It looks like the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery is set to be completed much sooner than expected as speaking at a conference both companies have stated should be going through in the first half of 2022 when the new company can be revealed (via Comic Book).
That new company is to be called Warner Bros. Discovery with the slogan “the stuff that dreams are made of,” taken from the 1941 Warner Bros film The Maltese Falcon.
What will be worrying top execs is they’ll be getting the boot because incoming chief David Zaslav will want his people and return trust to audiences and talent, especially making them a filmmaker friendly again.
The first one will be Jason Kilar as Zaslav will be the new CEO, and the only other name would be Toby Emmerich as Chairman of Warner Bros because he’s been crap in his job.
I defended Emmerich for a long time, but he has single-handedly transformed WB from filmmaker friendly to arguably the most hated studio in Hollywood as this coming from someone who adores the studio and would be a dream to work for them.
The move to make all 2021 films day-and-date was incredibly unpopular by the whole industry, with all the goodwill from fans buried Zack Snyder’s Justice League and lost Christopher Nolan, one of their prized assets, to a rival.
However, Business Insider is saying he and Zaslav have a good relationship, which means if he left, it might be for a promotion. That’s a worrying thought as it would be rewarding failure. Then again, this is Hollywood so not at all surprising.
Having only joined two years ago, Ann Sarnoff will have a question mark as Chair and CEO of WarnerMedia Studios and Network Group.
However, according to Business Insider, Hollywood sources predict Sarnoff will be leaving once the merger is completed as her role won’t exist in its current form but might stay within the company in a small compacity.
Despite the pointless hate towards him and continued social media spamming, Walter Hamada will be the only top exec safe continuing as head of DC Films with The Batman, The Flash, Black Adam, Aquaman and Shazam! Fury of the Gods coming along, and his current track record is pretty decent.
If Emmerich is removed as Chairman, here are some names as to who could be brought in.
Emma Watts, President Of Paramount Picture
The current President of Paramount’s film division, having joined from 20th Century Fox, looked set to be Chair and CEO once Jim Gianopulos stood down and would’ve been disappointed to miss out as Brian Robbins takes over those roles.
That disappointment could lead Watts to look at the top job at Warner Bros, rebuild those relationships with talent, and bring back the filmmaker-friendly environment.
Cindy Holland, Former Netflix VP of Original Content
The mind behind the streaming service original hits like House of Cards to Stranger Things, but Holland left Netflix in 2020 when co-CEO Ted Sarandos announced Bela Bajaria as head of global TV and since done consulting and advising roles.
Having handled original content could be perfect for the studio to find new, exciting projects and filmmakers to build a new wave and more mid-budget movies.
Casey Bloys, HBO & HBO Max Chief Content Officer
Instead of looking outside the family, why not promote within? Bloys is on a roll for WarnerMedia with shows like Watchman, Euphoria, Succession, White Lotus and Mare of Eastown, among others.
What this shows is he has an excellent eye for talent and projects whilst having strong relationships with creators, which is needed in the top role of WB and bring some freshness to the position. If you add his handling of their streaming service, then he can build on gaining more subscriptions with original movies.