A new feature piece in Variety has taken a closer look at various projects at Warner Bros. Pictures currently in the works and all under the eye of current Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy.

The piece reveals some big spending Warners is doing on upcoming films. Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film was reportedly greenlit with a $115 million budget – a risk considering none of his films have crossed $80 million at the box office. Leonardo DiCaprio is also reportedly scoring at least $20 million for that film.

An even bigger amount is being spent on Todd Phillips’ “Joker: Folie a Deux,” that film has seen its budget balloon to around $200 million – more than three times the economical $60 million the first cost. Star Joaquin Phoenix is reportedly getting $20 million to reprise his role while Lady Gaga is taking home around $12 million to play Harley Quinn.

Much of the piece is on Tom Cruise following the announcement in June he had signed a new nonexclusive deal to develop and produce theatrical films with Warner Bros. Discovery – a combination of original productions and franchise fare.

At the meeting between Cruise, De Luca and Abdy, various possibilities were discussed from another “Edge of Tomorrow” to Cruise’s desire to return to working with auteurs such as he did with Anderson on “Magnolia” in 1999.

Cruise also reportedly wants in on Quentin Tarantino’s final film “The Movie Critic’ which currently isn’t set up with a distributor and has every major studio pursuing it.

Other reveals include that the recent delay of Bong Joon Ho’s “Mickey 17” is because the pair are “less pumped” by the film, even as a studio rep tells the outlet “There is, of course, enthusiasm for it.”

It also indicates that the upcoming Ryan Coogler-Michael B. Jordan vampire film will see Warners ceding the copyright to Coogler after 25 years.

So what’s with all the generosity and spending? A source says it’s all about making the company more enticing and appealing for when Zaslav sells it.

Warner Bros. Discovery can entertain offers to buy, sell or merge with a studio like NBCUniversal from April when the the two-year lock-up period from the WarnerMedia and Discovery merger is over.

The post Warners Spending Huge On “Joker,” PTA appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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