DC Films Boss Leaving After Dwayne Johnson Movie Releases?

The longtime, controversial head of DC Films might finally have had enough, but he is not leaving quite yet.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

dwayne johnson

While the Warner Discovery merger may have made sense from a financial standpoint, it doesn’t seem like the transition has been going incredibly smooth. In the wake of CEO David Zaslav’s major changes to the newly formed company, DC Films President Walter Hamada may be calling it quits. Reportedly, Hamada was already on the edge of leaving the company after the recent cancellation of the Batgirl film, which was rumored to be shelved for tax reasons.

Walter Hamada
Walter Hamada (left) // Picture Courtesy of Twitter

According to the rumors, Walter Hamada will be sticking around until the release of Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam, so he can collect the bonuses he’s due from any success that film has. Black Adam is set to be a major blockbuster for DC and the close proximity of the release date would likely give time for Hamada to settle his affairs while also getting his rewards for the efforts he’s put toward the film.

Walter Hamada has been a part of DC Films since 2018. He was originally part of the Warner family when he worked for New Line Cinema, which he joined in 2007. Hamada made his name executive producing films like The Conjuring, Annabelle, and It. In 2021, he extended his deal as President of DC Films until 2023. With Black Adam‘s October 2022 release, it appears he may not be reaching the end of that contract.

A big part of Walter Hamada’s plan for DC was introducing a range of DC films that would include theatrical releases and releases that would go straight to HBO Max. Batgirl would have been in the latter category. Hamada was also in favor of allowing there to be multiple projects featuring more than one character as long as the project had potential, due to the existence of the “multiverse” in the DCEU. Although this approach doesn’t create the same kind of continuity as something like the MCU, it allows for more director-driven projects that don’t have to adhere to an established storyline.

Walter Hamada’s multiverse approach has allowed films like Todd Philip’s Joker and Matt Reeves’ The Batman, both of which were commercially and critically acclaimed and have planned sequels. Joker especially turned heads by breaking $1 billion at the box office, even though it had an R rating. The success of films like The Batman and Joker may not have happened if the DC Films department was forced to stick to one storyline. It appears as though Zaslav’s new approach will go against some of these tenets, as he’s reportedly looking for a Kevin Fiege-like figure to lead the DCEU forward in a similar fashion to the MCU. The cancellation of Batgirl and a reported focus on more theatrical releases and less straight-to-streaming releases may go against Hamada’s wishes for the studio.

Walter Hamada has also been the subject of complaints from Justice League actor Ray Fisher, who has accused execs like Hamada, Jon Berg, and Geoff Johns of being negligent regarding director Joss Whedon’s alleged toxic behavior on set. Whether or not Hamada officially leaves after the release of Black Adam, it seems like the major changes for the future of the DCEU will be moving forward with or without him.