Peacemaker/DC, Dune/It Prequels & More IPs Keys to HBO Max Success
In terms of Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav's vision for the company under his leadership, Sarah Aubrey is about as front-and-center as you're going to find. Aubrey not only serves as the head of original content for HBO Max, but she also serves as a key member of HBO/HBO Max content chairman & CEO Casey Bloys' team in making sure Zaslav's vision comes to life. In a Variety profile that was released earlier today, Aubrey discusses her mission of mining WBD's IPs for potential new tentpole franchises while also going all-in on projects such as Dune: The Sisterhood, The Penguin, Green Lantern, Dead Boy Detectives, And Just Like That … Season 2, "It" films prequel series Welcome to Derry, and more. In addition, Aubrey discusses the key programming difference between HBO & HBO Max and shares some thoughts on new DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. Here are some of the highlights:
HBO & HBO Max Have Different Programming Goals: "HBO is very much looking outward into the community for new IP, new pitches, new takes on things. We focus much more inside the company on existing IP and work closely with the big filmmakers inside our company," said Aubrey.
"Peacemaker," "Dune" & "It" Prequels Represent What Aubrey's Looking For: "Those are all very much homegrown initiatives and require a lot of coordination across the company," Aubrey explained. On that front, Aubrey teased some "demented scares" on the way from Welcome to Derry, a "very joyful" And Just Like That … Season 2, and ongoing conversations regarding any number of IPs (like "Harry Potter," which Zaslav has named as an IP he would like WBD to do more with moving forward): "We're very much in the business of creating new content for those fans and thinking what to do next."
Aubrey's All-In on Gunn & Safran Leading DC Studios: "It's a brilliant move to bring a filmmaker and producer into these executive roles for DC. I know from working with James and Peter on 'Peacemaker' that they have the creative passion, confidence, and deep filmmaking expertise to chart a new course for DC that's full of originality and exciting for both fans and filmmakers."
Aubrey Expects DC Studios/HBO Max Collaborations to Remain "Really Fun and Very Collaborative": "There's not this territorialism around characters or stories. And we very much talk about things in both directions: 'That would make a better feature,' or 'That character should start in a feature and then come into a series.' Frankly, I imagine that will continue because it's a big operation."
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