A couple of DC movies are no longer moving forward at Warner Bros. Ava DuVernay’s The New Gods and James Wan’s Aquaman spin-off The Trench have, at least for the time being, been scrapped by the studio. Both projects had been in development for several years. The studio had this to say about the decision in a statement.
“As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.”
The projects were brought to a halt for various reasons. For one, DC’s slate is jam-packed for the next few years, with The Suicide Squad, The Batman, The Flash, Black Adam, Shazam 2 and Aquaman 2, among other projects, on the way. Reportedly, Warner Bros. didn’t have a place to squeeze in either New Gods or The Trench. While streaming was considered, the studio decided to let the filmmakers venture off elsewhere instead. Ava DuVernay, taking to Twitter, had this to say.
“Tom, I loved writing New Gods with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime. That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs”
Tom King responded to the filmmaker on Twitter saying, “Ava! I’m so incredibly proud of the work we did, it was such a joy seeing you bring your passion and talent to these characters. I really felt Kirby’s legacy was being honored here and I wish we could’ve kept going. That one Barda/Scott scene where…damn.” King is an acclaimed comic book writer known for his work in the pages of DC Comics on titles such as Batman and Mister Miracle.
New Gods would have been based on the comics created by the legendary Jack Kirby. The villain Darkseid would have been a factor. However, since Darkseid recently appeared in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, that complicated things a bit. It’s said that Warner Bros. and DC Films wanted to give some space between the character’s appearances. DuVernay, meanwhile, is still developing a TV show for DC and The CW, Naomi.
As for The Trench, it was intended as a spin-off to Aquaman. The movie was based on a particular action set piece from the 2018 movie and would have had a horror sensibility to it. Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald had penned the screenplay and James Wan would have produced the project. Wan, meanwhile, is gearing up for Aquaman 2. That, for the time being, will be enough for that franchise. Though the studio is said to be willing to revisit The Trench down the line if audiences have a desire for more from that side of the DC universe. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.