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Dan Lin will not be accepting the keys to the DC kingdom. The producer was in negotiations to assume the expansive role encompassing film and television for the comic book brand, but talks broke down in recent days.
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.
Lin is known for producing The Lego Movie films as well as both It installments for Warners. He also has an affinity for DC, having worked on the doomed George Miller Justice League that was scrapped amid the writers’ strike of 2007-08.
The DC job is a top priority for Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who has vowed to reshape the comic book brand with a 10-year plan he hopes will allow it to rival the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios.
Walter Hamada has led DC Films since 2018 but is expected to leave his post following Zaslav hiring a new DC boss. Hamada is said to have been on the brink of exiting the job last month after the controversial scrapping of Batgirl. The breakdown of talks with Lin comes as DC has pushed several of its tentpoles back, with Shazam! Fury of the Gods moved from December of this year to March 2023, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom departing March 2023 for the end of that year. DC also has The Flash due out in June 2023, whose star, Ezra Miller, has been at the center of personal and legal controversies this year.
“We’ve done a reset. … We think we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC,” said Zaslav in an earnings call Aug. 4. “As part of that, we are going to focus on quality. We are not going to release any film before it’s ready. … DC is something we can make better.”
CNBC first reported that Lin was no longer in contention for the job.
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