Last month, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced during the media company's Q2 2022 earnings call that there is a 10-year plan for DC Films and that a part of that plan was for the company to find its own version of Kevin Feige to help DC Films mirror the progress made by Marvel Studios with the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since then, however, the search for that figure has thus far been less than successful with Todd Phillips reportedly not interested and negotiations with Dan Lin reportedly also not working out. Now, a new report from The Hollywood Reporter suggests that Warner Bros. Discovery may have much larger issues preventing them from finding their Feige-like figure, specifically the company's heavy debt load as well as uncertainty about the studio's future.
According to the report, Warner Bros. Discovery is still "grappling with that heavy debt load and skeptical investors." There have also been some concerns raised about Zaslav's particular leadership style with one source even noting that Zaslav "doesn't know what he doesn't know."
"Zaslav doesn't know what he doesn't know," the source in the report said. "That's scary. And you're always going to be compared to Marvel. It's unfair. By the time they were being judged, it was working. It's the exact opposite at Warner. It's rough all around. Who the f-ck would want that job?"
The report also notes just how much disarray the DC properties are in at Warner Bros, Discovery with numerous filmmakers each taking on projects and characters in a way that is far from unified, something that is the exact opposite of how the Marvel universe is working at Disney. There are also concerns that the role being in charge of DC Films is one that might not last as some are already expecting that a merger between Warner Bros. Discovery and NBC Universal could be on the horizon as early as April 2024.
For now, at least, it appears Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy "will end up running the thing by default" when it comes to DC Films, which may not necessarily be a bad thing. The report indicates that one agent with business at the studio sees the pair as "talent-friendly, decisive, and a vast improvement from when the studio sat under AT&T and Jason Kilar."