Warner Bros. and DC Comics’ superhero franchises have been seeing some expansion as of late. When it comes to the big screen, the entertainment companies have already marked the release of Matt Reeves’ The Batman and will soon usher in the arrivals of Dwayne Johnson’s (delayed) Black Adam and Zachary Levi’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods. Films are also set to hit the streaming world as well, with Leslie Grace’s Batgirl being the biggest draw at the moment. Amid all of this progress though, one film that was set for streaming has now been cancelled, and it’s none other than The Wonder Twins.
Earlier this month, rumors suggested that HBO Max’s The Wonder Twins had been cancelled, though Warner Bros. Discovery had not confirmed the news. But now, The Wall Street Journal has backed up those reports and provided a reason for the move. The trade reports that company CEO David Zaslav believed the movie’s $75 million budget to be too high and thus wouldn't generate sufficient returns. Black Adam scribe Adam Sztykiel was set to write and direct the movie, which was to star KJ Apa and Isabel May in the lead roles.
It goes without saying that this production’s lifespan was a bit of a whirlwind. The project was first reported to be in the works back in February and, by April, it had cast its two stars. As of this writing, there’s been no further comment on the surprising development from the cast or crew.
For those unfamiliar with the Wonder Twins, what you should know is that the pair of characters were created by Norman Maurer, William Hanna and Joe Barbara for 1977’s The All-New Super Friends Hour. Zan (the male sibling) and Janyna (his sister) hail from the alien planet of Exxor and fight crime as vigilantes. Sporting purple and gold outfits, the two are shapeshifters who can access their powers once they bump fists and declare, “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” From there, Zan can change into any form of water, while Zayna has the ability to become any animal of her choosing. The two good-natured heroes are also accompanied by their blue pet monkey, Gleek.
The do-gooders would eventually be integrated into the mainstream DC Comics universe and have become fan favorites. Since their animated introductions, they’ve also appeared in other TV shows and films like Smallville and The Lego Batman Movie. Gleek also made a brief appearance at the tail end of the Arrowverse’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
With the loss of Wonder Twins, Warner Bros. Discovery and DC lose another production for its slate of HBO Max-exclusive features. DC’s Blue Beetle was originally set to hit the streamer, until Warner opted for a theatrical release (which surely made fans very happy). Another project that was once reportedly considered for streaming is the Static Shock movie, which is currently being written. With these shifts and recent cancellation, one has to wonder if Batgirl (which wrapped filming in April) will soon be prioritized for the big screen.
DC’s film slate has been “fluid” over the past several years, to say the least, as a number of ideas have been greenlit and discarded. We’ll see how things continue to develop as time goes on. I’ll also be curious to see if the Wonder Twins make their way to the live-action space through another movie or in a television series sometime in the future.
Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
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