Courtesy of Walter Hamada
The extension is through 2023, one individual familiar with the talks noted. The studio is announcing the deal imminently. Hamada will continue to report to Warner Bros. Picture Group Chairman Toby Emmerich. The label is responsible for bringing all of DC’s superhero canon to screens and streaming, including the recent Christmas Day release “Wonder Woman 1984.”
Hamada joined DC Films in 2018, coming from Warner’s New Line Cinema where he served as executive vice president of production. In late December, he described an ambitious amount of theatrical movie plans and streaming spinoffs based on marquee characters including Batman, Superman, The Flash and fan favorites like Batgirl and Static Shock.
“Walter is not only passionate about story and the DC canon, he’s also a thoughtful and incredibly talented executive who is fully committed to investing the time and care necessary for moviemaking on this scale,” said Emmerich. “With Walter overseeing our DC movies for theatrical exhibition and on HBO Max, we are excited for him and his team to bring more of these stories to life, working with new and established talent to broaden the reach and diversity of the DC cinematic universe.”
Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO WarnerMedia Studios and Networks Group, said Hamada is “an incredibly talented, well-respected executive, known by his colleagues and our filmmakers as a great collaborator. I’m excited about where he’s taking DC Films and look forward to working with him and the rest of the team to build out the DC Multiverse.”
Hamada’s extension is an indicator that his longtime colleague and boss Emmerich, who used to run New Line, trusts his stewardship of DC Films moving forward. Hamada succeeded former DC heads Geoff Johns and Jon Berg (both now producers), pulling out hits like “Aquaman” ($1.4 billion worldwide box office) and New Line’s upstart “Shazaam!” ($365 million worldwide) from a lackluster unit relaunch that was meant to compete with Disney’s mighty Marvel.
The division was thrust into the spotlight last summer after “Justice League” star Ray Fisher accused that film’s director Joss Whedon of unspecified misconduct. WarnerMedia conducted an investigation into the matter after Fisher went public on Twitter in July, which concluded last month and resulted in “remedial action,” a studio spokesperson said at the time. Hamada was not the head of DC Films during production or release of “Justice League.”
Hamada spent a decade at New Line in various roles. His notable hits include several titles in “The Conjuring, “Final Destination,” and “Annabelle” franchises. Previously, he spent four years as a partner at the management and production company H2F Entertainment, and headed development for MBST Entertainment. He began his career at the Sony Pictures label TriStar, eventually graduating to vice president of production at Columbia Pictures.
Variety's Matt Donnelly contributed to this post.