Warner Bros. Discovery is currently in a place where they don’t have much to announce, but they’ve gotten fans excited and anxious for details. Expectedly, they’ve got someone coming out every few days to offer crudité, the barest minimum to satiate their viewers’ hunger.
The biggest news comes from Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who told The Wrap, “I think over the next few years, you’re going to see a lot of growth and opportunity around DC, there’s not going to be four Batmans.” This would indicate that they’re going to pick one version of Batman to be the definitive Batman for the DC Film Universe. That pretty much rules out Michael Keaton, who was going to appear in multiple films under the previous regime. Two of those movies have already been canceled, with only The Flash on deck. That’s a shame; I had high hopes for Keaton’s return and what he would do with the landmark version of the character he, Tim Burton, Jon Peters, San Hamm, and Warren Skarren created over thirty years ago. As The Wrap extrapolates, that also means the multiverse is probably out as well, which may be a good thing; Marvel is currently using it, and the Distinguished Competition is already going to look like they’re chasing them as it is. As for whom the official Batman is, I guess Robert Pattinson is the most likely candidate; he’s also my least favorite version, so I hope they go with someone else.
Meanwhile, at Variety, HBO Max’s Head of Original Content, Sarah Aubrey, talked about some of their upcoming projects. First is Penguin, which follows the version of the villain found in The Batman, played by Colin Farrell. Aubrey says Penguin will “be a bridge between” The Batman and its sequel and “show what Oz’s life is like and that’s very much in the streets of Gotham, trying to get up and over as only the Penguin can.” In other words, she isn’t saying much because there isn’t a lot to say right now. I’m not interested in the show because, as with Pattinson’s Batman, I didn’t like Colin Farrell’s Penguin, who felt like a character out of a cheap Scorsese knockoff movie rather than Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot. But this show’s existence is evidence that Pattinson will be the DC Film Universe’s Batman, which will make a lot of people happy.
The other confirmation from Aubrey is about Harry Potter. While there are no concrete plans, they do want to create “new content for those fans and thinking what to do next” because “fans are just clamoring for more storytelling.” This jibes with Zaslav’s comments during the recent investor call, where he expressed interest in making new Harry Potter content if JK Rowling is involved. Variety framed the question as being about a Harry Potter TV series; I don’t know if that’s an actual rumor that’s going around or if they specified a series because Aubrey works for HBO Max, but either way, it doesn’t sound like that’s being discussed at the moment. I have no idea if Rowling even wants to do more, especially after the Fantastic Beasts movies withered up, but if she does, it looks like she’ll have a green light (although how much was that ever in doubt?).
The rest is a bunch of not much. They’re all excited for the Green Lantern series; she can’t say anything about Peacemaker’s future; Dune: The Sisterhood is “a prequel set thousands of years before Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ films;” the It prequel series Welcome to Derry (which sounds like a bad idea) will be scary; their relationship with JJ Abrams is fine, and his canceled projects are not an indication of buyer’s remorse, although she then says they’ll be shifting away from these big mega-deals and doing it series by series (which is smart); something about the Sex and the City sequel series that I didn’t know existed until just now; and she doesn’t know if they’ll be doing more reunions like those for Friends, The West Wing, and Harry Potter. (What a dumb question; why would they just plan a bunch of reunions?) Aside from those couple of DC tidbits, there just isn’t much to say about a company in transition, and that’s fair. But it doesn’t stop us all from wanting to know more.