Warner Bros. Losing Crucial Studio Partnership, Dune 2 In Danger?
Warner Bros has been making some questionable moves with the cancelations going on, and now it could result in losing a huge studio partnership and Dune 2.
When Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) canceled Batgirl, it seemed to prove that no film was currently safe from cancelation. This has led to plenty of drama and worry from other studios, that partner with WBD. Studios now fear that their films could also be canceled on a whim, based on the recent moves made by WBD CEO, David David Zaslav. One of the studios that are worried is Legendary, which also saw its deal with WBD recently expire. Legendary Entertainment has a ton of releases in the works, including the highly anticipated Dune 2 sequel film, which Warner Bros could mess with. However, Legendary is thinking of making a switch to partner with Sony or Paramount.
Part of the reason why Legendary is thinking of switching is because of the wild moves made by Warner Bros. Discovery. Apart from loads of recently canceled titles, Warner Media also stood in the way of Legendary getting more money for the streaming release of Godzilla vs Kong last year. Legendary had wanted some $250 million to allow the film to be streamed. Netflix reportedly offered over $200 million, but the deal was blocked. Warner Media blocked this to enact their “Project Popcorn” initiative, which saw big releases premiering in theaters, then on HBO Max. This was to boost the viewership and subscribers of the app. It seemed to work considering Dune and Godzilla vs Kong were two of the biggest pandemic-era releases. However, they could have possibly made even more money staying in theaters. That might now be why Legendary doesn’t think Dune 2 is safe with Warner Bros.
Legendary has reportedly been contemplating the idea of a merger of its own, which would make sense as to why Paramount and Sony are now in the mix of studios wanting to buy their way into Legendary. The list of movies being worked on by Legendary is also a huge reason. Enola Holmes 2, A Christmas Story Christmas, The Toxic Avenger reboot, Duke Nukem, Gundam, and Gods Country are all being worked on. Dune 2 is also in the works, and Warner Bros might not be the safest place for any of these films to land. Legendary has also partnered with streamers on other films that have seen success like Enola Holmes on Netflix, Fresh on Hulu, and Paper Girls on Amazon Prime Video. Making a partnership with a streamer could end up being far more lucrative for Legendary.
Warner Bros losing Dune 2 would be massive considering how critically and commercially successful the first film was. However, the wild moves made by David Zaslav have made every studio question staying partnered with WBD. Dune was released on HBO Max, and it was a massive hit. However, with HBO Max being dissolved and combined with Discovery+ next year, that might not be the type of app that Legendary wants to align itself with any longer. It will be interesting to see what Legendary does moving forward, but we would completely understand why the studios is wanting to take its bigger titles elsewhere. There are likely plenty of streamers and studios that would drop everything to land Dune 2.