In the middle of the HBO Max movie shelving bat girl and the clear desire of the head of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslav finding new leadership for the DC Universe, DC Movies President Walter Hamada is about to leave the studio and has consulted a lawyer, sources say The Hollywood Reporter.
Hamada has now agreed to stay on at least until the October 21 release of the Dwayne Johnson film. black adam, according to sources familiar with the situation. “He’s taking a break,” a source says. “The decision has not yet been made to do this confrontation.” Hamada could not be reached for comment.
The tension comes like Zaslav pledged to do what he called a “reset” from DC, with a 10-year plan that he hopes will see the brand rival Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which has built the biggest movie franchise in history. “We believe we can build a much stronger, more sustainable growth business out of DC,” Zaslav said on Thursday’s earnings call. “In this context, we will focus on quality. We’re not going to release a movie until it’s ready… DC is something we can improve on.
An insider said the co-chairmen and CEOs of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, who oversee DC until Zaslav settles on new leadership, informed Hamada during a recent black adam test screening that bat girl, a $90 million film that was in post-production, would be shelved. The explanation was that, given Zaslav’s strategy, the picture was not strong enough for theatrical release and was too expensive for a streaming release. The company, under pressure to cut costs, chose to write down the project.
A source with knowledge of the situation said Hamada was upset that he was not consulted and concerned about the impact on those involved in the making of the film. On August 2, before the talents and their representatives had been informed of the decision, the New York Post announced that the film had been shelved. The post office reported that the film had low test scores and said a source described it as “unsalvageable”.
In May, Warner Bros Discovery canceled another DC movie headed to the streamer, wonder twinsright after KJ Apa and Isabel May were cast in lead roles.
Hamada took on his role in 2018 during a difficult time for DC, which was struggling to find its footing after Justice League (2017) missed the box office and there was no clear path for its cinematic universe.
During his tenure, Hamada has formed relationships with filmmakers such as Marvel favorite James Gunn, bringing him on board to The Suicide Squad (2021) and keep it in the fold for Peacemaker, a spin-off for HBO Max. Rather than striving for Marvel’s closely interconnected universe of movies, the DC properties under its watch were only loosely connected – and sometimes set in entirely separate universes, such as Joker (2019), which outperformed with over $1 billion at the box office and won Joaquin Phoenix the Best Actor Oscar, and Matt Reeves The Batman (2022), which grossed $769.2 million worldwide, a strong number for the pandemic.
Prior to DC Films, Hamada was executive vice president of production at New Line, where he oversaw the genre label’s hit horror franchise. Conspiracy and This (2017), which earned him $701.8 million at the box office.