American film director, screenwriter, and producer. She has directed the feature films Monster, Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman 1984. For the film Monster, she won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and the Franklin J. Schaffner Award from the American Film Institute, Patty Jenkins. Call it DC Rebirth or DC: Genesis. Maybe call it Identity Crisis or Flashpoint. These titles of past DC comics event series aptly describe the state of Warner Bros.’ DC movies, which are on the cusp of a new era but not before a potentially messy transition period.
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A cleaning of the slate is common when a new executive team is put in place to run a studio or division but there is likely little precedent for the amount of Clorox James Gunn and Peter Safran could spray as they prepare to launch DC Studios and guide superhero movies for the next half decade and beyond.
The duo in recent days flew back to Los Angeles from the snowy city of Aspen, Colorado, where they were huddled in deep planning, and now like holy figures coming down from the mountaintop, have sets of commandments or a DC Bible in hand. Or at least a working blueprint.
Gunn and Safran are expected to meet next week with David Zaslav, the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO who is radically reshaping the media company and who hired the duo in October to lead a newly launched film and TV division. The pair will unveil to Zaslav a plan that is expected to lay out their vision. Although much of their plan, which insiders paint as still a work-in-progress and one that has yet to be approved, is being kept deep in the Batcave, details of several possible paths forward are trickling out. And at least one path not being taken has also been revealed.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3 is not moving forward and is considered dead in its current incarnation.
Sources say that Jenkins recently submitted her treatment, co-written with Geoff Johns, and that Gunn and Safran, as well as Warner Bros. Pictures co-chairs and co-CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, broke the news to the filmmaker, telling her the project — as it stood — did not fit in with the new (but still unfolding) plans. Jenkins directed and co-wrote the previous two movies, starring Gal Gadot and released in 2017 and 2020. No decision has been made about next steps.
And while costs are not a factor — insiders say that DC Studios will not have any overburdensome financial restrictions — the studio could end up saving tens of millions of dollars by not making the third installment. Gadot, according to sources, was on track for a $20 million payday for Wonder Woman 3 while Jenkins would have received $12 million. Those figures don’t include any possible backend bonuses.
Warners had no comment.
It is unclear how any future Wonder Woman movie, and Gadot’s portrayal of the hero, would fit into the new DC plan. In a bit of head-scratching timing, Gadot tweeted out of the blue a thank you to fans Tuesday, saying she was grateful to be allowed to play the heroine and role model, adding, “Can’t wait to share her next chapter with you.” It was unclear whether or not the actress knew the project was being toe-tagged.
The rest of the DC slate remains in flux, or at least is being kept deep in a pocket of Gunn’s own utility belt but there are several rumors and possible scenarios to consider ahead of next week’s meeting.
The first, which builds on the shuttering of Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3, is the closing curtain of the Snyderverse, and the heroes cast by filmmaker Zack Snyder for his Justice League. This one sees the shutting down of Man of Steel 2, with a returning Henry Cavill, and having no more Aquaman, fronted by Jason Momoa.
These characters are to cameo in Flash, the highly anticipated time travel adventure movie that is due to release June 16. Cavill shot his part of the cameo in September. But sources say there is a debate inside the studio as whether or not to keep the cameo and if its inclusion promises something that studio would have no plans on delivering.
A Warners insider cautions that no plans have been finalized and that Flash remains an unlocked picture.
The Cavill situation is a more than a little thorny as the actor made a cameo in Black Adam, the DC-centric movie released in October. The Monday after the movie opened, Cavill posted a video on Instagram where he announced, “I wanted to make it official — I am back as Superman.”
And at that time, he was not incorrect. Warner Bros. was indeed developing a sequel for 2013’s Man of Steel and actively meeting with writers. Andy Muschietti, who directed Flash, even expressed interest in sitting behind the camera for something that would have brought a tone similar to the hopeful and heroic colors of the 1978 movie directed by Richard Donner, considered a benchmark in comic book movies. In fact, the current leadership team at Warner Bros Pictures — Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy — did desire one more go-around of the Snyderverse heroes, possibly even having another Justice League movie with those actors.
But that was before Gunn and Safran began formulating their new (and still in flux) plan.
Also unlikely is a sequel to Black Adam. Despite the hype surrounding the movie of launching a new corner of DC, a lot of it led by star Dwayne Johnson, the movie has only grossed $385 million worldwide and insiders at the studio say the movie, which cost more than $190 million to produce (two sources peg the actual cost at $230 million, not including marketing), will be lucky to break even, even considering ancillary revenue. Even if the movie does eke out a minimal profit, any follow-up’s inherent rising costs dim the prospect of a sequel.
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Sources: Hollywood Reporter
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