Warner Bros Announces 11 New DC Superhero Films

Posted by The Daily Zombies Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman and his colleagues from the Justice League in 11 new DC Entertainment films set to be released by Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema through 2020. 

Earlier yesterday, we reported on the exciting news from Marvel Studios that the third installment of Captain America will be covering the popular comic book story arc as Robert Downey Jr. 's Tony Stark AKA Iron Man takes on a somewhat antagonistic role against Chris Evan's Steve Rogers AKA Captain America in Captain America: Civil War. 

Marvel Studios is undoubtedly the leader in this particular two-horse industry of comic book superheroes with their Distinguished Competitor being kept a good distance behind them in terms of franchising their very lucrative properties into Hollywood blockbusters. This is despite the fact that DC, as well as Warner Bros, have everything to do with the emergence of superhero films thanks to their inspiring take on the tried-and-true Dark Knight back in 2005's Batman Begin by Christopher Nolan. And of course, we are more than familiar with how The Dark Knight took everything up to another level and the superhero genre never looked back in 2008. However, without a doubt equally important in 2008, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury surprisingly showed up in a post-credit scene of Jon Favreau's Iron Man to explain that Tony Stark is "not the only superhero in the world" and the rest is cinematic history.

While Warner Bros. has somehow surprised us by their uneven resolve to roll out their superhero franchise despite their convenient accessibility of the entire DC Universe (as opposed to how Marvel Universe is split among Marvel, Fox, and Sony), we are hopeful that business will pick following 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And with today's announcement at a Time Warner investors meeting, Kevin Tsujihara, the Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. announced a slew of live-action films based on the superheroes of DC Universe. While one might incline to something along the line of Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige's idea of Phase One or Two of the mega-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe where five to six films are released and leading to an explosive finale, Tsujihara announced a stellar slate of 11 new films set to be released from 2016 to 2020. Talk about ambition.

And to add more favor to the announcement, we have several firsts in the superhero genre. We will have our first-ever female superhero film in Wonder Woman, the first ever superhero film starring a "queer" actor as its protagonist in The Flash (Ezra Miller as Barry Allen, we presumed), and the first-ever black superhero film (totally disregarding Will Smith's Hancock) led by an actor who have not even a feature film credit to his name in Ray Fisher for Cyborg.

With no further ado, check out the full details from the official press release, covering other franchises such as the Lego Movie and J.K. Rowling's continuation of the Harry Potter mythos:




(October 15, 2014 – Burbank, CA)  Today at a Time Warner investors meeting, Warner Bros.’ Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara outlined an aggressive content strategy for the Studio aimed at increasing profits while “doubling down on outstanding content, working with the best talent and maintaining the culture that makes Warner Bros. so great.”

“The demand for high quality video content is growing fast – in the United States and around the world – as new technologies have created new platforms and millions of new connected consumers,” said Tsujihara.  “The opportunity is huge.  And no studio is better positioned to take advantage of it than Warner Bros.”

As part of his presentation, Tsujihara announced a bold expansion of the industry’s broadest theatrical slate, built around the largest, most important global franchises.  Warner Bros. Pictures will release three LEGO-branded films over the next four years, building upon the enormous success of this year’s “The LEGO Movie” ($468 million worldwide box office), starting with “Ninjago” in 2016, directed by Charlie Bean and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Batman will take a star turn in “The LEGO Batman Movie” in 2017, directed by Chris McKay, and the sequel, “The LEGO Movie 2,” will debut in 2018.

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”   Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

And, in a massive expansion of the Studio’s DC Entertainment-branded content, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema will release a slate of at least 10 movies—as well as stand-alone Batman and Superman films—from 2016 through 2020 that expands this prized universe of characters:
  • “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
  • “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
  • “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
  • “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
  • “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
  • “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
  • “Shazam” (2019)
  • “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
  • “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
  • “Green Lantern” (2020)

On the television front, Warner Bros. Television Group is the undisputed industry leader, providing 32 shows to the five broadcast networks and an overall roster of more than 60 shows among network, cable, first-run syndication and animation.  WBTVG will grow its leadership across multiple fronts, including cable, premium platform and kids programming as well as further its precedent-setting activities in SVOD and international television production and format sales.

Among the Studio’s programs are network TV’s #1 entertainment series in “The Big Bang Theory” and #1 unscripted series in “The Voice,” as well as favorites such as “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Gotham,” “The Middle,” “Mom,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Bachelor” franchise, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and many more.

For Turner, Warner Horizon Television’s “Rizzoli & Isles” and Warner Bros. Television’s “Major Crimes” are two of the top three scripted series on all of basic cable for 2014, and the #1 and #2 shows, respectively, on TNT.  The Studio has a number of future projects set up at TNT, including a pilot production order for an untitled drama set in the unpredictable world of the Florida cocaine trade in the 1970s, from Jerry Bruckheimer, Michael Bay and Michelle Ashford, and is in development on “Titans,” from Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman and Marc Haimes, based upon the DC Comics characters.

At HBO, WBTV’s first series for the premium television company, the critically acclaimed “The Leftovers,” debuted this summer and has already been picked up for a second season.   WBTV has also produced the pilot “Westworld,” from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan, Jerry Weintraub and Lisa Joy, and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood, and has a number of other projects in development at the company.

Warner Bros. Animation is producing new series based on the Studio’s iconic brands, such as the upcoming “Be Cool Scooby-Doo!” and “The Tom and Jerry Show.” WBA’s “Teen Titans Go!” ranks as the #1 show in its timeslot against all kids’ networks.

For the first time ever, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution has licensed the exclusive subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) rights to one of television’s most successful series ever, WBTV’s “Friends,” to Netflix in the U.S. and Canada.  Starting  January 1, 2015, Netflix members will have access to the entire 236 episode run of the series, which is still an enormous linear hit on cable (Nick at Nite and TBS) and in broadcast syndication.

Worldwide Television Distribution has also sold the off-network SVOD rights to the hit Warner Bros. Television series “Person of Interest” to Netflix in the United States.  The first three seasons of the series, which currently airs on CBS, will be made available to subscribers in fall 2015, at the same time the series premieres off-network on WGN America.

These two deals are just the latest examples of how the Studio’s hit series continue to serve as annuities for decades beyond their initial broadcast.  Further increasing the value of Warner Bros.’ library, since 1999, WBTVG has developed and produced 20 series that have reached the 100-episode milestone or will do so during the 2014–15 season.

“At Warner Bros., we are united to not only continue to create the world’s greatest entertainment content, but to over-deliver on our financial targets,” said Tsujihara.  “I’ve been with the company for over 20 years and I can’t remember a time when I’ve felt more confident about our future.  We’re committed to maintaining and enhancing the great legacy of Warner Bros., the world’s most iconic and profitable studio.”

Talk about a game-changer. Whatever this could mean for the film or even entertainment industry at large, you can bet your ass that Marvel Studios will be responding to this.


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