It sounds like the DC Universe, both cinematic and comics versions, could soon be for sale.
The Wrap reported yesterday on the current state of the DC Extended Universe, noting that Warner Bros. Is focusing on delivering movies about the core Justice League team members while putting films about other characters like Batgirl and Nightwing on the back burner.
Something else the report notes is that, should the currently stalled merger between AT&T and Time Warner, Warner Bros.’ parent company, fall through then the company likely be broken up into parts and sold off individually. Where DC Comics would fall under that dismantling is unclear:
If the merger fails, an individual close to the company told TheWrap that Time Warner would likely be broken up into parts and sold separately as Warner Bros., HBO and Turner — leaving the fate of DC Comics a bit up in the air.
The AT&T and Time Warner merger was announced in October 2016. It was assumed that the merger would go through without much contention, but in November 2017 the federal government filed an antitrust case against the merger. The case is set to be heard in March.
Back in 2014, it was nearly 21st Century Fox who purchased Time Warner. Those plans fell through and instead most of Fox’s key assets are set to be sold to Walt Disney, assuming Comcast’s own pursuit of Fox and the key United Kingdom broadcast distributor Sky doesn’t derail to the merger. The merger would also have to go through several months of processes by the FCC to check for antitrust violations.
Apple was also considering purchasing Time Warner around the same time that AT&T made its offer. It's possible that Apple by consider buying one or all of the company’s individual parts if they’re to be put back on the market. Whether DC Comics would be part of the deal – and therefore the new corporate owner of the DC Universe – is unknown.
Of course, fans will speculate about the possibility of Walt Disney making a move on Warner Bros. And the many intellectual properties it holds. That would not only bring DC Comics under the same corporate umbrella as Marvel Comics – a turn of events almost unthinkable to fans – but also that the owner of Star Wars would also own the film rights to the Harry Potter universe and many other major franchises. Disney has proven to be hungry for acquisitions over the past several years, but its possible the company's plate is full working on the Fox merger.