Black Adam might be preparing to change the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe when it hits theaters at the end of this week, but the changes are already happening in the real world. According to reports, Walter Hamada has left DC Films after four years as the studio’s president.
Hamada’s departure has been anticipated by industry watchers for some time. Beyond the fact that a number of high-profile executives have left the movie side of Warner Bros. since the Warner Bros. Discovery merger earlier this year — Hamada is the fifth, in addition to multiple layoffs in almost every division of WBD in the past few months — it’s been an open secret that WBD chief David Zaslav is looking for his own version of Marvel’s Kevin Feige to shepherd in a new era of DC content on the big and small screens.
Before DC, Hamada was the VP of production at Columbia Pictures, as an executive at New Line Cinema, where he oversaw the creation of The Conjuring franchise, as well as the successful reboot of Stephen King’s It. He became president at DC in the wake of the underperformance of Justice League at the box office, overseeing everything from Aquaman and Shazam! through the upcoming Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
It was also Hamada who pushed for increased DC output for the HBO Max platform, including James Gunn’s Peacemaker spin-off from last year’s The Suicide Squad movie, as well as the cancelled Batgirl feature starring Leslie Grace.
The fate of the Batgirl movie was one of the first signifiers that Hamada was unlikely to stay with DC in the longterm. According to those in the know, he was unaware that the project had been cancelled until after the decision had been made, and reportedly almost left the company in response. Another nail in his metaphorical coffin has been the suggestion that he had attempted to block a high-profile cameo in the upcoming Black Adam, only to be overruled by other WBD executives.
Also during Hamada’s time in charge of DC, he found himself accused of interfering into investigations of misconduct on the set of Justice League, with Cyborg actor Ray Fisher publicly accusing him of trying “to destroy a Black man’s credibility” in response.
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