Industry insiders are speculating that Warner Bros. Discovery may enter negotiations to merge with NBCUniversal in the future.
Ever since Warner Bros. Discovery became official earlier this year, many DC Comics fans had some cautious optimism regarding the new direction for the franchise, especially when it comes to the future of its film franchise, with plans for a content vertical akin to Marvel Studios confirmed. However, it didn’t take too long for the morale amongst fans and even the industry to take a downturn. With the cancellation of Batgirl and the removal of much of HBO Max’s original content among other decisions, David Zaslav has become a controversial CEO, and some speculate that with the stock becoming significantly lowered, Zaslav has plans for the company to get sold.
When you also factor in the search for a Kevin Feige-esque leader to spearhead DC Films, it’s clear that things are only getting more difficult, especially after negotiations with Dan Lin fell apart. A leading talent representative told THR the following:
“Zaslav doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. That’s scary. And you’re always going to be compared to Marvel. It’s unfair. By the time they were being judged, it was working. It’s the exact opposite at Warner. It’s rough all around. Who the fuck would want that job?”
Will Warner Bros. undergo yet another sale?
THR reports that no negotiations can happen until April 2024, but by that time, some industry observers speculate that Brian Robbins, Chairman and CEO of Comcast may have his eyes on Warner Bros. Discovery, and may want to combine it with NBCUniversal. An executive with knowledge of both companies gave the following statement to THR:
“Obviously Peacock sucks. There are some good synergies. I’m sure [Roberts] is licking his chops because the [WBD] stock is so low. And I think that’s Zaslav’s endgame. Get the place sold.”
THR also reports that many insiders within the industry are already preparing for the possibility of a merger with NBCUniversal, which would be comparable to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, with one insider releasing the following statement:
“People feel like it’s Comcast for sure. It’s going to be so depressing to lose another major studio [after Disney bought Fox]. And Warners was the Tiffany studio.”
David Zaslav’s tenure as the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery has only been a few months old at this point, but his approach will certainly leave some massive impact onto the company that will likely be looked back and analyzed upon for years to come. If Zaslav intends to get the company sold, don’t be surprised if Comcast plans to merge it with NBCUniversal. After all, like the insider mentioned above, who actually enjoys using Peacock beyond rewatching The Office for the 17th time?
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