EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros bets on The Batman director Matt Reeves and his production company 6th & Idaho. He became the first filmmaker to receive an overall first-look deal since Warner Bros. Pictures Group co-presidents/CEOs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy were hired by the Warner Bros. chief. Discovery, David Zaslav, to lead the film division. Additionally, Reeves joined the Warner Bros. Television Group and Chairman Channing Dungey, where he also works on The Batman spin-off series The Penguin with Colin Farrell.
Reeves and 6th & Idaho got their first movie deal with Netflix. Reeves spends so much time on film and TV projects related to The Batman franchise that it made perfect sense for him to call Warner Bros home with the multi-year first look. De Luca and Abdy hope to see him become the kind of benchmark filmmaker Todd Phillips has been with The hangover and Joker franchises, and what Clint Eastwood has always been about at the studio.
“Making this legendary studio my home is a dream,” Reeves said in a statement. “I’m so excited to work with Mike, Pam and Channing and our teams to bring gripping stories that I’m truly passionate about on the big and small screen.”
Under the terms of the film deal, the production divisions of Warner Bros. Pictures Group – Warner Bros. Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Animation Group and DC-based Films – will have first-look rights to Reeves’ work as a writer, director and/or producer. Reeves is currently back to work on the sequel, co-writing with Mattson Tomlin the second installment of a DC revival that has garnered strong reviews and a global gross north of $770 million. Robert Pattinson is back for the sequel as the main character.
As part of the new deal, Reeves began a search to find a senior executive to lead the new movie deal for 6th & Idaho. Dylan Clark, who was Reeves’ producing partner on the Planet of the Apes trilogy and The Batman, is also back for the sequel but runs his own production label. Reeves will not take up field offices, but will instead remain at 6th & Idaho’s current headquarters.
“Pam and I gratefully inherited the relationship with Matt from The Batmanand through the early stages of planning The Penguin series for HBO Max,” De Luca told Deadline. “We were thrilled to complete his overall deal, as it is the cornerstone of what we want to do with the filmmakers who work at the studio. We want to create an atmosphere where all of these filmmakers can excel and do their job and stay with us once they’re in the Warners family. Keeping Matt and creating a home for him to do more projects in the Batman universe as well as originals was very important to us.
The 6th & Idaho re-up with Warner Bros. Television Group comes in as a production start looms for The Penguin, with Colin Farrell reprising his role as Oswald Cobblepot for HBO Max. There is also batman arkham series under discussion. Daniel Pipski continues to run the 6th & Idaho television business, with longtime executive Rafi Crohn working in both film and television.
“Matt is one of the most imaginative and creative minds in the business,” said Channing Dungey, Chairman of Warner Bros. Television Group. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the wonderful team at 6th & Idaho and expanding the world Matt so artfully created with The Batman movie through our upcoming The Penguin series.”
Signing Reeves to work on the big canvas the studios want is a win for the film regime, which got off to a defiant start with the scrapping of HBO Max movies bat girl and the anime Scoob!. Although the deletion of these completed moves was treated a little rudely, they were confused in sarcastic press reports to WB planning to make the mob film directed by Barry Levinson. wise guys. Studio insiders tell me that in nixing bat girl, the film group cut a pricey TV movie that didn’t fit the new strategy that calls for high-end theatrical fare that then finds its way onto HBO Max, after a short PVOD window. Taking advantage of a unique delisting maneuver has allowed the Motion Picture Group to reduce the layoffs it will have to make. That number won’t be as high as that of sister division HBO Max because Discovery didn’t have a movie arm and there’s no duplicate workforce to cut. De Luca and Abdy are getting into development projects that don’t fit the new mandate and were intended to power HBO Max. and eliminate the cost reduction requirements imposed by Zaslav.
It has nothing to do with wise guys being on the first slate of photos. Here’s why De Luca and Abdy embraced a film they could have turned down: It has a budget of $45 million, it will be the last mob movie directed by Robert De Niro, at the studio that historically hatched the genre of gangster movie. It’s scripted by Pileggi, who along with Martin Scorsese created two of De Niro’s best mob films in Freedmen and Casino. Also, De Luca’s work with Levinson and De Niro on satire Walk the dog was a highlight of New Line’s catalog of films. wise guys could fail, but at a reasonable price.
For De Luca and Abdy, the Reeves deal signifies the direction they want Warner Bros to lead, a filmmaker-friendly lot that was the image of the studio in its heyday.
“Warners has always had a tradition of being a home base for filmmakers, with Clint Eastwood being the most important of them,” De Luca said. “We want to continue that tradition, especially with the people we’ve had success with. We want to create an atmosphere where we get regular contracts with these filmmakers. We think any studio built on a roster of filmmakers working at the studio over and over is a good business strategy. Says Abdy: “We consider it just essential to the health of the studio to be a vibrant place for writers/directors and for big-name filmmakers to make multiple films with us.”
They said the studio would allow Reeves to become a top filmmaker there.
“Someone like Matt, we’ll buy him anything he wants to do,” De Luca said. “We invest in whatever Matt feels drawn to, in the Batman universe and beyond. He has an open invitation to go wherever his interests take him. We will look into whatever Matt wants to do. is about writers/directors working in this very high genre space, with everything Matt has done, from Let me enter from the Ape Trilogy to The Batman, he’s in a class of his own.
Reeves’ deal was brokered by CAA, 3 Arts and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.