After months of headlines about cancelations and budgeting, it looks like Warner Bros. Discovery might end up rescuing another studio's scrapped film. On Thursday, reports revealed that Nancy Meyers' highly-anticipated next blockbuster, which is tentatively titled Paris Paramount, could end up at Warner Bros. after falling apart at Netflix. The film was set to begin production sometime in the summer and would tentatively star Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz, Owen Wilson, and Michael Fassbender — all elements that are apparently appealing to Warner Bros. That being said, it reportedly is not a done deal yet, with "exploratory talks" now underway.
One of the biggest questions surrounding this jump is whether or not Paris Paramount would keep its same budget if it moved from Netflix to Warner Bros. Meyers was reportedly asking for anywhere between $130 million to $150 million at Netflix, which was believed to be a factor in the talks falling through. Given the fact that Warner Bros. has been trying to trim massive parts of its own debt, including scrapping completed projects so they can be written off for tax purposes, it will be interesting to see if that original budget is maintained.
What is Paris Paramount about?
According to early reports, Paris centers on a talented young writer-director who falls in love with a producer, with the pair making several successful films before calling it quits romantically and professionally. The two are forced back together, however, when a great new project arises, and they find themselves teamed up again and having to deal with high stakes and volatile stars. Some have compared the rumored plot to Meyers' own life, and her professional and personal relationship with Charles Shyer.
Why is Warner Bros. Discovery cancelling so many shows and movies?
These patterns began with the cancellation of Batgirl and Scoob!: Holiday Haunt back in August, both of which were already completed and were set to debut on HBO Max. In the months since, Warner Bros. Discovery removed a number of HBO Max-exclusive movies from their streaming platform, a number of fan-favorite animated series. , and even existing HBO originals like Westworld and The Nevers. Anonymous sources alleged in August of last year that no existing show is safe from potentially being cancelled or written off, with Warner Bros. Discovery now making decisions on a case-by-case basis.
"Honestly, I wouldn't categorize it really as for tax reasons," Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Discovery's U.S. Networks Group, said during a keynote address earlier this year. "The challenges when you bring two companies together, you assess what you have. Then you see if what you have fits with your ongoing strategy. So that had a lot to do with what we had to do. They were painful decisions. I know what it what it must feel like to be a content creator, and then have your work [pulled]. None of this was taken lightly at all. These were really, really painful decisions and whenever possible, we're working really closely with the creators to finding homes for a lot of the content."
"I've had some long heart to hearts with people, explaining what happened, why it happened, all the decisions that went into it," Finch added. "I totally get why people would be nervous. I hope they won't be because that that was a moment in time, that had nothing to do with how we intend to run this company. It's happening in the industry in other places. It's not how we do business, it's not a strategy. I'm happy to talk personally with anybody who wants to have a conversation about it, because it was really painful and not the way that we tend to move forward."
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