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Warner Bros’ DC Films Pulls Plug on Ava DuVernay’s ‘New Gods’ and James Wan’s ‘The Trench’

The projects had both been in development for the last three years

Warner Bros.’ DC Films unit has pulled the plug on Ava DuVernay’s “New Gods” and James Wan’s “Aquaman” spinoff “The Trench,” the studio announced on Thursday.

The projects had both been in development for the last three years.

“As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward,” Warner Bros. and DC said in a statement. “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.”

“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,” DuVernay said in a statement posted on Twitter after the cancelation of “New Gods” was announced.

Neither “New Gods” nor “The Trench” had firm release windows settled. Currently, Warner Bros.’ upcoming slate of DC Comics movies begins with “The Suicide Squad,” which launches day and date August 6, followed by “The Batman” on March 4, 2022, “Black Adam” on July 29, “The Flash” on November 4, “Aquaman 2” on December 16, 2022 and finally “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” on June 2, 2023.

Upcoming films yet to be dated include “Blue Beetle,” “Supergirl,” “Green Lantern Corps” and “Static Shock,” and development is under way on a new “Superman” movie as well as “Wonder Woman 3” and “Zatanna.”

Eisner Award-Winning comic book writer and ex-CIA officer Tom King, who currently writes DC Comic’s “Batman/Catwoman,” was developing the “New Gods” screenplay with filmmaker Ava DuVernay. Created by legendary artist Jack Kirby in 1971, “The New Gods” focuses on twin alien planets, the idyllic New Genesis and the hellish Apokolips, ruled by equally powerful but morally opposite leaders. New Genesis is ruled by the benevolent Highfather, and Apokolips by the despot Darkseid. The comics have depicted Darkseid’s efforts to destabilize the fragile peace between the worlds as part of his scheme to eliminate free will from the universe. Darkseid is one of the most dangerous villains in the DC Universe and a constant threat to the Justice League.

Both Apokolips and Darkseid recently made their DC debut’s “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” which is currently playing on HBO Max.

Meanwhile, “Aquaman” spinoff “The Trench,” had a script by screenwriters Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald. According to DC Comics, The Trench were introduced in Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis’s AQUAMAN #1 comic book back in 2011. The Trench are a race of monstrous sea creatures who came from a trench in the bottom of the sea. Actually, not just any trench, the Marianas Trench, one of the deepest and most mysterious canyons in the ocean floor. The Trench used to be normal, human-looking Atlantean citizens, back before the city sank beneath the sea. When King Atlan drowned the city, the surviving Atlanteans were split off into not two, but three independent groups: the Atlanteans we know today, the Xebelians who existed in the Bermuda Triangle, and the Trench who fell into the deepest parts of the sea. Thanks to their isolation and extreme conditions, the Trench evolved, or perhaps devolved into a monstrous, mindless swarm set on consuming anything in their path.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.