EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and DC are developing a feature film based around Supergirl, the heroine and cousin of Superman. Oren Uziel is working on the script, I’ve confirmed. Not a lot more is being divulged at this point, and it comes as a surprise considering most internet chatter has been based on what will next happen for Superman, who after the 2013 film Man of Steel, was conscripted to become key to the plots of Batman V Superman, and more recently Justice League.
There is no producer on Supergirl at this point. According to DC mythology, the character was a teen when she escaped the doomed planet Krypton along with the infant who grew up as Clark Kent. Supergirl has been played by Melissa Benoist in the Greg Berlanti Warner Bros series creation that heads into Season Four on the CW.
It is unclear whether Superman will appear in this but if the rumors are true that Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are looking to create a new template for future Superman movies, this would seem a likely place to hatch a new persona. Henry Cavill, coming off a terrific turn opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible Fallout, has played the stoic Man of Steel in the movies so far.
The move toward Supergirl is reflective of a change in focus at the studio, where the superhero effort is now headed by Walter Hamada, who shepherded many of New Line’s genre film hits before moving over when the entire DC braintrust was dismantled after the lackluster Justice League, which grossed $615 million worldwide on a reported $300 million budget.
Finding a different way back to the Superman universe through Supergirl reflects the differing mindset of DC priority titles to be a bit out of the box, and away from a slate which, with the notable exception of the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman, has resulted in too many films that have been leaden, dark, and not that fun. And expensive — Man of Steel, Batman Vs Superman and Justice League carried around $800 million in production budgets to gross a collective $2.1 billion, according to reported budget estimates.
Upcoming films include The Joker, the Todd Phillips-directed film that will see Joaquin Phoenix play the iconic villain character, with Robert De Niro playing a talk show host who is a formative influence on the character who eventually becomes The Joker. That film shoots in New York next month and bows October 4, 2019. Also on the boards is Birds of Prey, the film that brings Margot Robbie back to her Harley Quinn character, with Cathy Yan (she directed the Sundance pic Dead Pigs) set to direct an ensemble of female antiheroes with production starting in January. And last but hardly least, War For The Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves is hard at work on the next iteration of Batman. The next DC releases are Aquaman and Shazam (the latter was the most entertaining trailer I saw at the recent San Diego Comic-Con). Starting production in February will be The Flash starring Ezra Miller, with Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Game Night) directing.
Uziel’s script work includes an untitled collaboration with John Krasinski and Pearl Street partners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, as well as a Mortal Kombat, 22 Jump Street, The Cloverfield Paradox, and the in production Sonic The Hedgehog. He’s repped by WME and Writ Large.
The studio is a ways away from what likely will be a search to get a female director (Wonder Woman 1984 and the original all had male writers who worked on those films), and this is in nascent stages. Getting Gal Gadot off the Fast & Furious movies was a huge coup for Warner Bros. Is it too early to wonder who’ll make a terrific Supergirl?