Despite having been cancelled roughly seven months ago, little has been said as to why Ava DuVernay’s New Gods movie was pulled from the Warner Bros. slate, save for the rumor that the studio was feeling burned out on Jack Kirby’s classic Fourth World characters.
Darkseid, Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and others were verified for Zack Snyder’s Justice League at the time New Gods was announced, which presented an issue for the DuVernay-helmed project co-written by Tom King, as the two were planning to reboot things with new versions of these characters.
The idea of there being ‘too much’ Fourth World or a conflict of interest between different versions of the characters sounds like a flimsy excuse, especially when Warner Bros. is confirmed to be diving headfirst into the concept of the DC Multiverse in the coming years, but DuVernay herself recently alluded that there may be truth to the speculation.
During a recent interview with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM, she began discussing the film’s fate by revealing how, ever since she was first stationed at Warner, she had deeply wanted to dig into DC’s catalog of creations – in particular the New Gods.
“You know, my overall deal was at Warner Brothers and DC is at Warner Brothers,” she said. “So, once I got to Warner Brothers, I was like, ‘I’m going in that vault and I’m looking at what y’all got.’ And I loved New Gods, which is the project that got axed.”
DuVernay then confirmed her side of the story, noting that it was Warner’s apprehension with redundancy that cost New Gods its initial approval.
“The studio decided that they did not want to pursue a certain part of that comic world, based on some things that were going on with [Zack Snyder’s Justice League],” she explained. “So, before I even was able to kind of complete my script with Tom King, they axed it.”
Though the cancellation of New Gods was sudden, it was not the only DC film to get the axe, finding company in the Aquaman spinoff The Trench, which we now know was meant to be a Black Manta solo flick.
When word of DuVernay’s comments reached outspoken Justice League star Ray Fisher, the Cyborg actor felt compelled to sound off once again about Warner – his least favored people and company.
In a tweet published on November 4th, Fisher accused Warner head Toby Emmerich and DC Films President Walter Hamada of being cowards for using Snyder’s finished version of the 2017 film as a scapegoat for the decision to scrap New Gods.
“Walter Hamada and Toby Emmerich trying to use Zack Snyder’s Justice League as a scapegoat for canceling The New Gods movie is sad and cowardly…” Fisher wrote.
Hamada and Emmerich haven’t yet commented on DuVernay’s interview, so we don’t know if the final decision was theirs or if Fisher is playing the blame game again, though it’s currently believed they are firmly moving on from anything to do with Snyder’s continuity.
In either case, DuVernay doesn’t seem to have any hard feelings towards the studio, turning her focus towards working on other adaptations of less familiar DC canon.
Her miniseries adaptation of DMZ – based on the comic series by Brian Wood and Riccardo Burchielli – hits HBO Max next year, while she also currently has a hand in developing the CW pilot for DC’s Naomi.
What do you make of DuVernay’s explanation for New Gods’ cancellation? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!