The planned live-action Wonder Twins movie was cancelled due to budgetary concerns, according to a new report. The Wonder Twins are a brother-sister duo named Zan and Jayna who hail from the planet Exxor and have the ability to shapeshift into just about anything. The duo first appeared in the DC All-New Super Friends Hour animated series before making their debut on the comic page. The Wonder Twins 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 announced back in February and was to be directed by Black Adam writer Adam Sztykiel and made specifically to debut on HBO Max. Shortly after the announcement of the film being in development, Riverdale star KJ Apa and 1883’s Isabel May were cast as the leads. However, two weeks later, the Wonder Twins movie was reportedly cancelled without explanation, putting a halt to the planned filming start date in July. The abrupt cancellation came on the heels of the recent WB/Discovery merger and now a new report sheds some more light on what happened.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: DC’s Ruthless New Movie Cancellation Proves WB Can Save The DCEU
According to WSJ, the presiding factor for the cancellation of the Wonder Twins movie had to do with budgetary concerns. CEO of Warner Discovery David Zaslav has been reported by insiders as wanting to do a major overhaul on the DC slate of films and this latest move appears to be part of that. Zaslav is apparently “undoing” the previous WB programming strategy, specifically as it pertains to original movies for HBO Max. Wonder Twins is one of the first casualties of that, as Zaslav determined that the live-action feature’s budget of $75 million was too high and the return too limited for a streaming film. The focus, instead, is being placed on increasing WB Discovery’s theatrical slate to 20 – 25 films per year, as theatrical films tend to play better on the streamer than those made specifically for it.
Zaslav’s plan, at least as it relates to DC films, is not without merit. Matt Reeves’ The Batman was released theatrically on March 4th with a 45-day window, pulling in $768 million before dropping on HBO Max. However, the DC movie prior to that was James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, which released theatrically and on HBO Max day-and-date, which was a flop theatrically, pulling in just $167 million worldwide from a budget of $185 million. The pandemic almost certainly had something to do with the return, but it left the question of whether or not the film would’ve performed better had it gone to theaters first before hitting HBO Max, as The Batman did. It’s unclear exactly what Zaslav’s strategy will be going forward, but it does sound like WB Discovery is trying to find a stronger balance between theatrical versus streaming when it comes to original and theatrical content.
The Wonder Twins movie always seemed like an odd choice for WB to be adapting, especially when they have so many well-known and popular characters that aren’t in the spotlight. Why a Wonder Twins movie would be made before something involving under-served characters like Deathstroke, Green Arrow, Lobo, or countless other IP properties within DC is a mystery. Hopefully, Zaslav and his team at WB Discovery will tap into the right vein for the future of the DCEU going forward, rather than plucking from obscurity when it comes to delivering the entertainment fans are looking for.