Warner Bros. has signed The Batman director Matt Reeves to an overall deal. Deadline reports this is the first overall deal handed out by Warner Bros. Pictures since Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav hired Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy as Warner Bros. Pictures' co-chairs/CEOs. Part of Reeves's new deal includes re-upping with Warner Bros. Television, where his The Batman spinoff The Penguin featuring Colin Farrell is being developed.
"Making this legendary studio my home is a dream," Reeves said in a statement. "I am so excited to be working with Mike, Pam, and Channing and our teams to bring captivating stories I am truly passionate about to the big and small screen."
Matt Reeves and his 6th & Idaho production company previously had a first-look film deal at Netflix. However, after directing The Batman and working on The Batman 2 and The Penguin, it makes sense to move his focus squarely to Warner Bros. It's also a sign of the studio's commitment to rebuilding trust with the creative community following the abrupt shelving of Batgirl and the Scoob! sequel on HBO Max. David Zaslav has stated he wants DC films made for the big screen, which can then transition to HBO Max to help build out its library.
"Matt is one of the most imaginative and creative minds in the business," said Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with the wonderful 6th & Idaho team and expanding the world Matt so artfully created with The Batman film through our upcoming series The Penguin."
"Warners always had a tradition of being a home base for filmmakers, Clint Eastwood being preeminent among them," De Luca said. "We want to continue that tradition, especially with people we've had success with. We want to create an atmosphere where we get repeat business with these filmmakers. We feel any studio built on the basis of having a roster of filmmakers working at the studio over and over again, is a good business strategy." Said Abdy: "We see it as just essential for the health of the studio to be a vibrant place for writer/directors, and for signature filmmakers to do multiple movies with us."
"Someone like Matt, we'll buy for him whatever he wants to do," De Luca said. "We're making an investment for whatever Matt feels a pull toward, in the Batman universe and otherwise. He has an open invitation to go wherever his interests take him. We'll lean into whatever Matt wants to do. In terms of the writer/directors out there working in this very elevated genre space, with everything Matt's done, from Let The Right One in to the Apes trilogy to The Batman, he's in a class by himself."
During the Warner Bros. Discovery 2Q earnings call, Zaslav laid out a 10-year plan for DC Films. "Our ambition is to bring Warners back and to produce great high quality films, and as we look at the opportunities that we have broadly, DC is one of the top of the list for us," Zaslav explained. "You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman — these are brands that are known everywhere in the world. The ability to drive those all over the world with great story is a big opportunity for us. We have done a reset. We've restructured the business. We're going to focus."
Zaslav then went on to detail how DC Films will mirror the progress Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has accomplished with their competitor.
"There will be a team with a 10-year plan focusing just on DC. It's very similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together, very effectively, with Kevin Feige at Disney," he added. "We think that we could build a long-term much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC. And as part of that, we're going to focus on quality. We're not going to release any film before it's ready. We're not going to release a film to make a quarter. We're not going to release a film unless the focus is going to be, 'How do we make each of these films in general as good as possible?' But DC is something that we think we could make better and we're focused on it now. We have some great DC films coming up — Black Adam, Shazam, and Flash – and we're working on all of those. We're very excited about them."