Warner Bros. & DC Not Moving Forward With ‘Aquaman’ Feature Spinoff ‘The Trench’ & Ava DuVernay’s ‘New Gods’

Deadline has confirmed that DC Films will no longer be developing the properties New Gods which had Ava DuVernay attached to direct and Aquaman spinoff The Trench which Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald were penning for James Wan to possibly helm.

I hear The Trench is shelved due to Wan’s busy schedule with Aquaman 2, while New Gods, originally created by Jack Kirby, was stopped as the parameters of that project far exceeded a feature standalone structure. The Trench, which was to have a horror bent, was based on the creature who Aquaman battles.

Warner Bros and DC Films released the following statement today in regards to the projects: “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.”

Batman writer King was set to write New Gods. The New Gods was the Genesis of the uber-villain Darkseid. Also called “Fourth World,” the story unfolded in a trilogy of related comics written and drawn by Kirby that were published in the very early 1970s: New Gods, Forever People and Mister Miracle. The New Gods came into existence after the world of the gods of classic mythology were destroyed during Ragnarok. The deities inhabit two planets: one is New Genesis, a lush paradise, and the other Apokolips, which sounds like Dante’s version of hell. War ensues.

New Gods would have put the first $100M-plus DC superhero project into the hands of a woman of color. New Gods was expected to be DuVernay’s next big feature after directing the $133M-grossing A Wrinkle in Time. DuVernay has a big $100M multi-year, multi-genre deal with Warner Bros. TV. She is currently working on the DC CW drama series Naomi, and she’s a director and EP on the HBO Max DC series DMZ. 

With production having wrapped on Matt Reeves’ The Batman and cameras about to roll on New Line’s Dwayne Johnson DC pic Black Adam, the comic book film franchise unfolds over the next few years as follows:

Along with The Suicide Squad (Aug. 6), The Batman (March 4, 2022) and Black Adam (July 29, 2022), the future of the Justice League and the entire DC Multiverse will unfold in The Flash on Nov. 4, 2022, which will usher in a new wave of interconnected DC stories throughout 2022 and 2023 with Aquaman 2, Shazam! Fury of the Gods (June 2, 2023), Blue Beetle, Supergirl, Green Lantern Corps, and Static Shock. Additionally, development is underway on previously announced titles Superman, Zatanna, and Wonder Woman 3.

DuVernay’s tweet today.

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