Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is “the star” in a fake video released Friday to promote the studios’ “new process we call shelving.”
Zaslav was dragged through the industry for his decision on November 9th to shelve the already completed “Coyote Vs.” Summit.” After significant backlash and a call from Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro for an FTC investigation into the practice, the film is now being sold to other studios.
“Me and the people are ruining…run, people running “Warner Bros. loves movies,” beams the CGI CEO in the clip. “Movies are some of my favorite content.”
The parody is from “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Writer-director Jacob Reed, the same man behind the plane that flew over the studios during the writers’ strike with the message “Pay your writers, you AI holes.”
The fake Zaslav then mangles the first of several classic movie quotes, botching Rhett Butler’s famous final line in “Gone With the Wind”: “Frank, my love, I don’t give a damn.” After talking about reducing the needlessly expensive steps in filmmaking, including the publication, grinning, he misquotes “Gordon Geico” – Michael Douglas’ character from “Wall Street” -: “We get more money this way.” And money is good.”
In the video, “Zas” also refers to the writers’ strike as a “five-month spending freeze on our writing phase” before introducing “a new process we call shelving,” which will allow the studio to make money through tax write-offs instead of releasing them. “How do you like an apple like that?” He grins and mucks up a classic line from “Good Will Hunting.”
The Zaslav replacement promises to keep consumers guessing about which films will be released, which will be shelved, and “which will be released for years and then suddenly and inexplicably disappear from our streaming platforms.”
He then claims to be inspired by WB heroes like The Brave Batman – with a cut to Leslie Grace in costume as Batgirl in the never-released live-action film. He also praises “the determined Agent Smith,” one of the main villains in the “Matrix” series.
Zaslav angered both consumers and creators during the strike, for example by calling the WGA’s demands “unrealistic.” When he spoke at Boston University’s graduation ceremony in May, shortly after the writers’ strike began, students booed and chanted, “Pay your writers.”