The DC Extended Universe is shrinking. Warner Bros. and DC Films announced on Thursday that The New Gods, which Ava DuVernay was attached to direct, and Aquaman spinoff The Trench are no longer in development at the studio. “As part of our DC slate, some legacy development titles including New Gods and The Trench will not be moving forward,” Warner Bros. said in a statement. “We thank our partners Ava DuVernay, Tom King, James Wan and Peter Safran for their time and collaboration during this process and look forward to our continued partnership with them on other DC stories. The projects will remain in their skillful hands if they were to move forward in the future.” Per Deadline, the decision to pull The Trench came as a result of James Wan’s scheduling conflict with Aquaman 2, while The New Gods reportedly posed structural problems within the DCEU.
The New Gods would have followed characters from Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga, including Darkseid, who featured heavily in the recently released Snyder Cut. DuVernay was tapped to develop the project alongside screenwriter Tom King. Ray Porter, who played Darkseid in Snyder’s Justice League, tweeted to DC fans to “please stop pestering” DuVernay regarding the film’s future on Thursday. DuVernay tweeted her appreciated of Porter, writing, “Thank you, Ray. You’ve been nothing but gracious towards me. Appreciate you. And fans who supported. I’m told the studio will be speaking about their recent decision about NEW GODS characters soon. I hope our paths cross one day, sir. If not in the Fourth World, then in another.” She also thanked King in another tweet, alongside a picture of the two. “Tom, I loved writing NEW GODS with you. I’m upset that the saga of Barda, Scott, Granny, Highfather and The Furies ends this way. Diving into Kirby’s Fourth World was the adventure of a lifetime,” she wrote. “That can’t be taken away. Thank you for your friendship. And remember… #DarkseidIs.”