During a keynote session at C21Media’s annual Content London event this week, Warner Bros. Television Studios president Channing Dungey shares some of the new steps the company plans to take as part of Zaslav’s vision for the future. According to Variety, Dungey expressed excitement about her division in particular, pointing to Zaslav’s openness to working with outside production outfits as one of the main reasons why. Contrary to the old guard who thought that “everything should remain in your own hands; we don’t want anything to go out there,” Dungey said Zaslav was much more excited about the idea of collaborating with others and getting the studio’s content on platforms it doesn’t quite own.
“David Zaslav was much more open to exploring all of our animated IP and the ability to do it across platforms,” said Dungey. “Sure, HBO Max will be our first stop, but we’re already in the process of closing a big deal with Amazon that will include some of our DC-branded content in animation.”
While Dungey didn’t go into detail about what the big Amazon deal entails — like whether these new projects will live on both Amazon Prime and whatever HBO Max will be — earlier this month Zaslav made it very clear his desire to double. on existing IP like Superman. Zaslav’s also stated that he is interested in returning to the world of Harry Potter to cash in on the franchise’s still-standing popularity, Dungey echoed a sentiment, saying the studio is currently having “a number of different conversations about it.”
“I wish I could tell you something was imminent on the horizon, but there’s a lot of interest and a lot of passion for it, so absolutely,” Dungey said in response to a question about whether a scripted Harry Potter maybe in the works. “Our unscripted team did a fantastic job Return to Hogwarts especially for HBO last year that hit so hard, then we did a quiz show, The House Tournament, which was hosted by Helen Mirren. The audience is ready, they want to go, so we still have to figure out what the right next step is.”
In light of the recent round of layoffs and restructuring at Warner Bros. Television, it makes sense for the studio to outsource some of that work to third parties. But the Warner Bros. Discovery taps Amazon to release DC superhero-themed content while also trying to figure out how to keep it going Harry Potter relevant is somewhat depressing, and makes it seem like Zaslav intends to stick to his guns by going back to the source of the big name IP.