The head of Warner Bros. Discovery has said some of its biggest franchises–including Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and DC–are not being leveraged to their full potential. David Zaslav said during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and Technology Conference this week that one of the challenges the company faces is making the most out of its biggest brands.
Owning big-name IP is a major strength for WBD, Zaslav said, but it’s also a challenge. “The challenge is that our content, our great IP–Harry Potter, DC, Lord of the Rings–that content has been underused,” he said, as reported by The Wrap.
Zaslav said there hasn’t been a “long-form Superman” film in 10+ years, dating back to 2013’s Man of Steel. This is changing somewhat soon, as Superman Legacy is set for release in 2025. Similarly, Zaslav said Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have been away too long.
“We haven’t done anything with Harry Potter for more than a decade. We haven’t done anything with Lord of the Rings,” Zaslav said.
The wider Harry Potter universe has seen two semi-recent releases, including the video game Hogwarts Legacy and the movie Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. Looking ahead, WBD has announced a new Harry Potter TV series in partnership with author J.K. Rowling.
As for Lord of the Rings, Zaslav said the aim is to create multiple Lord of the Rings movies. The next Lord of the Rings movie is the animated film War of the Rohirrim, which debuts in 2024. After that, there could be character-focused Lord of the Rings movies.
“When you put those franchises in, it’s the best performing studio in the world. We need to deploy our best capital, and we need to do it with the best creative people in the world,” Zaslav said of DC, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings.
As for the DC series, James Gunn and Peter Safran are now leading DC Studios and planning out the future of DC films and TV series. Check out the gallery below to see all the upcoming DC films and TV shows in the works.
Also during the event, Zaslav spoke about the ongoing Hollywood actor and writer strikes, saying (via CBNC), “We need to do everything we can to get people back to work.” He added: “People need to be fairly compensated.”
The strikes are costing WBD money to the tune of $500 million, so it’s not surprising to hear Zaslav say he wants the strikes to come to a close. As of yet, however, Zaslav and other major studio bosses have not agreed to terms with the unions to get a deal done and get people back to work.
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