It hasn’t been a great year for DC Studios (really, it hasn’t been a great decade if we’re being honest). The failing DC Universe, which has tried painstakingly hard to offer its superheroes in Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman some level of success that resembles Marvel’s, has gone from bad to worse in a recent announcement that it will be cancelling two of its marquee character’s films in lieu of a probable reboot of the complete franchise.
DC Studios has been in the middle of a massive shakeup under new leadership at Warner Bros. The studio may be undergoing yet another drastic change: the full on shuttering of the Snyderverse. Check out the link for more: https://t.co/spab7fiz5K pic.twitter.com/zEws58t9av
— IGN (@IGN) December 8, 2022
Earlier this year, DC caused quite a stir when it decided at the eleventh hour to completely cancel the release of Batgirl. That film would go down as one of the most expensive cancelled cinematic projects ever. Then, there was some positive news: Warner Bros. announced it had an “intense desire” to reprise Henry Cavill’s role as Superman in a film that would essentially be made into Man of Steel 2. The news had DC fans hopeful for a brighter future come 2023.
But then things started to go awry (again). There was a lot riding on the release of Black Adam, the Dwayne Johnson-led blockbuster that had massive box-office targets to hit. Well, just this week, Variety reported that Black Adam was looking likely to fail to return much of a profit… if any.
The report states that after seven weeks in theaters, the film has generated a total of USD $387 million globally. But Black Adam didn’t come cheap to make, especially with an actor like Johnson at its helm. Reportedly, the film cost $195 million to produce, with an added $100 million in marketing spending.
As a result, the film needed to earn around at the very minimum $600 million worldwide to break even; a number it’s unlikely to achieve. By comparison, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released a few weeks after Black Adam, earned a total of $331 million in three days, almost as much as Black Adam generated after four weeks in theatres. If that doesn’t highlight the notion that Marvel has long been operating in another league, then we’re not sure what will.
Now, DC Studios has announced another bombshell/s to cap off what has arguably been a difficult year for the studio: DC Studios will not move forward with a sequel to 2020’s Wonder Woman 1984, with the possibility that sequels to Man of Steel featuring the return of Henry Cavill and a sequel to Black Adam with Dwayne Johnson also likely to be canned. The alleged reports come after filmmaker James Gunn and producer Peter Safran, who run the Warner Bros. Discovery division, announced there would be some changes to the DC Universe going forward.
“Peter and I chose to helm DC Studios knowing we were coming into a fractious environment, both in the stories being told and in the audience itself and there would be an unavoidable transitional period as we moved into telling a cohesive story across film, TV, animation and gaming,” Gunn tweeted on Thursday.
“But, in the end, the drawbacks of that transitional period were dwarfed by the creative possibilities and the opportunity to build upon what has worked in DC so far and to help rectify what has not.”
As for more answers about the future of the DCU, I will sadly have to ask you to wait. We are giving these characters & the stories the time & attention they deserve & we ourselves still have a lot more questions to ask & answer. pic.twitter.com/sxwKGRD3vc
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 8, 2022
Of course, we will be signing off the year not really knowing what the future holds for these legendary characters and the wider DC Universe. Will DC require a reboot of all its beloved characters? All we know is that it seems like a complete and utter mess over at Warner Bros. Studios and its DC Comics division.
And do we think Henry Cavill can even ask for his job back on The Witcher?