Warner Bros. Plans to Release Bigger DC Films to Theaters and Smaller Films to HBO Max, With Potential Max Spin-Offs For All of Them
Get ready to be inundated with superhero content. With Marvel’s well-oiled machine expanding into TV as part of the shockingly enormous slate of Disney+ originals, Warner Bros. is looking to utilize its own streaming service to ramp up its DC Films strategy through a combination of theatrical releases, HBO Max streaming debuts, and spin-off shows on HBO Max.
After years of falling behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of output and extensive world-building, DC Films chief Walter Hamada has a plan for the Warner Bros.’ DC universe. Hamada explained the DC Films strategy to the New York Times, which painted a portrait of dozens of new superhero movies and TV shows coming to both theaters and HBO Max over the next few years.
First, Warner Bros. plans to release at least two DC superhero films a year (with a maximum of four a year) starting in 2022, with the biggest movies designed to be released in theaters. Meanwhile, smaller “riskier” films that feature lesser-known characters (the NYT speculates Batgirl and Static Shock) will debut on HBO Max.
But while the distinction between theatrical releases and streaming releases is still blurred amid the ongoing pandemic, there will be one thing that all the DC movies share in common: they will all be considered for TV spin-offs on HBO Max.
The New York Times writes:
In addition, DC Films, which is part of Warner Bros., will work with filmmakers to develop movie offshoots — TV series that will run on HBO Max and interconnect with their big-screen endeavors.
“With every movie that we’re looking at now, we are thinking, ‘What’s the potential Max spinoff?’” Mr. Hamada said.
We’ve already seen the seeds of this strategy being planted with Warner Bros. developing spin-offs of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad centering around John Cena’s Peacemaker, as well as spin-offs of The Batman and Wonder Woman. That’s not even to mention the roughly 25 additional live-action and animated superhero shows that are scattered through both HBO Max and The CW, the latter of which has established a multiverse connection to the greater DC Film universe.
It’s a page right out of Disney’s book, with highly anticipated upcoming Marvel like WandaVision, Loki, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, all featuring MCU stars, coming soon to Disney+. While Warner Bros.’s DC strategy hasn’t been as planned out as far back as Marvel’s, it’s clear that the studio is planning to go full-steam ahead with this DC release strategy, which hopefully won’t be as much of a stumble as the last time they attempted to carve out a cinematic universe.
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