Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
Walter Hamada, longtime overseer of DC Extended Universe, exits role at Warner Bros.
The hunt continues for a Kevin Feige-type leader.
Walter Hamada, the longtime head honcho of the DC Films banner under Warner Bros. Pictures, has officially exited his role at the studio, Deadline confirmed Wednesday. The executive had been with the company (now called Warner Bros. Discovery) for close to two decades and oversaw production on comic book-related features since early 2018 when he replaced Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. He extended this tenure in January 2021 with a multi-year contract before the aggressive corporate shake-ups and cost-cutting sanctioned by current WB Discovery CEO, David Zaslav.
Per Deadline, Hamada "knew his days were numbered" as Zaslav looks to replace him with a Kevin Feige-type leader who can help craft a more coherent and successful cinematic universe based around iconic comic book characters like Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash. Dan Lin (a producer on The Lego Movie, both It films, and Disney's live-action Aladdin) was briefly considered for the job back in late August, though talks ultimately fell apart not long after the news broke.
Since its inception in 2013, the DC Extended Universe (or DCEU for short) has faced setback after setback with middling-to-negative reactions from fans and critics alike. Time and again, the studio attempted to course correct, or else rush into a major, team-up event like 2017's Justice League, which flopped spectacularly without the proper set-up. This $300 million dud led the studio to shy away from epic world-building and focus on director-driven standaloneS like Aquaman, Shazam!, Joker, The Suicide Squad, and The Batman. But even with intermittent hits in recent years, the DCEU feels as though it's been groping around in the dark for a concrete through-line that transformed the MCU from a risky gamble into the most lucrative franchise in cinema history.
Furthermore, Hamada and DC Films found themselves at the heart of several public controversies involving its own high-profile cast members like Ray Fisher (Victor Stone/Cyborg in Justice League), Amber Heard (Mera in Aquaman), and Ezra Miller (Barry Allen/The Flash, who is supposed to break open the DC Multiverse next summer). The confusion only grew worse this past summer when Warner Bros. made the unprecedented decision to permanently shelve its $90 million Batgirl film after the title was already deep into post-production.
Black Adam — one of Hamada's final DC projects on which he served as an executive producer — hits the big screen this Friday, Oct. 21. Based on reviews published thus far, the Dwayne Johnson-fronted blockbuster (currently holding a less-than-stellar 54 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes) could be another misstep for the DCEU; at least critically, as early box office projections place the movie's opening weekend around $135 million globally.
Upcoming DCEU theatrical releases include Shazam! Fury of the Gods (March 17, 2023), The Flash (June 23, 2023), Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (Dec. 25, 2025), a sequel to Matt Reeves' The Batman (TBD), and a Constantine sequel with Keanu Reeves (TBD). Just this week, it was reported that DC Films is currently exploring new ideas with James Gunn and Dwayne Johnson, the latter of whom hopes to see his antihero face off with the Last Son of Krypton. Speaking of Clark Kent, the studio does hope to woo Henry Cavill back for a long-awaited Man of Steel sequel.
Looking for more superhero action? Stream Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, and more on Peacock right now.