TO DEPART OCT 21
>Amid the shelving of the HBO Max film Batgirl and the clear desire of Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav to find new leadership for the DC universe, DC Films president Walter Hamada has come to the verge of exiting the studio and consulted with counsel, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
>Hamada has now agreed to remain in his post at least until the Oct. 21 release of the Dwayne Johnson film Black Adam, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. “He’s pausing,” says a source. “The decision has not been made to make this adversarial, yet.” Hamada could not be reached for comment.
>The tension comes as Zaslav has vowed to do what he has called a “reset” with respect to DC, with a 10-year plan he hopes will allow the brand to compete with Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which has built the biggest film franchise in history. “We think we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC,” Zaslav said during Thursday’s earnings call. “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.”
>An insider says Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-chairpersons and CEOs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, who are overseeing DC until Zaslav settles on new leadership, informed Hamada at a recent Black Adam test screening that Batgirl, a $90 million film that was in post-production, would be shelved. The explanation was that given Zaslav’s strategy, the picture wasn’t strong enough to release theatrically and was too expensive for a streaming release. The company, under pressure to cut costs, elected to take a writedown on the project.