Warner Bros. Shelves Ava DuVernay’s 'New Gods' and James Wan’s 'The Trench'

Warner Bros. is reportedly moving off of upcoming DC-related projects from Ava DuVernay and James Wan, while also leaving the door open for a possible return.

Ava DuVernay attends Netflix's "When They See Us" Screening & Reception.

Image via Getty/Charley Gallay

Ava DuVernay attends Netflix's "When They See Us" Screening & Reception.

Warner Bros. will not be moving forward with NewGods, the Ava DuVernay-directed film based on the comic created by the late legendary artist Jack Kirby, and James Wan’s Aquaman spinoff The Trench, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“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. “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.” 

The last line appears to suggest that there’s a glimmer of hope that these projects could get a second life at some point down the road. For now, DuVernay took to Twitter to express optimism about one day working with Ray Porter, the actor behind DC villain Darkseid, and thank Tom King for helping her write the script for New Gods

Thank you, Ray. You’ve been nothing but gracious towards me. Appreciate you. And fans who supported. I’m told the studio will be speaking about their recent decision about NEW GODS characters soon. I hope our paths cross one day, sir. If not in the Fourth World, then in another. https://t.co/3Ncrqk1cXf

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021

Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. 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. Thank you for your friendship. And remember... #DarkseidIs pic.twitter.com/XyyIjcB8Wv

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 1, 2021

Anticipation for New Gods grew in July 2019 when DuVernay confirmed in a tweet that Darkseid would be appearing in her film. Even though New Gods didn’t work out, the When They See Us director is still working on the DC series Naomi for The CW, assumably as part of the $100 million multi-year deal she signed with Warner Bros. TV a few years back. 

Wan was set to produce The Trench with frequent collaborator Peter Safran, but this latest development allows him to devote his attention on the sequel to Aquaman, which is expected to begin shooting later this year.

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