Warner Bros Discovery has done plenty of axing since CEO David Zaslav has been in charge, but we’ve got our first new, green shoots of what Warner Bros will become as signed The Batman director Matt Reeves to a MASSIVE first-look deal.
This huge multi-year deal will see Reeves give the studio and their divisions – New Line, WB Animation and DC – first look at anything he directs, writes, and/or produce in both film and TV.
In a statement, the filmmaker said: “Making this legendary studio my home is a dream. I am so excited to be working with Mike, Pam and Channing and our teams to bring captivating stories I am truly passionate about to the big and small screen.”
Meanwhile, talking about their excitement, Warner Bros co-chair, Mike De Luca told Deadline: “Pam and I gratefully inherited the relationship with Matt from The Batman, and through the beginning stages of planning The Penguin series for HBO Max.”
This quote confirms that, despite recent online rumours, the Colin Farrell-led Gotham crime series is still a go. If anything, I fully expect it to move from the streaming service HBO Max to HBO to give it a more prestigious feel.
“We were excited to nail down his overall deal because it’s a cornerstone of what we want to do with the filmmakers that are working at the studio,” continued De Luca. “We want to create an atmosphere where all of these filmmakers can excel and do their work and stay with us once they are inside the Warners family.”
I believe this paragraph feels like De Luca and his fellow co-chair Pam Abdy want to bring back the legacy of what made WB so popular and beloved by those in Hollywood and film fans as a filmmaker-first studio.
It’s something they lost their way on under the previous regime, especially with the reparational ruining 2021 day-and-date release, and it’s clear De Luca and Abdy want to resort that reparation.
“Warners always had a tradition of being a home base for filmmakers, Clint Eastwood, being preeminent among them,” stated De Luca. “We want to continue that tradition, especially with people we’ve had success with. We want to create an atmosphere where we get repeat business with these filmmakers.
“We feel any studio built on the basis of having a roster of filmmakers working at the studio over and over again, is a good business strategy.”
As for Abdy, she said: “We see it as just essential for the health of the studio to be vibrant place for writer/directors, and for the signature filmmakers to do multiple movies with us.”
Finally, the studio will do everything in their power to make the filmmaker a cornerstone, similar to what they did with Christopher Nolan back in the day, which must be one hell of a boost of confidence.
“Someone like Matt, we’ll buy for him whatever he wants to do,” revealed De Luca. ‘We’re making an investment for whatever Matt feels a pull toward, in the Batman universe and otherwise. He has an open invitation to go wherever his interests take him.”
Adding: “We’ll lean into whatever Matt wants to do. In terms of the writer/directors out there working in this very elevated genre space, with everything Matt’s done, from Let Me In to the Apes trilogy to The Batman, he’s in a class by himself.”
Under this new regime and over time, things will get greener. I wouldn’t be surprised if James Gunn and Denis Villeneuve were next to sign overall deals depending on how their relationships go during the making of Peacemaker season 2 and Dune 2 go respectfully.