It turns out Dan Lin was not The One after all.
The highly respected producer behind the It series and The Lego Movie had been wooed for the cursed job of “DC’s Kevin Feige,” as reported last week. But CNBC reports the two sides could not come to an agreement. Even though Warner Bros Discovery head David Zaslav personally met with Lin.
The issue, as originally noted, was Lin’s Rideback production company, which has lots of deals in place.
Contract discussions ran into complications because of Lin’s ownership of Rideback and how Warner Bros. Discovery would compensate him for that, two of the people said.
The two sides exchanged term sheets, and Lin wanted to keep Rideback operational with an equity stake owned by WBD, one of the people said. Both parties decided to move on after negotiations bogged down, one of the people said.
Sources say a number of factors complicated talks with Warner Bros. Discovery, with a chief sticking point being Lin’s commitments to Rideback, his prolific production company, and Rideback Rise, his new nonprofit endeavor. Negotiations went into salary and vision, but Rideback remained a complication. One scenario envisioned WBD taking an equity stake in the company, although the size was always unclear.
It’s hard to see why Lin wouldn’t want to give up his own company and projects that he worked hard to build to take on in impossible job for a studio that doesn’t have enough money to release three films this year, but there ya go.
Emma Watts is another producer who turned down the “Feige of WBD” job, according to reports, but other unnamed candidates are still being approached.
Who are these candidates? Well, that is where the speculation begins!
Things have been rought for WBD over the last month or so, but there have been a few positive developments.
• Studio veteran Alan Horn has been bought on to give advice. He’s a true Hollywood dignitary who understands content so hopefully that message will come across. Things like “Don’t cancel movies.”
• Troubled Flash star Ezra Miller has finally halted their crime spree and met with studio heads, and seems to realize that their erratic behavior could hurt the film.
According to sources, Miller vowed to seek help after learning that De Luca and Abdy were considering all options for Flash, including scrapping the $200 million movie if things devolved further with Miller. While the actor is said to not have minded the stream of bad headlines, they were spooked by the notion of the film getting canceled and jolted to take action. Says one source: “They care about The Flash. It’s one of their favorite characters to play.”
Details of the meeting were not revealed, but it was the first time that Miller had spoken with De Luca and Abdy, who took over running the film division at the beginning of July and inherited a DC slate in various stages of postproduction.The actor was apologetic and affirmed their commitment to both getting care and to the production.
Other than that….well, we mentioned that WBD is only releasing two more movies this year, and one of them is getting headlines because the internet thinks one of the stars spit on another star.
All joking aside, as we’ve written here many times, there will never be a “DC Feige” because there is only one Kevin Feige and what he’s done with the MCU is a one time lightning in a bottle miracle. There could and SHOULD be an executive with the ear of David Zaslav and other WBD superhero skeptics who can wrangle the sprawling universe of films and TV and if they like DC Comics, that would be a huge plus. (Feige was not a comics reader growing up.)
I have no idea who should get the job, but they need to have some vision. After all, it was studio heads getting twitchy over Snyder’s Justice League (which wasn’t that bad) and bringing in Joss Whedon that set this whole mess in motion all those years ago. The DCEU has muddled along since then with a series of generally successful and well liked films since then – Aquaman, Shazam, Wonder Woman, Joker, The Batman – and a TV slate of most beloved shows. The ATT to Discovery ownership troubles have slowed all that momentum.
Whoever gets the job also needs to have a lot of determination. The current state of the DCEU didn’t get here overnight and building a new thing is going to take a while.