The gilet-wearing assassin , David Zaslav, continues to stalk the corridors of Warner Bros. like a campfire story failing execs tell each other at night. He’s come to take away their budgets and, sometimes, their jobs. Now the Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav has confirmed that the new streaming service, a combined HBO Max and Discovery+, will launch months earlier than anticipated in Spring next year.

“We do not tolerate failure in this organisation…”

He also confirmed it will be globally available, meaning that areas currently without HBO Max will get it. In the UK, HBO is in a deal with Sky TV and they have a joint channel where HBO content such as House Of The Dragon is shown – Sky Atlantic. It is not clear how this will affect that arrangement yet.

Their subscriber numbers are bucking the downward trends elsewhere with a 2.8 million increase for the quarter.

Al this was revealed in a quarterly earnings call with shareholders where he laid out more of their vision and strategy. He said of the DCU that new head honchos James Gunn and Peter Safran:

“…[have a] powerful vision and blueprint that will drive a more unified creative approach” for DC.”

Zaslav also calmed nerves around theatrical releases in the wake of his ruthless approach and assured investors that The Flash, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Blue Beetle are all still heading to movie theaters.

The key part of his message was about the importance of the properties they own the rights to, and properly leveraging those franchises:

“We haven’t had a ‘Superman’ movie in 13 years. We haven’t done a ‘Harry Potter’ movie in 15 years. The DC movies and the ‘Harry Potter’ movies provided a lot of the profits of Warner Bros. Motion Pictures over the last 25 years.

So a focus on the franchise – one of the big advantages that we have, ‘House of the Dragon’ is an example of that, ‘Game of Thrones,’ taking advantage of ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Lord of the Rings,’ we still have the right to do ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies. What are the movies that have brands that are understood and loved everywhere in the world?

A focus on the big movies that are loved, that are tentpoled, that people are going to leave early from dinner to go to see – and we have a lot of them. Batman, Superman, Aquaman, if we can do something with JK on ‘Harry Potter’ going forward, ‘Lord of the Rings,’ what are we doing with ‘Game of Thrones’? What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? We’re focused on franchises.”

Expect a dump truck full of money to be backing up to the doors of the three Potter kids soon, and hen all sorts of awkward moments as they work with JK Rowling again after publicly digging her out for her position on women’s rights over trans rights.

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