Warner Brothers Scrambles For Next Summer’s Blockbusters

While studio execs keep one eye on their current box office business their films are doing, they keep their other eye on the projects in development that will (hopefully) be bringing in the dollars in the future. But sometimes, the best laid plans do go astray and right now, the folks over at Warner Brothers are in a bit of a state over their release schedule for next summer.

According to a report at IESB, the studio is looking at the summer 2009 season and realizing that it only has one major tentpole production in the works- Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. Now the hunt is on to find at least one more project that can be placed into production quickly in order to be ready 12 months from now.

Perhaps taking a cue from the recent success of Iron Man, Warners is reportedly looking at two scripts that take lesser known superheroes to the big screen – the superhero in prison movie Supermax (which we’ve talked about before here), which supposedly is getting a retitling to its lead hero Green Arrow, and Billy Batson And The Power Of Shazam. Two other contenders appear to be the cartoon-to-live action adaptations Johnny Quest and He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. There may be other scripts in consideration as well.

Reportedly all four scripts are solid enough to go forward into active pre-production, maybe needing only a bit of tweaking here and there. The fate of Johnny Quest and He-Man might rest on whether Warners thinks that in the wake of Speed Racer audiences don’t want to see live action version of animated characters or if the studio brass realize that they screwed the pooch on Speed Racer‘s marketing. Paramount currently has both Transformers 2 and G I Joe, both based on 1980s cartoon series, set for next summer, so would Warners want to try and cash in on the nostalgia vibe or feel that a third 80s cartoon adaptation is crowding the summer a bit too much?

If Warners is feeling adventurous, they might want to put both Green Arrow and Shazam into production for next year. Both characters are from the stable of heroes published by Warners’ sister company DC Comics. DC’s biggest rival, Marvel, has both Iron Man and next week’s Incredible Hulk in theaters this summer, but nothing slated for next year. If Hulk does close to the business Iron Man has done, do not be surprised if Warners looks to unload their own 1,2 superhero punch next summer.

Whatever will happen, look for it to happen soon.

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About Rich Drees 6964 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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William Gatevackes
William Gatevackes
June 3, 2008 7:15 pm

Just an FYI, Marvel does have a movie scheduled for 2009. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is scheduled, I believe, for May 1st of next year. Maybe not a Marvel Studios output, but a Marvel property.

But, let me just say, that if there is a He-Man movie in addition to a Transformers and G.I. Joe film next year, I might just spontaneously de-age to 11-Years Old.

Rich D
Rich D
June 4, 2008 12:18 pm

Gah. I had forgotten all about WOLVERINE. Of course, after reading the terrible script they’re using, blocking it out was probably a deep rooted, psychological defense.