With new leadership at Warner Bros. Discovery, a mission to find someone to be the “Kevin Feige” for DC’s film and television is on. Reports have come out the Dan Lin is the person who is currently in talks for the role.
Dan Lin has been involved with movies like The Departed, Sherlock Holmes, The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie, Aladdin, IT, and more.
The role would oversee film and television and Lin would report directly to the Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. Lin has experience with both.
With the move, current head of DC Films Walter Hamada would transition out of the role. Some reports have stated there’s been no negotiations with Lin while others have stated that salary and more is being discussed.
Emma Watts, Amy Pascal, Matt Tolmach, Sean Bailey and Greg Berlanti have all been names that have come up as possible for the position.
Lin oversaw the George Miller Justice League film that was derailed due to the 2007-08 Writers Guild of America strike as well as tax credit complications.
Zalslav has stated he wanted to reshaped DC with a 10-year plan that would focus the film and television releases.
Zaslav has come under criticism for ending projects or stopping their releases as he has taken over. Batgirl has been shelved and won’t see release instead its production will be used as a write off. Numerous television projects and movies have not been renewed or canceled leading to an uproar online.
In the last 48 hours Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav has been painted as a villain. With the cancellation of Batgirl and Scoob sequel, as reports of lack of diversity at Discovery under his leadership, Zaslav is being depicted as a right-wing stooge.
Zaslav himself hasn’t helped matters stating that CNN would feature more right-wing viewpoints planting a flag for the center but what can readily available data tell us about the executive.
While we don’t know his political party identification right now, we can look up Zaslav’s donations to candidates and PACs. That tells us a very different story than what’s come out in the media.
11 contributions have been made in 2021 and 2022 by David Zaslav to very few. In total $48,200 has been contributed to 11 entities total.
- NCTA – THE INTERNET & TELEVISION ASSOCIATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (NCTAPAC) – $10,000
- DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, LLC PAC – $5,000
- JOBS, EDUCATION, & FAMILIES FIRST JEFF PAC – $5,000
- JEFFRIES VICTORY FUND – $10,800
- FRIENDS OF SCHUMER – $5,800
- JEFFRIES FOR CONGRESS – $5,800
- ZIMMERMAN FOR CONGRESS – $5,800
That’s only three politicians donated to and all are Democrats.
Robert Zimmerman, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, and Sen. Chuck Schumer. The PAC and Victory fund are also Jeffries’. Zaslav is listed as living in New York and all three are politicians from New York. Zimmerman is running to be elected, Jeffries doesn’t seem to sit on any relevant committees, and… it’s Schumer. These don’t come off as donations involving “business” but might be people Zaslav actually supports. I’d lean Zaslav’s politics aren’t right-wing based on this, he’s just an out of touch suit.
If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to see if the list of donations grows and who might benefit.
AT&T has been struggling with what to do with WarnerMedia after its acquisition of Time Warner about three years ago. The tech company had purchased the content company during the rush for tech companies to deliver exclusive content and entice subscribers to their services like cellular coverage. That trend fizzled as quickly as it started and WarnerMedia has been generally rudderless with directions that seemed to change every few months.
Today brings news that AT&T that it is creating a new media company with Discovery to manage WarnerMedia.
AT&T will unwind its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. AT&T will receive an amount of $43 billion a combination of cash, debt, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T shareholders will receive stock for 71% of the new company and Discovery shareholders will own 29%. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company. The board will have 13 members, seven initially from AT&T and six from Discovery, including Zaslav.
The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2022 but still needs to be approved by regulators.
Discovery has been making moves through acquisition and consolidating its organization. The company acquired Scripps in 2017 which included HGTV and Travel Channel in a $14.6 billion deal. The company has done well pushing its non-scripted entertainment. With their own app, the company has 15 million paying subscribers. HBO and HBO Max have about 64 million subscribers. Discovery’s control of WarnerMedia would give the company a boost in scripted entertainment and a natural extension of their brand.