Warner Bros. and DC could be looking for brand new owners if the stalled Time Warner/AT&T buyout doesn't come to fruition. At this point, the DC Films Universe isn't in a great shape. Officially launching in 2013 via Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, the company's efforts to build their own superhero franchise hasn't really panned out the way many of us hoped it would. Out of its five films, only Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman was both a critical and massive success, the rest have been divisive.
But the company isn't giving up on their franchise dreams. On top of three much-anticipated films scheduled to roll out this year and next, it's business as usual with a handful of projects currently in development such as the standalone Nightwing movie from Adam McKay and a Joker origins story from Tod Philipps. Management-wise, IT and The Conjuring producer Walter Hamada has been named new president of production of DC Films, followed by the hiring of Chantal Nong as vice president of production, giving fans hope that this could be the rebirth of the struggling franchise. Unfortunately, outside of the DC bubble, it seems like there is a bigger problem headed its way as it could potentially be auctioned off to a new owner if the Time Warner and AT&T merger collapses.
Citing a source that has personal knowledge of the situation, The Wrap reports that if the long-delayed Time Warner and AT&T deal doesn't ultimately go anywhere, "Time Warner would likely be broken up into parts and sold separately as Warner Bros., HBO and Turner." While DC Entertainment wasn't specifically named as a possible individual asset to be auctioned off, operating under Warner Bros. since 1970 more than likely means that it will go wherever the film studio goes.
The massive merger was first announced back in 2016 for a whopping $85 billion. Since it involves consolidation of several assets spread across various industries, the buyout has been heavily scrutinized by U.S. federal regulators who aims to ensure that it won't result in a monopoly of certain services and products. Originally, it seemed like the sale didn't pose any huge issues that could stop the sale from happening, but as years went by, the process continues to be delayed until Department of Justice filed an antitrust case to block the deal in November. That said, AT&T remains positive that they could close out the agreement.
Apple was once reported to be interested in scooping Time Warner, however, that quickly went south when the Cupertino-based company denied that they have intentions of taking over. But it would be interesting to see if they'll be back on board if a deal would only involve WB/DC and/or HBO especially when they're also starting to branch out in other forms of media services including their very own streaming service. The additional IPs that WB currently own would definitely add to the content they're putting on the platform and could lure more patrons to it.
Source: The Wrap
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019