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How can the DC rebrand and recover?

Have you noticed that every Warner Bros/DC Studios story we cover is almost always negative? David Zaslav (CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery) was determined to wipe the slate clean when Warner Bros and Discovery merged.

He wanted to repair DC’s reputation, an objective he pursued by taking several decisive and somewhat unpopular measures. That included eliminating the producers and executives whose reactionary approach to filmmaking had saddled the company with failures such as Suicide Squad 2016, not to mention killing projects like Batwoman before they could further sully the DC name.

While some industry experts responded apprehensively to Zaslav’s aggressive approach, fans celebrated. They hoped his firm hand would mark the start of a new era for WB’s comic book wing.

Dwayne Johnson encouraged that enthusiasm by revealing his determination to bring Henry Cavill’s Superman back into the DC fold (The previous WB regime had retired the character). Cavil made even bigger waves when he officially announced that he had returned to the DC universe.

Fans of the Snyderverse saw this announcement as a victory. Cavil’s Superman had been a pivotal component of the DCEU. The icing on this optimistic cake was Zaslav’s shocking decision to follow in Marvel’s footsteps by making DC a separate studio under the Warner Bros.

Discovery umbrella (similar to Marvel Studios inside Disney) and handing the reigns to James Gunn and Peter Safran. Gunn became a DC darling after making The Suicide Squad and the incredibly popular Peacemaker. DC fans could not have asked for a better executive to head DC Studios. But if things are going so well, why are moviegoers grumbling?

Well, things took an interesting turn a few days ago when various entertainment publications revealed Gunn’s intentions. Apparently, people who expected the DC Studios chairman to wipe the slate clean did not exaggerate.

Gunn wants to reboot the DC universe as a whole. Remember that Man of Steel sequel Cavil fans have been buzzing about for the last month? Well, we don’t even know whether Cavil will return as Superman.

Recent reports suggest that Cavil shot a cameo for the upcoming Flash movie, but it was removed after Gunn’s plans for the future came to light. What about Gal Gadot? Does she have a place in Gunn’s version of the DC film universe?

Wonder Woman 3 is officially cancelled. Some publications revealed a little while ago that Patty Jenkins walked away after WB executives rejected her treatment for the third film in the franchise.

Admittedly, we still don’t know what Gunn wants to do. Gunn and Safran will present their 10-year plan to Zaslav in a few days. Whether that plan involves a full or partial reboot remains to be seen. Ultimately, DC fans are exhausted. They are tired of the uncertainty. Many of them are threatening to abandon the DC film universe if the studio starts afresh.

After investing so much time and effort into characters like Cavil’s Superman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Momoa’s Aquaman, they have no interest in starting from scratch with a brand-new cast.

Gunn’s desire to rehabilitate the DC brand may squander the goodwill the brand has accrued in the last two years because of hits like The Batman and Peacemaker.

mbjjnr8@gmail.com

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