Warner Brothers is pulling the plug on further development on two projects for its DC Comics Expanded Universe film franchise – Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s Aquaman spinoff, The Trench.
In a statement, the studio and its subsidiary DC Films said –
As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward. We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.
DuVernay’s New Gods was to focus on the conflict between two groups of space-faring god-like beings. The New Gods, who are led by a man known as the High Father while the other group is commanded by the despotic ruler known as Darkseid. Audiences already received glimpses of Darkseid in the elongated version of director Zack Snyder’s Justice League which debuted on HBO Max last month.
(Honestly, I have to wonder if the cancellation of New Gods was in part due to the fact that the basic concept is very similar to Marvel’s The Eternals, in that both sets of characters were created by Kirby at different times when he was working for the two different comics publishers.)
DuVernay thanked her New Gods scripting collaborator Tom King on twitter shortly after the announcement was made –
Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime. That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs pic.twitter.com/XyyIjcB8Wv
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021
James Wan’s The Trench was a spinoff of his 2018 Aquaman film and would feature the swarming aquatic humanoids glimpsed in that film. Wan had stated that the story would be more in a horror-film vein. Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald had already turned in a script which was undergoing rewrites.
DuVernay and Wan will still be working within the DC Comics world. DuVernay has the CW series Naomi, based on a recent breakout popular character, on the horizon while Wan is working at prepping Aquaman 2.