Anyone who’s followed the Hollywood game longer than a hot minute knows that a plethora of film and television projects get announced daily and a large chunk of them wind up never getting too far past the conceptualization and early press announcement stages. This intrepid reporter is still waiting for that 1995 Entertainment Weekly announced Michael Mann production of an honest-to-Pete James Dean biopic (which was set to feature a still nascent Leonardo DiCaprio as Dean). Or what about director Stanley Kubrick’s Napoleon film? Or for that matter Tim Burton’s Superman Lives flick? Those are just a few examples of movies that film fans can only speculate on in their little corners of the cyber-world. Two more such films have set sail for the Island of Misfit Toys, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and considering that they both are firmly entwined in the world of the ever-popular comic book genre, it’s a surprise to see them getting the proverbial heave-ho…
Director Ava DuVernay (Selma) and her take on the Jack Kirby/DC property The New Gods and director James Wan (The Conjuring) and his Aquaman spin-off The Trench both received the sad news last week that the plug had been pulled indefinitely on their respective projects.
Writer extraordinaire Tom King (Heroes in Crisis, Mister Miracle, Batman) had been working alongside DuVernay on the script for The New Gods, while scribes Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald were collaborating with Wan on The Trench.
In a press release that sounds as if it were penned by my high school ex-girlfriend, Warner Bros. and DC said that “As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. 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.”
In her own statement on Twitter lamenting the sudden loss of The New Gods, DuVernay gave thanks to her creative partner King, saying that “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…”