Talk about a power lunch: Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and recently christened DC Studios Co-CEO Peter Safran met with Christopher Nolan and Steven Spielberg during lunch, sparking rumors of their involvement in the Man of Steel sequel.
After the internet broke with Henry Cavill returning as Superman in Black Adam, followed by the appointment of James Gunn and Peter Safran as the heads of DC Studios, interest in the direction of the new DC Universe is at an all-time high. With such heightened interest, any and all tidbits of news can be a point of curiosity, even if it may just be a group of the most powerful men in Hollywood having lunch.
In a recent edition of The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision newsletter, it was revealed a certain group of individuals had lunch at the Warner Bros. commissary:
On Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav and Steven Spielberg were having lunch at Warner Bros. commissary. Not a bad power lunch, right? But then, Christopher Nolan, eating nearby, comes over to hang after his lunch wrapped. AND THEN, new co-head of DC Studios Peter Safran walked in and got to meet the whole gang. (If only our mic in the Cobb salad hadn't shorted out!)
Heat Vision is THR’s weekly newsletter which highlights breaking news, interviews, and rumors on genre fiction in the entertainment industry, including comics, sci-fi, and horror.
While nothing official has surfaced about what Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Peter Safran, and David Zaslav discussed during that meeting, speculation is that it is regarding the future of DC Studios.
As earlier reported, James Gunn and Peter Safran have a vision about the direction the new DC Universe and how it will take shape. Moreover, Warner Bros. Discovery head honcho David Zaslav has consistently stated that they have a 10-year plan of overhauling the DC properties to be more cinematic and build a cohesive narrative that takes inspiration from their biggest rival, Marvel Studios headed by Kevin Feige.
Steven Spielberg remains one of the most influential and creative filmmakers in Hollywood. While he has focused on more personal, passion projects such as West Side Story and his upcoming semi-biopic The Fabelmans, he is still the same director that brought to life Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jumanji, Jurassic Park, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. In fact, Spielberg ushered in the era of the Hollywood Summer Blockbuster with Jaws as the first movie that broke the $100 million mark, earning a worldwide box office of $470 million in 1975.
Spielberg has had a healthy business relationship with Warner Bros. The film legend has worked with the studio with animation in the 1990s, such as Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and Freakazoid!, as well as live action films with the most recent being Ready Player One through his production company Amblin Entertainment.
Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan is no stranger to the box office blockbuster neighborhood. The celebrated director cemented his place with The Dark Knight trilogy, while also creating his own vision with critical and financially successful films like Inception, Interstellar, Dunkirk, and Tenet. Plus, Nolan was instrumental to the development of 2013’s Man of Steel, for both the original pitch and serving as producer.
However, Spielberg has historically been avoiding the superhero genre, preferring lesser known properties or his own IPs. He has previously expressed interest in developing a Blackhawks project. The Blackhawks are a paramilitary group during World War 2, and the film Spielberg was working on would be set in that period. It would have been set separately from the DCEU in its own continuity, similar to Joker and The Batman.
Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan had a sour falling out with Warner Bros. after nearly 20 years. Specifically, this was after his displeasure over the decision to release theatrical films on the same date through the HBO Max streaming service.
With that said, it is entirely possible Spielberg may be ready to get into the superhero genre, given how prevalent it is in Hollywood. At 75, it may be time for the legendary director to step back into the blockbuster circle.
As for Nolan, the old Warner Bros. regime of Toby Emmerich, Ann Sarnoff, Walter Hamada, and the rest is over. Could David Zaslav and Peter Safran be offering and smoothing over relations with the two influential moviemakers for their DC Studios roadmap? Certainly, a Man of Steel sequel with Henry Cavill to star and involving Spielberg and Nolan in any capacity would be big news if and when it does get officially announced.
In the meantime, fans of Steven Spielberg’s work can watch the coming-of-age drama (produced under Universal Pictures) The Fabelmans in theaters on November 11, 2022.