‘There’s not going to be four Batmans’

Does DC Studios have too many Batmans? (Batmen?) PLUS: Disney tanks Margot Robbie's 'Pirates' movie, more 'Andor' awesomeness, and 'Magic Mike' begins his last dance.

‘There’s not going to be four Batmans’
Robert Pattinson as Batman in The Batman. / Warner Bros.

The folks over at DC Studios are hard at work trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t work with their films and franchises. Warner Bros. Discover CEO David Zaslav spoke about his vision for the company’s superhero division during a conference this week.

“I think in the next few years, you’re going to see a lot of growth and opportunity around DC,” Zaslav said. “There’s not going to be four Batmans.”

Hmm. Four Batmans? I assume Zaslav is talking about Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson, Michael Keaton … and Diedrich Bader in Harley Quinn?

“The strategy that Iger put together was all Marvels in one place,” Zaslav continued. “You don’t wake up and find out that there’s a Batman TV show somewhere and a Batman cartoon somewhere else. They all have to relate to each other. There has to be a look and feel for all of it. And so, I went on a journey a few months ago of, ‘How do I put all of DC in one place?’ ‘Cause I think it’s one of the biggest opportunities at this company.”

This is where the theory that DC Studios need to do exactly what Marvel Studios does runs into a problem. Zaslav’s vision for how all DC’s films and show (whether live-action or animated) should exist in the same universe threatens the success of some of its current programming.

Harley Quinn doesn’t need to exist in the same universe as the films. Superman & Lois doesn’t need to have the same Superman.

Marvel Studios was able to put everything in the same cinematic universe because nothing else existed. They were starting from scratch and could build out a world where all these elements connected to each other.

DC Studios doesn’t need to that. Do we need four Batmans? (Batmen?) Probably not. And I don’t think most of them were even supposed to remain in the DCU together anyways. I’m pretty certain The Flash was going to replace Affleck’s Batman with Keaton’s Batman, which would’ve streamlined that. Matt Reeves’ franchise purposely exists outside whatever the combined universe is doing.

These other Batmans have their own reasons to exist. Look at what Harley Quinn is doing with Batman and Bruce Wayne. (Spoilers here if you haven’t watched Harley Quinn. And if you haven’t, you should be watching Harley Quinn.)

Does the DCU need direction? Yeah. Sure. Does it need to do exactly what the MCU is doing? Absolutely not. It needs to be smart about how it moves forward.

Find a way to make Superman work. Identify which movies and shows are working. Don’t fall into the trap of blindly copying what Kevin Feige is doing over at Marvel Studios. Create a unique path for DC Studios. Hopefully this is just Zaslav saying whatever comes to mind as he talks, and James Gunn and Peter Safran know they don’t need to be Marvel.

If it works for the stories you want to tell, who cares if there are a bunch of Batmans?

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. / Warner Bros.

Margot Robbie on the cover of Vanity Fair. / Vanity Fair

Disney sinks Margot Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean

Looks like Disney has scuttled its plans for relaunching the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with Margot Robbie. The actress revealed in a chat with Vanity Fair that the studio was no longer moving forward with its plans.

“We had an idea and we were developing it for a while, ages ago, to have more of a female-led — not totally female-led, but just a different kind of story — which we thought would’ve been really cool, but I guess they don’t want to do it,” Robbie told Vanity Fair.

That’s a shame. I would’ve loved to have seen what a Pirates of the Caribbean movie would’ve looked like with Robbie as the star. I really, really hope that Disney isn’t doing the math on whether it can get away with bringing Johnny Depp back as for another movie instead of finding a fresh way to present the franchise.

Is Greta Gerwig going to Narnia?

I totally missed that Netflix had gained rights to the Narnia franchise. I don’t even know if I’ve seen any of these films beyond the 2005 adaption of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (wow, 2005?).

Netflix seems to have big plans for Narnia, already appointing Matthew Alrich, a co-writer on Coco, as “creative architect” of the franchise. A recent report has Greta Gerwig rumored to be the director of Netflix’s first two Narnia movies.

Huh. This is how Gerwig is possibly going to spend the next several years of her career? Doing Narnia movies for Netflix? I guess all of these directors eventually get sucked into some kind of franchise, whether it’s the Russo brothers spending a decade doing MCU movies or Disney trying to turn Gareth Edwards, Colin Trevorrow and Josh Trank into Star Wars directors.

Will Anne Hathaway return for a third Princess Diaries?

Disney is working on a third Princess Diaries movie — and it’s allegedly a continuation of the Anne Hathaway films.

THR reported on Tuesday that the studio has brought on Aadrita Mukerji, a writer on projects like Supergirl and Quantum Leap, to craft the film’s script. According to THR, this movie would not be a reboot. Studios and trades often erroneously use the term reboot, not understanding that a reboot is a full reset (new cast, new story, etc.) when they actually mean relaunch (telling a new story with legacy, existing characters).

Stranger Things’ actor joins A Quiet Place spinoff

The first Quiet Place spinoff already has Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Lupita Nyong’o, and now she’ll be joined by Stranger Things actor Joseph Quinn. No word yet on who the actor, who played Eddie Munson in the most recent season of the Netflix show, will play in A Quiet Place: Day One.

Magic Mike’s Last Dance

“What is it that you really do?” Oh boy, Salma Hayek apparently missed out on the first two Magic Mike movies …

Magic Mike’s Last Dance opens on Feb. 10, 2023.

Faye Marsay and Genevieve O’Reilly as Vel Sartha and Mon Mothma in the Andor episode “Daughter of Ferrix.” / Lucasfilm


We now know where the first season Andor is going, with everyone about to converge on Fennix for Cassian’s mother’s funeral.

Anyone else thinking that B2EMO is going to eventually become the kernel of K-2SO’s brain? We’ve seen Star Wars pull this move with L3-37 in Solo becoming the navigational brains of the Millennium Falcon. (They then failed to ever address this in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Solo sets things up perfectly for Lando to reunite with the Falcon and his former droid, but they dropped that ball.) B2EMO’s personality doesn’t exactly match that of K-2SO’s, but I’m sure getting swapped into another droid might screw something up.

Andor’s season finale is next week. I can’t wait to see how this show wraps up its first outing.

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki in The Crown episode “The Way Ahead.”

The Crown

I can’t get past this show casting Dominic West as Prince Charles. The British royals should be begging Netflix for rights to broadcast these episodes across every form of communication they own. This Charles is cool. He’s fit. He dances.

(We’re through the first five episodes of the latest season of The Crown. I would’ve loved to have watched another episode or two on Wednesday night, but I was stuck in an hourslong HOA meeting.)

Andor coming to ABC, FX, Freeform and Hulu

Disney really wants everyone to watch Andor. Or, at least the first two episodes of Andor. They revealed this past week that Andor would air across its portfolio of networks during Thanksgiving week, with ABC, FX and Freeform running the first two episodes of the show for three consecutive nights. Hulu will also make those episode available for several weeks.

I’m thrilled to see Disney trying to get Andor to the widest audiences possible. They never did this with The Mandalorian. This is a special case, one that Andor deserves.

I do wonder if just offering the first two episodes is the right way to go. Andor started good and has continued to get better and better with each passing episode. You don’t hit that critical point of “holy crap, this isn’t just the best Star Wars show, it’s the best show on TV” during those first two episodes.

Are the first two episodes of Andor enough to entice people to jump over to Disney+ and keep watching?

From Biden to Trump

I love when Saturday Night Live posts clips like this. The behind-the-scenes crew does an insane level of work, and this bit showing castmember James Austin Johnson making the transformation from Joe Biden to Donald Trump really drives that home.

Penny after returning from surgery. She’s high AF here. / Caitlin Emma

Life stuff

Sorry if this Thursday’s newsletter seems a bit short. Our beagle, Penny, had double ACL surgery on Wednesday, which means my usual bits of free time were spent elsewhere. Wish us luck as we embark on a months-long process of recovery and rehab!