DC Films president Walter Hamada reportedly has stepped down from his position at Warner Bros. after 15 years at the company, sources state.
Walter Hamada has served as the head of DC Films for the past four years, much of it being under fire for questionable decisions for the DC Extended Universe. Interestingly, Hamada’s renegotiated contract should have ended in 2023. But according to sources, the studio is choosing to let go of the executive earlier than initially projected.
In a news article by Deadline, reports indicate Walter Hamada’s tenure as president of DC Films officially ends today. The 15-year executive of the company is only waiting for his exit payout from the top brass of the merged Warner Bros. Discovery.
DC Films Boss Walter Hamada Has Departed Studio As Warner Discovery Finalizes Exit: The Dish https://t.co/9Yki3WGQki
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) October 19, 2022
Walter Hamada joins the group of Warner Bros. executives that have been let go by the company after the Discovery merger. This includes Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich, Warner Bros. CEO Ann Sarnoff, President of Production and Development Courtenay Valenti, Motion Picture Group COO Carolyn Blackwood, and Animation Group Executive VP Allison Abbate.
Hamada was signed on as DC Films president in 2018. In the past four years, he has served as executive producer for DC Comics IP films such as Aquaman (2018), Shazam! (2018), Joker (2019), Birds of Prey (2020), Wonder Woman 1984 (2020), The Suicide Squad (2021), and The Batman (2022). He will also still be credited as executive producer for Black Adam and the 2023 slate of DCEU movies including Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash, Blue Beetle, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Prior to his appointment as president of DC Films, Hamada had overseen production of mostly horror films under New Line Cinema. Among his previous experiences in executive production include Friday the 13th (2009), The Final Destination (2009), A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), The Conjuring (2013), Annabelle (2014), It (2017), and The Nun (2018).
While Hamada has notable successes under DC Films, it has also been mired with controversies. Even his promotion as DC Films president came as a response to the relative failure of the Joss Whedon-directed Justice League to meet expectations.
One of the most vocal on social media regarding the controversies surrounding Walter Hamada’s leadership at DC Films is Ray Fisher. Fisher played Cyborg/Victor Stone in Justice League, and publicly denounced the alleged behind-the-scenes abuse after Joss Whedon was brought in to takeover helming the film after Zack Snyder had to leave to prioritize personal concerns.
Just recently, Fisher posted on his Twitter account, retreading his position that Walter Hamada owed an apology to the Justice League investigation.
Not sure why I’m trending, but this would be a good time to mention:
Walter Hamada still owes an apology to the participants of the Justice League investigation.
Had he not attempted to cover for Geoff Johns’ toxic and discriminatory behavior, we wouldn’t be here now.
— Ray Fisher (@ray8fisher) October 16, 2022
However, Hamada was also at the helm of DC Films during the success of such films as Aquaman, Joker, and The Batman. Aquaman directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa was the first DCEU film that reached the billion-dollar club with a $1.1 billion haul. After that, Joker joined it at $1.07 billion while also getting Oscar nods, winning two Academy Awards (including the Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix). And The Batman directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson became the first DC Films theatrical hit after the height of the pandemic.
Despite these notable successes, Hamada was clearly on his way out according to the Deadline report. In fact, the executive was ready to leave after the HBO Max Batgirl was cancelled based on insider sources. The $90 million film was already late into post-production and close to its official release. But Warner Bros. Discovery decided to shelve the movie and will never be shown, as it has been marked as a tax write-off.
However, Hamada was allegedly persuaded by current Warner Bros. Motion Pictures chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy to stay until Black Adam was released. Interestingly, Walter Hamada declined the return of Henry Cavill until Dwayne Johnson went directly to De Luca and Abdy to plead his case. De Luca is also responsible for the choice to bring back Keanu Reeves for a Constantine sequel, effectively leading to the cancellation of the J.J. Abrams re-imagining of John Constantine for an HBO Max project.
With Walter Hamada now officially out of DC Films, where does everything stand? According to sources, Hamada declined offers to be a producer for future Warner Bros. projects. Meanwhile, CEO of Warher Bros. Discovery David Zaslav is still on the lookout for a Kevin Feige-like studio head that will oversee the DC Extended Universe in a similar fashion as Marvel Studios.
Black Adam flies into theaters this Friday, October 21. Next year, Shazam! Fury of the Gods releases on March 17, The Flash arrives on June 23, Blue Beetle on August 18, and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom on December 25.