In a fitting way to conclude a terrible year for the entertainment industries, we’ve learned that Warner Bros. Discovery could potentially merge with Paramount Global.
Axios shared the scoop right before the Christmas break, outlining what Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav (arguably one of the most-hated rich guys on the planet right now) and Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish might have discussed. The resulting Frankenstein’d media behemoth could boost Paramount’s franchises thanks to WBD’s “international distribution footprint” and pack yet another streaming service that combined Warner Bros. and Paramount’s offerings.
Of course, this is all just the start of talks that will probably continue well into 2024, regardless of the final outcome. It’s also important to note that “WBD’s market value was around $29 billion as of Wednesday, while Paramount’s was just over $10 billion.” This means the merger would not be as straightforward as one might think. The combination would take us further into the uncharted territory of abhorrent industry consolidation.
The entire Warner Bros. Discovery saga has been nothing but a shitshow so far, resulting in the axing of movies and shows for tax write-offs, powerhouse franchises moving to rival streaming services for quick cash, and the once-recognizable HBO Max brand being turned into just Max and having an identity crisis. The company is lucky, however, to still have talented filmmakers such as Greta Gerwig putting out good stuff under their banner though.
The gaming side of things isn’t looking much brighter either, with Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League marking the start of a promised focus on more (and bigger) live-service titles based on WBD’s biggest IPs, which is a bold statement to make when you can’t even get a spiritual successor to the Batman: Arkham games right and the live-service bubble is already bursting everywhere.
But hey, comic book fans who make brands their whole personality might finally get a Batman x Ninja Turtles live-action movie or something.