HBO Max's Wonder Twins movie deactivated by new Warner Bros Discovery head

HBO Max's Wonder Twins movie deactivated by new Warner Bros Discovery head
PHOTO: Twitter/@THR

It was on the way. The cast was confirmed. And now, like magic, it’s gone. HBO Max’s Wonder Twins movie has been cancelled after the Warner Bros and Discovery merger was completed last month, reportedly due to the CEO of the new Warner Bros Discovery, David Zaslav baulking at the US$75 million  (S$104 million) budget the movie requires.

The Wonder Twins are characters from DC Comics, who bump fists and activate their powers by reciting the phrase “Wonder Twin powers, activate!”. The brother Zan can transform into water in any state (solid, liquid, or gas), while sister Jayna can shapeshift into any animal. They eventually travel to Earth where they meet up with various DC superheroes and eventually become members of the Justice League.

The Wonder Twins movie was only announced in February, to be directed by Adam Sztykiel for release on HBO Max. It followed up with news in April that Riverdale‘s KJ Apa and 1883‘s Isabel May will play the leads, but two weeks later, the movie was reportedly cancelled without explanation.

A recent report by WSJ sheds more light on the reason behind the cancellation — that its US$75 million budget is considered too high for a made-for-streaming movie, and it became one of the first casualties of budget limits instituted after the Warner Bros and Discovery merger. Warner Bros Discovery now owns DC Entertainment as well as HBO Max.

Insiders have reported that the CEO of WB Discovery, David Zaslav is overhauling the DC Entertainment programming strategy, hoping to bring a more synergistic approach to its stable of big-name superheroes. He is also said to prefer theatrical releases instead of launching original movies on its HBO Max streaming platform, which was where Wonder Twins was to premiere.

As such, Zaslav felt the US$75 million required for a film of relatively unknown characters is too high especially since it was also a made-for-streaming movie. Cue the snip.

For now, we can hope that WB Discovery’s new strategy and budget limits will actually lead to more great movies for its cast of DC superheroes, hopefully in the quality of The Batman. Fans of the Wonder Twins can only hope that the twins may appear on HBO Max one day, perhaps in a form similar to Peacemaker.
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This article was first published in Geek Culture.

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