HBO Max Cancels Another DC Superhero Movie (Report)

By Richard Nebens Updated:

Although Warner Bros. Discovery is in the final stages of preparations for the DCEU's Black Adam in a few days, the company is also still deep into its merger as the future of the DC Universe is reworked. Unfortunately, this comes along with a number of cancellations for numerous superhero projects as management turnovers bring a new round of ideas for success in the comic book movie landscape.

This trend became public largely with the cancelation of Leslie Grace's Batgirl, which was nearly completely finished before WBD decided to cancel its HBO Max release in favor of saving money on taxes. Although the company has tried to downplay the seriousness of this move, it's still leaving fans concerned with what the future holds for some of DC's heroes that aren't seen as guaranteed hits.

DC's Strange Adventures anthology series also got the boot during Warner's cancellation spree, and fans have grown concerned about other entries like Blue Beetle and Static Shock as well. Now, amidst the major changes that Warner Bros. Discovery, reports have confirmed that yet another fan-favorite DC character‘s live-action entry has been put on the chopping block.

WB Cancels Zatanna-Led DC Movie

DC, Zatanna

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the developing Zatanna movie has been canceled by Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO Max. This was only one of a few projects that were canceled, including another one centered on the classic DC hero Constantine.

These two projects are now both being shopped to other streamers, although no other production or release details have been made public.

The Constantine-focused project has likely been abandoned due to the announcement that a sequel to the Constantine movie led by Keanu Reeves is in the works.

This news follows the seemingly new direction that DC will be taking post-Black Adam with a new 'phase' of storytelling, in addition to the ongoing shakeups internally at Warner Bros.

How Many More DC Projects Will Be Cancelled?

Zatanna had never gotten a chance to shine in a live-action setting before, with her solo film having been in development for most of the last two years. Killing Eve's Emerald Fennell was even set to write the story for this upcoming adventure, bringing one of DC's most popular magic users into the same universe as Batman, Superman, and the Justice League.

Now, unfortunately, the Zatanna movie becomes yet another domino to fall as Warner Bros. Discovery tries to figure out its plan for what the DC Universe is going to be. And as another beloved character is pushed aside for the foreseeable future, fans are sure to continue raising questions about how the company will get back to bringing the epic superhero stories that viewers have become so accustomed to in the 21st century.

Currently, the only movies confirmed for release after Black Adam are June 2023's The Flash and December 2023's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, though news revealed that a Flash sequel is already in the early stages of development, several spin-offs of The Batman are being developed by director Matt Reeves, and The Suicide Squad's James Gunn is hard at work on his next projects for the DCEU. 

But following those releases, the DC Extended Universe will likely go through a major retooling effort, and there's no telling whether Zatanna will be included in that new slate or not.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.