James Gunn and Peter Safran have only been running DC Studios for a little over a month, but they’re wasting no time putting their master plan into place, and for starters, that means pulling the plug on Wonder Woman 3.
After huddling up in Aspen, Colorado, Gunn and Safran recently returned to Los Angeles to break the news to director Patty Jenkins, who had just submitted a treatment for the sequel that she co-wrote with Geoff Johns. Gunn and Safran were reportedly joined by WB’s Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, and the four-person brain trust hasn’t made any decisions regarding next steps with that character, or whether we’ll ever see Gal Gadot wield the Lasso of Truth again. She was poised to earn $20 million for a third Wonder Woman film, which would’ve paid Jenkins $12 million — not counting backend deals for either of them.
The fact is that Gunn and Safran have yet to unveil their master plan to their Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav — that’ll happen next week — and that Zaslav hasn’t signed off on anything, though clearly major changes are in the offing based on reading between the lines of THR’s well-reported (though sometimes speculative) scoop.
It seems likely that Gunn will put an end to DC’s Snyderverse rather than continue making movies with the casting choices he inherited from Justice League director Zack Snyder. That means that Gunn would pull the plug on the Man of Steel sequel that Henry Cavill and Dwayne Johnson have been talking up in recent weeks as they stump for DC’s latest under-performing title, Black Adam, which will struggle to turn much the kind of profit that WB envisioned when it first greenlit the project, no matter what Johnson claims. Apparently, Andy Muschietti even expressed interest in directing Cavill’s next adventure as Superman, but we’ve been saying for ages that DC has no choice but to move on from Cavill and start anew, and Gunn and Safran seem attuned to that sentiment.
Perhaps more surprising is that Warner Bros. may say goodbye to Jason Momoa as Aquaman… and then possibly bring him back to the DCU as Lobo, the hulking anti-hero who represents the kind of outsider character that Gunn is typically high on. The first Aquaman movie grossed over $1 billion, and the sequel isn’t due out until Christmas Day 2023, so we’ll see what happens, but there’s a chance that the Aquaman sequel could be the last movie to feature Snyder’s superheroes.
De Luca and Abdy were apparently open to one last Justice League-like go-round with all of those characters, but that was before Gunn and Safran took over DC and the fate of those characters became part of their purview.
It also remains to be seen what Gunn and Safran will do with all the cameos that have been filmed for both the Aquaman sequel and The Flash, which blasts into theaters on June 16. Cavill filmed a cameo for that film back in September, but the film hasn’t locked picture yet, so his appearance remains up in the air, as the studio doesn’t want to make any promises to DC fans that it doesn’t intend to keep.
Keep in mind that there are two other DC movies slated for release next year — Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17) and Blue Beetle (Aug. 18), and it’ll be interesting to see what happens with those characters if either of those films proves to be a hit.
If any characters are safe for now, they appear to be Batman and the Joker, as Gunn and Safran are letting Matt Reeves call the shots in the Caped Crusader’s sandbox, while Joker falls under Todd Phillips‘ domain. Then again, this is the DCU we’re talking about here, so anything could happen at any moment. Stay tuned to follow all the fun in real-time…