO of the combined companies, and top leadership have been toying with the idea of turning DC into its own solidified content vertical, the sources said.
The move would potentially affect DC feature film development in the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, streaming series at Warner Bros. Television, and the creative arm within DC proper — all in an effort to have the disparate elements more closely aligned in order to maximize the value of the superhero stable — one often seen as punching up against Marvel.
Insiders say that Zaslav believes that the success of the merger, one that has left the company highly leveraged, will rest in no small part on unlocking the full potential of the DC Comics universe of characters. Discovery insiders believe that although DC has achieved cinematic success with recent films such as Aquaman and The Batman, it lacks a coherent creative and brand strategy. Discovery believes that several top-shelf characters such as Superman have been left to languish and need to be revitalized. They also believe that projects like Todd Phillips’ Joker are a shining example of how second-billed characters from the DC library can and should be exploited (Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is another example, just not another Birds of Prey please).
Zaslav has pledged to find $3 billion in synergies in the newly merged company, a signal of how important cost cutting will be to Warners’ new owners. Mining DC’s library of characters could help control spending as Warner Bros. Discovery owns the underlying intellectual property, insiders say. It can’t be overstated that they should take a closer look at the ideologues like Marie Javins and the recently departed Daniel Cherry III that actually have lowered sales with their hard left LGBTQ push in the past year.