When news broke last week that A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay was going to direct The New Gods for Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, it was revealed that the studio was searching for a screenwriter, and they have now found one. Writer Kario Salem has been tapped to write the script, working closely with Ava DuVernay to craft the narrative for this story, which will not be part of Warner Bros.' DCEU lineup. No production schedule or release date has been given at this time, although it seems likely that this will be Ava DuVernay's next film.
The New Gods was created in 1971 by Jack Kirby for DC, after the legendary writer and artist left Marvel following a dispute. The New Gods were part of a massive Fourth World saga that spanned a number of different comic book universes, although The New Gods were by far the most popular. While other Fourth World titles ultimately fizzled, The New Gods endured as a popular title within the DC Universe. The New Gods were rebooted in 2011 as part of DC's New 52 initiative that re-launched the entire DC Universe.
The New Gods followed warring characters who resided on twin planets New Genesis, a peaceful, idyllic world ruled by Highfather, and Apokolips, a dystopia world ruled by the nefarious Darkseid. These planets were once part of the same planet called Urgrund, but they were split when all of the Old Gods died during the apocalyptic event known as Ragnarok. The New Gods were ultimately killed off in Final Crisis and the Death of the New Gods spin-off, but The New Gods were relaunched a few years later under the New 52 reboot, and there is no indication yet as to whether this movie adaptation will follow the original comics or the New 52.
There is also no indication yet as to what characters may be featured, but with a massive roster of characters from both New Genesis and Apokolips, there are no shortage of characters to choose from. Notable characters from New Genesis include Big Barda, who director Ava DuVernay mentioned on Twitter last year when asked who her favorite superhero character was, along with Forager, Infinity-Man, Jezebelle, Lightray, Metron and Mister Miracle. Apokolips characters include Brimstone, Steppenwolf, the Female Furies, Heggra, the Parademons, Powerboy and Tigra.
This movie will make Ava DuVernay the first African-American female filmmaker with two movies budgeted over $100 million under her belt, after taking the helm on Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, which is currently in theaters. Kario Salem started his career as an actor, with guest-starring roles on a number of shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s including Hawaii Five-0, M*A*S*H, Magnum P.I., The Equalizer and more, and movies such as 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Killing Zoe and Savage. He started his writing career in the 1990s with TV movies Divas, Don King: Only in America, which he won an Emmy for writing, and The Rat Pack. He also wrote the 2001 action-thriller The Score, starring Robert De Niro and Edward Norton, and Chasing Mavericks, starring Gerard Butler. Deadline broke the original story about Ava DuVernay directing, which was later updated with word that Kario Salem will write the script.