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Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and Games Wan’s The Trench Not Moving Forward

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The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop that Warner Bros. has shelved two of its upcoming, and high-profile, films based on DC properties. Ava DuVernay‘s New Gods and James Wan‘s The Trench are not going forward at this time.

In a statment, Warner Bros. and DC said:

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.

New Gods was a take on the classic Jack Kirby characters with DuVernay directing and working with comic writer Tom King. The film has been in development since 2018. DuVernay is working on the television series Naomi based on the DC character which will air on The CW.

The Trench was a spin-off from the blockbuster Aquaman. The horror-tinged film featured Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald on the script with Wan developing as producer with Peter Safran. Wan is still working on Aquaman 2 which will begin shooting later this year.

While these two projects have been shelved for now, they may happen down the road. It is believed the issue is there was no “natural” place to release the films in the current upcoming plans.

DC is currently focused on a multi-platform approach with films like The Suicide Squad and The Batman bleeding over into television with the HBO Max series Peacemaker and a show focused on the Gotham police department.

DC is still focused on creating a film universe with The Flash, tackling the DC multiverse, being key to what comes next. Upcoming films include Black Adam, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and projects featuring Blue Beetle, Batgirl, Supergirl, Static Shock, and Green Lantern Corps. There’s also the third Wonder Woman film, newly announced Zatanna, and Superman film produced by J.J. Abrams and written by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

From The Suicide Squad to Peacemaker, John Cena and James Gunn Head to HBO Max

John Cena Peacemaker

With so many big names, it’s not surprising that The Suicide Squad is getting spin-offs. HBO Max has gone straight to series for “Peacemaker.” Played by John Cena, the character is one of the members of the Suicide Squad that will be featured in director/writer James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad. Gunn will write the series and direct multiple episodes including the pilot.

The series has been ordered for eight episodes and is based on the DC Comics character. The series has been described as an adventure/comedy but the plot is being held tight.

In the teaser video for The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker is described as a “douchey Captain America” by Cena. He’s a man that believes that peace can be achieved at any cost and that includes the body count.

Peacemaker was originally owned by Charlton Comics and was created by Joe Gill and Pat Boyette. He debuted in Fightin’ 5 #40 in November 1966. DC acquired the character in the 1980s and published a four-issue series in 1988. One of the character‘s identities, Christopher Smith, was mentioned in the DC television series Black Lightning. Smith is the version that Cena plays in the film and upcoming television series but it is unknown if it’s the same character from Black Lightning. With DC focused more on merging their television and film worlds, there is a chance.

The series will begin production in 2021 and will be before Gunn pivots to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for Marvel.

The Suicide Squad is currently set to be released August 6, 2021.

Earlier this year it was announced that The Batman will also get an HBO Max spinoff series focused on the Gotham PD. It’s a sign that Warner Bros. and their parent company ATT are much more focused on cross-platform media tie-ins leveraging all of their distribution platforms and channels.

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