The latest rumor coming out of WarnerMedia claims that much of James Gunn’s recently announced plans for the DCU might not even come to fruition as the whole thing is a gambit in order to better attract a buyer such as Amazon or Apple. Not only that, but Gunn apparently has a secret slate planned in case the company does indeed get bought up.
This rumor comes from YouTuber WDW Pro, who claims to have received information from a WarnerMedia employee.
He states, “Warner Bros. Discovery with both DC and Harry Potter is to soft reboot the franchises in order to make them seem more viable and healthy. However, rebooting them with projects that are highly interconnected and/or episodic in chronological consistency is not desired at this time.”
“The reason might surprise,” he asserts. “Warner Bros. Discovery allegedly expects to be purchased within the next three to five years. Therefore it is not in Warner Bros. Discovery’s interest to craft huge franchise worlds like seen in the MCU because such a thing would make a potential buyer beholden to this new roadmap/story narrative.”
“Instead, Warner Bros. Discovery allegedly feels the more lucrative option is to rejuvenate the franchises with non-connected properties while still unloading bad inventory so that when a company like Apple or Amazon when they purchase them potentially they get the benefits of a refreshed franchise plus the ability to craft their new cinematic universe in whatever way they choose,” WDW Pro explains.
After analysis on this alleged information from fellow YouTubers Valliant Renegade and former head of television comedy at CBC Television Paul Chato, WDW Pro provided more details.
He said, “On top of that having James Gunn sitting on top of DC is seen as a lure for those companies to offer more. Apple, or Amazon, or Universal would get a reinvigorated franchise with a mostly clean slate and a proven superhero director ready to rock.”
“Furthermore, Gunn may have been brought into the fold with this as the plan all along,” he relayed. “Have fun with scrappy, passion projects in the short term then go crazy with huge movies once an Apple or Amazon budget comes spraying cash everywhere.”
He then notes, “According to these sources of Warner Bros. Discovery, the later projects in this recent phase one reveal of DC may not even happen and that might be okay as part of the bigger picture.”
After more analysis from Chato and Valliant Renagade, WDW Pro provided more information claiming that Universal might be in play to try to purchase the company as well.
He stated, “Another tidbit of info. While you might think Apple and/or Amazon are the only ones interested in buying Warner, Universal is attempting a play. They have a relationship with the Potter people and they want to leverage it in an attempt.”
Next, he reveals his source informed him that the plan James Gunn revealed for his DCU slate is merely Plan A and that there could be other plans in the works.
“I’m told that Gunn, Zaslov, Safran, they have a Plan A DC roadmap — everybody remember that terminology: Plan A DC roadmap — that only goes into effect if Apple or Amazon buy and approve, though it could be used in negotiations to show it’s primed, it’s unaffordable for Warner Bros. with its current situation, but an Apple or Amazon could fund it.”
“By the way, all of this is the real reason I’m told Cavill was let go,” he concluded. “They’re in a hold until the big guns bring big money to the table.”
When Chato questioned, “If they get the money they’d bring Cavill back in?”
WDW Pro further explained what he believes his source was communicating to him about Plan A, “I don’t think so. I think that’s too far off. I think what they’re saying right now is there’s no need for him to sit there waiting. They need to go ahead and rip that Band-aid off because this is going to be a years-long process.”
He elaborated, “But that there is a huge — like James Gunn if he can get the budget he’s already got it planned out, he and Safron, and Zaslav, what this would look like. And it seems to me like that Plan A that, ‘Hey, if we had the ability to do $300 million budgets or whatever per movie this is what it would look like.’ It sounds like that’s in place and ready once they begin to have attempts to purchase Warner.”
Lending credence to this rumor are Gunn’s own comments when he announced his DCU slate. He noted, “Peter and I along with a group of very talented writers have started to map out an 8-10 year plan of what DC Studios will be in film, television, and gaming. This first chapter is called Gods and Monsters. Now, this what I’m about to tell you is a part of the first chapter, it’s not the entire first chapter.”
Clearly, Gunn does indeed have other ideas that he did not reveal as part of the initial 10 projects.
However, the idea that DC is trying to create disconnected programs as the rumor claims, appears to fly in the face of Gunn’s announcement as he made it crystal clear he’s trying to connect movies, TV, animation, and even video games.
He said, “As many of you know, DC has been disconnected in film and television for a long time and it’s one of our jobs, mine and Peter’s, is to come in and make sure the DCU is connected in film, television, gaming, and animation. That the characters are consistent, played by the same actors, and it works within one story.”
“And if something is outside of that like Matt Reeves’ Batman or Todd Philipps’ Joker or Teen Titans GO! that it’s clearly labeled as DC Elseworlds outside of the mainstream DCU continuity,” Gunn explained.
To that end while providing details on the upcoming animated project, Creature Commandos, he said, “Something that we’re going to do that’s a little bit different at DC is we’re going to have characters move into animation, out of animation usually having the same actor play their voice as who plays them in live-action.”
Maybe one of the biggest pieces of information that also lends credence to this rumor is a recent report in The Wall Street Journal claiming that Discovery+ will remain its own streaming service.
Jessica Toonkel and Joe Flint report, “Instead of combining HBO Max and Discovery+ in their entirety, the new platform will feature HBO Max content and most Discovery+ content, with Discovery+ remaining available as a stand-alone option, some of the people said.”
As for why Warner Bros. Discovery is doing this, the report notes, “The decision to keep Discovery+ is part of an effort to avoid risking losing a significant chunk of the app’s 20 million subscribers who might not want to pay the higher price to access that content, according to the people familiar with the matter.”
What do you make of this rumor?