With the studio said to be facing mounting financial difficulty, it seems David Zaslav is looking to revisit the franchises that have brought Warner Bros. its biggest successes in the past.
The recently-appointed Warner Bros. Discovery chief's decisions (including the cancellation of the HBO Max Batgirl movie) haven't exactly endeared him to the general public - or others in the film industry, for that matter - and his latest comments are unlikely to win him many new supporters.
During an investor's call yesterday evening, Zaslav outlined a strategy to return to the major franchises that have proved to be the studio's biggest earners over the years. We already know about his "10-year plan" for the DCU, but it seems the CEO is also interested in working with controversial author J.K. Rowling on more Harry Potter movies.
“We’re going to focus on franchises,” Zaslav said (via THR). “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.”
Zaslav went on to point out that the studio still has the theatrical rights to Lord of the Rings, and noted that he'd be keen to see “If we can do something with J.K. on Harry Potter going forward.”
Leaving aside the fact that his math his way off, it's interesting that Zaslav appears to be discounting the Fantastic Beasts films, which are firmly set in the Harry Potter universe. The last instalment, The Secrets of Dumbledore, underperformed, so there's a decent chance the franchise is now dead in the water.
Whether Rowling would even be interested in writing any more Harry Potter novels for WBD to adapt remains to be seen, but it definitely sounds like something Zaslav is planning to actively pursue.
What do you guys make of this? Would you be down for more Harry Potter, or is WBD simply milking a long dried-up cash cow at this stage?