Warner Bros. Regrets ‘Oppenheimer’ Loss, Aims to Repair Relationship with Director

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cillian murphy as scarecrow, batman begins, dc

Credit: Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. Discovery welcomed two new studio chiefs as part of an effort to bring their studio back to the top.

After a controversial streaming merger that removed the iconic “HBO” branding leaving it as just “Max” and an ousted former CEO, the studio has its work cut out. Michael DeLuca and Pam Abdy have recently taken over alongside CEO David Zaslav and have laid out an ambitious plan to regain their status. The team plans to focus on fostering an environment of across-the-board collaboration, respect, and innovation, as well as the intention to give attention to overlooked and ignored projects.

Harry Potter grabs the letters in 'Sorcerer's Stone', from Warner Bros
Credit: Warner Bros.

Along with that comes a break from the current semi-standard practice of releasing certain movies straight to streaming as the studio plans to focus on theatrical releases only for their upcoming projects. This marks a stark contrast from 2021 when then-CEO Jason Kilar made the abrupt decision to release the entire year’s film lineup straight to HBOMax rather than give anything a theatrical release. This was even more surprising given he had not announced his plan to any of the filmmakers on the Warner Bros. roster for that year.

Ezra Miller suited up as 'The Flash' in the new 'The Flash' DC movie, from Warner Bros Studio
Credit: Warner Bros.

Ultimately, it was that decision that led Christopher Nolan to leave Warner Bros. Studios, taking his upcoming blockbuster Oppenheimer with him. Previously, Nolan worked under the studio to create the Dark Knight Batman trilogy as well as Tenet (2020). Recently, in both an effort of good faith and an attempt to repair the rift between Nolan and the studio, Nolan was sent a hefty seven-figure royalty check for his 2020 hit under the studio.

Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer walking through Press
Credit: Universal Pictures

DeLuca and Abdy hope to get Nolan back under the Warner Bros. umbrella as part of their effort to turn the studio around. They’ve also already made deals with Elvis (2022) director Baz Luhrmann, The Batman (2022) director Matt Reeves, Barbarian (2022) director Zach Cregger, and M. Night Shyamalan in addition to a new deal for future Lord of the Rings films with the hopes of attaching Peter Jackson to the project.

all of the barbies from the barbie movie dance together margot robbie in front, from Warner Bros studio
Credit: Warner Bros.

The studio already has some major expected blockbusters lined up, including Barbie this summer and the upcoming Beetlejuice and Minecraft projects over the next year. With the movies they already have lined up and the directors they have on board (especially if they can repair the relationship with Nolan), Warner Bros. may be set to rise to the top of the production world once again.

Do you think Warner Bros. will make a comeback? Share your opinion with Inside the Magic in the comments below!

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