“Eternals” isn’t the only god-like beings creation that famed artist/creator Jack Kirby brought to the comic book world, as he made also created the similar deities “New Gods” for DC Comics. A feature film had been in the works at Warner Bros. for years with director Ava DuVernay (“Selma“) developing a script alongside comic book writer Tom King. However, in April, the project was ultimately scrapped alongside the James Wan-produced “Aquaman” spinoff film “Trench,” which was recently revealed to be a secret Black Manta project that likely would have starred Yahya Abdul-Mateen (“Candyman,” “The Matrix Resurrections,” “Furiosa“).
While it’s not exactly clear what happened with “Trench” other than WB moving in a different direction, DuVernay has given some insight into what happened with her “New Gods” movie while speaking with Andy Cohen on the SiriusXM show Radio Andy. She briefly hints at the Zack Snyder cut of “Justice League,” causing a conflict at the studio and leading to Warners passing on “New Gods,” without mentioning the project directly by name.
“The studio decided they did not want to pursue a certain part of that comic world based on some things that were going on with another film in that world. So, before I even was able to kind of complete my script with Tom King, they axed it,” the director said about what happened with the superhero project.
If you’re not aware, The Snyder Cut added villains Darkseid and Granny Goodness, two other characters from Kirby’s “New Gods,” and might have confused or more likely angered fans expecting to have Zack Snyder’s incarnations appearing in DuVernay’s film had she attempted her own versions. Granny Goodness had been rumored as one of the villains of “New Gods,” although never officially confirmed.
Either way, WB and DC Films seemed to have been moving away from all things Zack Snyder after the release of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” so it’s possible, the “New Gods” connection in his film was just too close for comfort for a studio trying to move on. There’s also the fact that “New Gods” and “The Trench” were greenlit under a different era of leadership at DC Films and WB, and sometimes, a difference in creative direction when execs are gone causes casualties like this one.
Ava DuVurnay is also working with WarnerMedia on two comic book shows with “DMZ” and “Naomi,” so it’s not like they’ve stopped working with her entirely, just evidently not that interested in “New Gods” as a property at the moment.