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WB Goes Big on LEGO, DC, Rowl­ing

Warner Bros. is bet­ting on its fran­chises, an­nounc­ing an am­bi­tious slate of movies based on DC Comics, LEGO and J.K. Rowl­ing’s Harry Pot­ter spinoff that will carry the stu­dio through 2020.

WB chair­man and CEO Kevin Tsu­ji­hara also said the stu­dio would cut costs by $200 mil­lion a year — a move that will in­clude lay­offs. Those sav­ings will help fund the stu­dio’s planned film and tele­vi­sion slates.

On the an­i­mated front is the LEGO prop­erty, which will kick off with 2016’s LEGO Nin­jago, di­rected by Charlie Bean; fol­lowed by The LEGO Bat­man Movie in 2017, with Chris McKay di­rect­ing; and The LEGO Movie 2 in 2018.

At least nine live-ac­tion DC Comics movies are in the works, start­ing with a Sui­cide Squad film set for 2016, fol­lowed by Won­der Woman and Jus­tice League, Part One in 2017, The Flash and Aqua­man films in 2018, Shazam! and Jus­tice League, Part Two in 2019 and Green Lan­tern and Cy­borg films in 2020. Solo films for Su­per­man and Bat­man also are in the works but un­dated so far.

The stu­dio re­vealed Zack Sny­der will di­rect both Jus­tice League films, and David Ayer will helm Sui­cide Squad. Cast­ing also was set, with Gal Gadot to star as Won­der Woman, fol­low­ing up on her de­but as the character in Bat­man v. Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice; Ezra Miller to play The Flash; Game of Thrones star Ja­son Momoa as Aqua­man; Dwayne “The Rock” John­son as Black Adam in Shazam!; and Ray Fisher set as Cy­borg. Ac­tors Henry Cav­ill, Ben Af­fleck and Amy Adams are set to re­turn in the Jus­tice League films as Su­per­man, Bat­man and Lois Lane, re­spec­tively. The stu­dio also ex­pects to cast four “A-list” per­form­ers in Sui­cide Squad.

The Pot­ter spinoff, ti­tled Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be adapted into three movies, set for 2016, 2018 and 2020. The first has Pot­ter pro David Yates di­rect­ing and au­thor Rowl­ing mak­ing her screen­writ­ing de­but.

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