Warner Bros CEO talks up a future filled with franchises, including Harry Potter

Warner Bros Discovery
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David Zaslav suggests that he’d be keen to work with Harry Potter author JK Rowling as well as name-dropping a few other major franchises. 

Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav used an investor’s call yesterday to reiterate the studio’s intention to push in the direction of major franchise building.

Whilst that in itself isn’t fresh news, a couple of the suggestions he mentioned will likely have fans’ ears pricking up.

Zaslav has made no bones about Warner Bros’ direction under his stewardship, stating from the very beginning that the ship would be turning in the direction towards major franchise tentpole movies. As such, even films with a high profile like Batgirl and Scoob! 2: Holiday Haunt were cancelled, simply because they didn’t match this huge tentpole theatrical release model and Zaslav thus decided to cast the completed films away as tax write-offs.

However suspect this course of action might be, this is the direction that the studio is headed in and yesterday’s investor’s call gave us an idea of the kind of franchises that Warner Bros is looking to resurrect, with Zaslav stating, “We haven’t had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a Harry Potter in 15 years. The DC movies and the Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits for Warner Bros. … over the past 25 years.”

Whilst we now know a new Superman movie is on the way that will once more feature Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel, it looks like Zaslav is keen to make a return to the mainline Harry Potter series too.

The series of Fantastic Beasts movies has two more films planned, but with profits and public interest dwindling with each release, it’s unclear whether the studio will look to complete the series’ full five film arc. The last instalment, The Secrets Of Dumbledore only grossed just over $400m globally, a pretty big haul, but not anywhere near the kind of profits Warner Bros are looking for.

Whether this means that the studio will be ramping up efforts to adapt Rowling’s play, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, remain unclear as yet, but it seems like a likely bet.

Zaslav didn’t stop with the Wizarding World either, name-checking the Lord Of The Rings franchise as a possible future project.

It’s not that long since Warner Bros were known for financing big budget non-franchise pictures, most often from Christopher Nolan who has now parted ways with the studio. Even of late though, the studio bestowed a fair amount of cash on interesting projects such as Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry, Darling and we hope that with this announced glut of franchise filmmaking, the studio still spares some of its budget for interesting, original and daring ideas. That might just be wishful thinking on our part though.

The Hollywood Reporter

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