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As recently reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, and Variety Ava DuVernay’s New Gods and James Wan’s The Trench are no longer in development at Warner Bros. Both movies were set in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), diverging from the traditional tone. Much like Justice League and Batman v, Superman changed the mood and vein they would have given us a different flavor. These spin-offs and divergences are something die-hard DC fans favor heavily. Opportunity to explore other facets of the characters they know and love and see them in a different light. However, with the majority of DC film adaptations, the potential for expansion within the universe is always there, but it is anybody’s guess as to whether or not we will get to see it.

In 2018 Aquaman was James Wan’s first dip into the superhero genre. He brought us a light-hearted, somewhat goofy imagining of the cinematic DC landscape. It was a much-needed injection of humor and fun for the action-packed story. The Trench was written as a darker spin-off for the Aquaman saga and would have seen Wan returning to his horror roots. Having worked on both Saw and The Conjuring, The Trench intended to highlight the creepier side of the deep-sea kingdom featured in Wan’s first Aquaman film. 

As far as constructing and solidifying the DCEU, New Gods could very well have been a key expansion point. The home planet (New GEnesis) where the New Gods and rivals to Darkseid reside is the center of the story. Building this landscape in detail would have set up many more films to come. Had it gone forwards, DuVernay would have also been the first leading lady in a DC superhero film of color. Which would have been a step in the right direction in light of debates surrounding the recent golden-globes prejudice.

And as Ian Carlos Campbell points out at theverge; she would have made history in a similar way to Gina Prince-Bythewood in her Spider-Man spinoff. Now, sadly but these projects are on the shelf.

DuVernay still had plenty to say in praising the work that she and her writing partner Tom King put into the project. Even in spite of the Warner Bros. decision and hasn’t given up quite yet.

In Hollywood, we often find developments ceasing to be the case, especially with the big-budget sagas. But, it doesn’t mean DuVernay or Wan can’t continue to explore WarnerMedia’s superhero premises in the future. Warner Bros. also commented In a recent press statement that they look forward to a continued partnership stating that “[New Gods and The Trench] will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.”

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