Personally, I find it really interesting to see major players in the scripted industry making deals with Warner Bros. after the attitude they’ve shown toward narrative content since the merger with Discovery. Though the animation medium has been hit arguably harder by the Warner Bros. decisions to scrap upcoming and existing content from their library and overall production slate without warning, there have been several live-action projects who have seen their ends abruptly and recently as a result of the same decisions.
Creators are being devastated by these decisions, make no mistake. The “Batgirl” saga is a great example; Yes, the film’s directors, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah—who already had some great Marvel credits under their belts with the beloved “Ms. Marvel” show last year—will undoubtedly go on to make more things, but it’s hard to truly measure the creative loss that having a project shelved out of your control has, let alone the financial strain. It’s just strange that a major player would take the chance after seeing what this company is willing to do to the artists it works with.
That said, those major players rarely have to worry about something like this, because it would be a lot of unwanted press—and potentially a legal battle—for a brand to pull the same tragic story with a well-known director. These levels of artistic success can bring that kind of security. M. Night has (or had, potentially) a great working relationship with Universal Pictures, so it’s interesting to see him pivot to a new studio, especially one with the kind of reputation that the company is building for itself.
All in all, I’m always excited to see what M. Night has in store — especially after “Knock at the Cabin,” hello! — so if you see me in the theater at the midnight showing, come say hi.