For the Warner Bros. Company, 2022 has not been a good year, let alone a profitable one. With only two movies to go — Don’t Worry Darling and Black Adam — for the rest of the year, the production house is on the verge of ruination, both qualitatively and by reputation, as it stands guard to the seismic shift going on within the walls of Warner Bros. Discovery. The world outside in the meantime has decidedly foregone all hopes of the production house delivering a theatrical masterpiece anytime soon.
Warner Bros. Stops Trying Its People-Pleasing Strategy
With the number of scandals that have rocked WB for the past couple of years, it would be understandable for an organization and its management to go into rehabilitation. However, the production house has done exactly the opposite, whether as a declaration of strength or a sheer foolish display of bravado remains to be seen. Upon closer inspection, it seems like the company had no choice but to go ahead with its slash-and-burn plan. As they say, the only way out is through.
David Zaslav’s arrival was an all-or-nothing strategy. The elusive man at the top making all the hard calls gave the company a chance to restructure and reorient itself since April 2022. Logistically, projects had to be terminated, budgets had to be cut, and people had to be undermined for WB to stand a chance at resurrection. As such, the only two options left to execute were the Olivia Wilde non-starter, Don’t Worry Darling, and the DCEU anti-hero film, Black Adam.
The Crowd Looks For Redemption in Black Adam After DWD
With the horribly-gone-wrong cast of Warner Bros. production house, it seems the aftershocks keep coming until there’s nothing left standing. Beginning with controversies surrounding Ezra Miller, Amber Heard, JK Rowling, the shelving of Batgirl, slashing of HBO Max programs, the step away from Snyder’s Justice League, and the three-way mess between Olivia Wilde, Shia LaBeouf, and Florence Pugh, there’s just been a harem of incidents for the WB damage control to take care of at an accelerating rate.
Don’t Worry Darling was supposed to be one of two theatrical releases left on the roster of WB launches for 2022. Seemingly harmless in the beginning, the DWD drama reared its ugly head in the weeks leading up to the film’s release. With the scandals getting uglier by the day, the publicity worked in favor of the film’s promotion as the drama gained more attention than the movie’s trailer. But Don’t Worry Darling failed to live up to the hype that the trailer-peek promised and the salt on the wound was its 35% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes critic website.
Now, the only saving grace for Warner Bros. is the superhero action film, Black Adam. With an October-slated release, the studio and the film’s cast still have some time to salvage just enough of its strength to push past the embarrassment of Don’t Worry Darling. The crowd’s disappointment, too, is palpable enough at this point to not be a deciding factor in the making or breaking of the WB edifice. The sole hope for the company to save face is now dependent on The Rock’s much-anticipated film and the crowd’s forgetfulness in the aftermath of a good box-office delivery.
Don’t Worry Darling premieres theatrically on 23 September 2022. Black Adam premieres on October 21, 2022.