$43 billion corporate merger births ‘Warner Bros. Discovery’

Image via Discovery.

It’s official: shareholders of Discovery have voted in the affirmative to merge with AT&T’s WarnerMedia in a $43 billion acquisition, birthing the new moniker of Warner Bros. Discovery.

That means there’s a new head honcho at the parent company of DC, as Discovery CEO Davis Zaslav will lead the newly-combined company.

With WarnerMedia’s entertainment, sports, and news assets joining forces with the international nonfiction entertainment and sports businesses of Discovery, it will take until next month to finalize the complicated transaction, Deadline reports.

However, discussions about how to restructure the organization and its management are being put into overdrive, as Zaslav seeks dominance in the ongoing streaming war with rivals Netflix, Disney, and Paramount. As part of that initiative, a premiere streaming service for news — CNN Plus — is set to launch March 29.

Fans of comic book movies have long speculated the merger could help shake things up at DC in a good way, after a somewhat-troubled stretch surrounding the films of Zack Snyder — most notably, the fan-hated re-shoot of Justice League, which Joss Whedon took over from Snyder in 2017.

Those reshoots brought about allegations of Whedon’s misconduct by star Ray Fisher, citing a pattern of behavior backed up by other actors, which spurred a subsequent investigation. To this day, Fisher alleges higher-ups at the studio enabled the misconduct to occur.

Earlier this week, the actor, who portrays Cyborg in 2021’s re-edited Zach Snyder’s Justice League, blasted WB producers Toby Emmerich and Walter Hamada, saying they “must really be scared of this @Discovery merger” to try and take credit for The Batman‘s recent success. In that same tweet, he also accused Emmerich of “hiring and protecting” Whedon.

After Snyder was ousted from the so-called DC Extended Universe, the director’s fans have not let up on calls for restoring his so-called “Snyderverse.” Many have speculated this merger may pave the way for that possibility, but that’s mostly fans’ armchair analyses.

With the release of WB’s The Batman last week, combined with the huge success of HBO Max’s Peacemaker series, DC has been off to a running start this year, even before the merger was finalized.

Still, it’ll be interesting to see what all shakes out from the merger, which had been in the works since May, 2021. Perhaps we will hear more in the future if the business deal had anything to do with WB’s recent reshuffling of movie releases, including pushing The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom to 2023.