Warner Bros. has already had a huge hit in 2014 with The LEGO Movie, and they could have a very successful summer with the releases of Godzilla, Edge of Tomorrow, Jersey Boys, and more. But like all major studios, WB is looking to build sturdy franchises for the years ahead. In an interview with the New York Times, Warner Bros. C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara talked about his plans for the studio. Specifically, he touched on the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, building off The LEGO Movie, and the future of the adapting DC superheroes.
Hit the jump for more.
As we previously reported, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place 70 years before the events of Harry Potter, will be set in New York, and centers on a “magizoologist” named Newt Scarmander. The textbook is referenced in the Harry Potter novels.
According to the New York Times, the studio is planning “Three megamovies.” I’m not quite sure what the difference is between a “megamovie” and a blockbuster, but whatever. Also, it’s not surprising that the studio is planning a trilogy, and while J.K. Rowling is writing the first movie, it’s unconfirmed if she’ll write all three (I assume she will).
Moving on to The LEGO Movie, a sequel is already set for May 26, 2017 with the first movie’s animation co-director Chris McKay moving into the director’s chair (original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will stay on in a producing capacity). But producer Dan Lin, a Warner-based producer, “is working on multiple sequels to The LEGO Movie“. One of those could be a movie based off LEGO’s Ninjago line, or it could be more stories about Emmet and his fellow Master Builders.
Finally, there are the superheroes. Warner Bros. has received criticism (from this site included) with how they’ve handled their superhero properties in comparison to Marvel, which is firing on all cylinders at the moment. WB does have Zack Snyder‘s untitled Batman/Superman movie scheduled for May 6, 2016 (against Captain America 3, no less), but they’ve actually been putting more emphasis on TV. Arrow is a success, and now Gotham (a prequel series about a young James Gordon) and The Flash are slated for Fox and The CW, respectively.
On the film side, the Times reports that “a film series will be announced in the near future, Mr. Tsujihara said. It is expected to include a Justice League movie.” While that should be exciting, I’m not holding my breath. Even though Tsujihara has tried to streamline the production process by “[eliminating] some management layers”, the studio appears to lack a guiding vision with how to proceed with their heroes. Batman/Superman will also have Wonder Woman, so will she be one of this “film series”? Additionally, with a Flash series currently on television, does that mean he wouldn’t be in a movie? Hopefully, the coming announcement will provide a plan rather than a wish list.