Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

We Finally Know Why Ava DuVernay's New Gods Movie Was Canceled

While Marvel Studios has firmly established itself as the dominant force in the superhero movie world over the past decade, Warner Bros. has scored some major hits over the past few years, as well. From the stylish Harley Quinn vehicle "Birds of Prey," to the underwater thrills of "Aquaman," to the bad guy fun of James Gunn's 2021's "The Suicide Squad," the studio has managed to succeed with some rather unconventional characters and concepts from DC Comics lore. 

However, until recently, one of the most anticipated — and unique — projects which Warner Bros. had on their DC slate was a live-action adaptation of Jack Kirby's "New Gods." The studio had brought in Ava DuVernay, director of films such as "Selma" and "A Wrinkle In Time" to helm the film. She, in turn, was scripting it alongside comics writer Tom King, who had worked with the same characters on the page.

However, all excitement over the prospective "New Gods" movie was dashed earlier this year, when Warner Bros. announced that the film would not be moving forward. To this day, fans have remained curious about why the studio opted to axe the project, particularly when key elements of Kirby's "Fourth World" mythos — such as Darkseid — proved so successful in the now-famous Zack Snyder cut of "Justice League," released earlier this year.

Now, in a new interview, DuVernay has opened up about the project, and we finally have some insight into why the film was canceled.

The cancellation of New Gods was seemingly tied to Zack Snyder's Justice League

In an interview with Andy Cohen on the SiriusXM program "Radio Andy," Ava DuVernay spoke candidly about the abandoned project. 

"I loved New Gods," she said. "The studio decided that 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" (via SiriusXM on YouTube).

These clues seemingly point to the other film in question being "Zack Snyder's Justice League," which introduced concepts from Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" comics such as the hellish planet Apokolips — as well as characters like Darkseid, DeSaad, and Granny Goodness — which almost certainly would've featured even more prominently in DuVernay's "New Gods" film. Warner Bros. officially canceled "New Gods" on April 1, two weeks after "Zack Snyder's Justice League" premiered on HBO Max (per The Hollywood Reporter). It was during this same time that Warner Bros. asserted that it would not be continuing the continuity of the Snyder Cut, going forward (per Variety), so it's possible that "New Gods" was cut as part of an effort to distance future DC projects from concepts that Snyder used in his film. 

Fans of "New Gods," however, are not left entirely out in the cold. The Chloe Zhao film "Eternals," which is the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, should scratch many of the same itches. In fact, it was the cancellation of Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" comics at DC which led him to return to Marvel and create the Eternals in the first place — a property which explores many of the same themes (per Den of Geek).  

As for DuVernay, she's still active in the DC world. The CW superhero series "Naomi," which DuVernay also developed, will premiere in 2022.