James Gunn Comments on Recent DC Turmoil; Patty Jenkins Reportedly Walked Out of ‘Wonder Woman 3’, Gal Gadot Still Attached
There are few high-profile filmmakers in Hollywood today as open and interactive on social media as James Gunn. The current co-head of the newly-created DC Studios has never shied away from shooting down false rumors regarding his projects, and has been making cryptic teases of what we can expect from the future DC lineup. It was then a matter of time before he weighed in on the conversation generated after yesterday’s blockbuster story by The Hollywood Reporter on what to expect from the brand — or what not to expect, i.e., a Wonder Woman threequel directed by Patty Jenkins.
The report sucked the air out of the room and was probably the cause of many phonecalls in and out of Hollywood talent agencies. In an attempt to cool things down, Gunn posted on Twitter on Thursday that the report contained some true information, some false information, some half-truths, and a lot of stuff that is still up in the air. He also warned about an inevitable transitional period that will not make everyone happy. He asked for patience and said that they will give these characters and these stories the time and respect they deserve.
So what was true, what was false, and what’s in between? We don’t know for sure, but Deadline is chipping in as well with a new story that provides more insight into the machinations over at the DC headquarters. Apparently, when James Gunn and Peter Safran took on the position of co-heads at DC, they already had a lot of pending work on their desks. First, there’s the issue of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 3. According to Deadline, the treatment that she and Geoff Johns submitted to the studio was filled with character arc holes, akin to Wonder Woman 1984‘s. Warner Bros. Motion Picture chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy had raised their concerns about it even before Gunn and Safran joined the party.
The studio provided notes, but Jenkins stood her ground, defending the treatment and the character arcs. When asked to give it another pass, she decided to walk. A new Wonder Woman movie with Gal Gadot seems to not be off the table. The actress thanked the fans for their support and said that she’s looking forward to the next chapter in the story. She is supposed to have cameos in two DC movies next year, the Shazam! sequel and the highly-populated The Flash. It is obviously up to the studio now to keep them or not depending on if it fits the overall vision moving forward. Deadline‘s insiders do point out that Warners would be idiotic to move on from profitable franchises and the characters tied to them, including Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
Another cameo in The Flash is supposed to be Henry Cavill’s Superman. According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s story, the studio is internally debating whether or not to keep that scene in the film, as it may promise something they may not be ready to deliver. The scene was shot in September, around the same time as Cavill’s scene for Black Adam. De Luca and Abdy gave it the go-ahead back then (two months before Gunn and Safran’s arrival). After that, and before Gunn and Safran joined, they started hearing pitches for a Man of Steel sequel starring the actor. Producer Charles Roven and an unnamed writer chipped in, but the studio heads did not like what they proposed, and therefore decided to wait for the new heads of DC Studios. Cavill, excited about the new prospects for the character, posted a message on Instagram saying that he was back. Well, that may not have been the case, as according to TheWrap, no deal was ever signed for the actor to star in a sequel, and Man of Steel 2 remains “an open slot until the studio hears a better pitch”, according to Deadline.
There is still no word on sequels to The Flash or Black Adam. According to Deadline, though, the studio may not be ready to move on from the current iterations of these characters, especially Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, who are now beloved by audiences worldwide and have generated hundreds of millions in box office revenue.
In a related topic, according to Jeff Sneider on The Hot Mic With Jeff and John podcast, one of Gunn and Safran’s first moves was to throw out the window a solo Batman film starring Michael Keaton that The Flash and Birds of Prey writer Christina Hodson was working on. While unconfirmed, the project may have been part of the deal Keaton signed to return as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
More answers will certainly come in the next few months, as the studio starts to hear James Gunn and Peter Safran’s first pitch for a roadmap going forward. Stay tuned.
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as authors like Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.