It is said that Warner Bros. Discovery can start to seriously look at offers to buy, sell, or merge with another studio from April this year. This is when the two-year block following the Warner Bros. and Discovery merger expires.  The long, long-rumored merger with NBCUniversal may gain traction.

Now Variety has published a lengthy feature looking at how the studio might be preparing for this phase. The answer appears to be to splash the cash in order to make things more enticing to potential partners or suitors. Co-chiefs Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy have opened the vault.


Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film was reportedly greenlit with a $115 million budget, including $20 million for Leonardo DiCaprio. Anderson’s films have only made a total of $317,694,273 at the box office globally, with his highest grossing being There Will Be Blood making just under $80 million.

A curious decision.

The first Joker was made on a tight budget of $60 million. Joker: Folie a Deux is $200 million, with $12 million going to Lady Gaga.

It doesn’t end there. The Tom Cruise deal is not to bring things like Mission: Impossible over. It is to allow him to pursue serious work with serious directors akin to his Magnolia efforts. Cruise, basically, wants that Oscar in the twilight of his career. He also wants to star in what may be Tarantino’s final film – The Movie Critic. Warner is one of the studios in the running to secure that.

So it seems that Warner Bros. Discovery is buttering themselves up, having high profile and big budget works in flight. The equivalent of showing potential suitors a flash of thigh.

Will this make them more attractive to NBCUniversal? Who else could be in the running? There were very light touch talks with Paramount at the very senior level. Watch this space.

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