Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav found himself in hot water with DC fans earlier this week when his studio cancelled the release of HBO Max’s Batgirl movie. The decision has been highly controversial, with several industry experts not buying WB’s “strategic shift” excuse. But despite longstanding rumors to the contrary, the studio is still moving ahead with a far more beleaguered DC production. During a recent earnings call (via Variety), Zaslav confirmed that The Flash‘s theatrical debut is still on track for June 23, 2023.
After years of pre-production setbacks, The Flash finally completed shooting last October. However, the past few months have brought new challenges for WB’s marketing and PR departments, mainly on account of the film’s star, Ezra Miller. Earlier this year, Miller was arrested twice in Hawaii on separate assault charges. Since then, the actor has faced a host of other disturbing accusations, including child grooming. Most recently, Miller was reported to have taken up residence at a farm in Vermont, where they have allegedly been stockpiling guns and growing large quantities of marijuana that exceed the state’s legal limit.
But against all odds, none of this is going to keep Warner Bros. from releasing The Flash on the big screen. In fact, Zaslav doesn’t seem to have addressed any of the allegations against Miller during the call.
This isn’t going to win Zaslav any praise with those who have been calling for Miller’s dismissal. Curiously, he made no mention of Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which is supposed to come out next March. But the CEO is also looking ahead to the future beyond DC’s 2023 slate. In case hiring former Disney exec Alan Horn as a consultant didn’t make it obvious, Zaslav is hoping to emulate Marvel’s success at the box office over the next decade.
“You look at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman — these are brands that are known everywhere in the world,” added Zazlav (via THR). “We have done a reset. We’ve restructured the business where we are going to focus, where there is going to be a team with a ten-year plan focusing just on DC.”
“It’s very similar to the structure Alan Horn, [former Disney CEO] Bob Iger and Kevin Feige put together very effectively at Disney,” continued Zaslav. “We think we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC. As part of that, we are going to focus on quality. We are not going to release any film before it’s ready. […] DC is something we can make better.”
Do you think it’s a good idea to release The Flash next year? What do you think of Zaslav’s plans for DC’s future? Let us know in the comment section below!
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