WB cancels James Wan’s The Trench & Ava DuVernay’s New Gods
They were two of the most exciting projects in development at the studio but now Warner Bros. is officially pulling the plug on James Wan’s Aquaman spin-off The Trench and Ava DuVernay’s New Gods, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward,” Warner Bros. and DC said in a statement. “We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.”
Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime. That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs pic.twitter.com/XyyIjcB8Wv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021
Sources report that the decision to cancel development on the projects came as DC Films President Walter Hamada and other studio execs began reflecting on the slate of upcoming comic book projects in development for the DC Extended Universe and believed there wasn’t a “natural spot” to squeeze the projects in over the next few years. Rather than leaving those involved in the projects hanging in development hell without a clear road as to moving forward, the studio elected to shutter the development for now.
That being said, however, word is that Warner Bros. and DC are still open to revisiting the projects later down the road should there be clear audience interest to continue revisiting the Atlantean and cosmic worlds, with some insiders stating WB believed the Jason Momoa-led sequel would be enough for the time being. In regards to DuVernay’s sprawling epic, some sources say that part of the decision to halt New Gods‘ development came from a desire to put space between the film and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, given that the former would include Darkseid as a villain, who was recently seen in the infamous director’s cut.
Though disappointing as this news is, the future of the DCEU is still packed with plenty of exciting projects, which the studio hopes to keep tied in the same universe, save for the Robert Pattinson-led The Batman trilogy and its Gotham City Police Department spin-off series. Other titles currently in the works in the main universe include the upcoming The Suicide Squad and its spin-off series Peacemaker, New Line’s Black Adam and Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Batgirl, The Flash, Green Lantern Corps, Zatanna, Wonder Woman 3 and a Themyscira spin-off, as well as a new Superman from screenwriter Ta-Nehisi Coates, though it’s currently unclear if that will be a DCEU project.
Additionally, though Wan and DuVernay may not be working on The Trench and New Gods for now, they are still under the DC fold as the former is gearing up to shoot his Aquaman sequel sometime this summer while the latter is co-writing and producing The CW’s adaptation of Naomi and executive producing and directing HBO Max’s adaptation of the Vertigo graphic novel DMZ.