Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy.

Black Panther & Into the Spider-Verse Get Oscar Nods

Black Panther made history this week by being the first superhero movie to get a Best Picture nomination for an Academy Award.

Opinions remain split online about whether or not the movie deserved the nod, but the cultural impact, and artistry of Black Panther can not go denied. This is a watershed moment for Marvel Studios.

As expected, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse also nabbed a nomination for Best Animated Feature. If I were involved in an Oscar Pool I’d definitely have my money down on Into the Spider-Verse to sweep the category.

Find a full list of nominees here.

T’Challa and Miles Go Toe-to-Toe at the PGA Awards

Earlier this week was also the Producers Guild Awards and we saw Black Panther and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse both nominated. Many people are sighting this outcome as a precursor for how the Academy Award will play out later this year.

Sadly, Black Panther walked away with no wins, while Intro the Spider-Verse nabbed: Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture for the work of Avi Arad, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Amy Pascal, and Christina Steinberg.

Whether or not later award ceremonies play out like the PGAs or vastly different, Sony finally has the franchise they have been so desperate for over the last few years and we are definitely poised for sequels to both Black Panther and Spider-Verse to be rushed into production in the hopes of capturing lightning in a bottle yet again. If this is the case, all we can hope is that nothing too important is rushed.

DC Comics hits Restructuring

It seems to me that every time a comic book company needs a headline they either announce an event OR announce that they are returning to basics. This was a line touted back at the beginning of the Marvel Now movement and readers are certain to remember from DC Comics’ Rebirth relaunch only a few short years ago. We’re always promised character-driven stories, less adherence to continuity, and stronger teams.

This week DC Comics was at it again with a major layoff wherein, according to The Hollywood Reporter 3% of the company was laid off.

DC is laying off staff as part of an organization restructure of the Warner Bros. division that will see it focus on its original core business of publishing, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. It is believed that seven employees, around three percent of DC’s 240-person workforce, have been impacted.

These layoffs include: John Cunningham (VP Sales Trade Marketing), Eddie Scannell (VP Consumer Marketing), and Mark Chiarello (Senior VP Art Director), who all left the publisher independently. They are joined by rumours of several other high-level executive types who may be leaving in light of this restructuring, but I’m not going to dwell in the realm of rumour and conjecture when people’s jobs are on the line.

In addition to the reports of restructuring and layoffs for DC Comics, the future of DC Comics, Mad Magazine, and Vertigo Comics also appears to be hanging in the balance. The Hollywood Reporter and other sources are implying the three imprints may have to find themselves a home outside of Warner Bros. sooner rather than later. If this comes to pass, that’s a pretty monumental shift for the status quo of one of the big two comic book publishers.

Is this the time when Netflix scoops them up like they have been doing to smaller imprints (hey, Mark Millar!), will Amazon be hosting all of our DCTV Shows in the future? Questions abound about a possible split from WB beginning with the most important (in my opinion): will the comic book continue to be published or will DC simply become an IP farm?

I hope you enjoyed the above conjecture.

The main focus of the much aforementioned restructuring will concern Editorial, Production & Manufacturing, Publishing Support Services (a new addition to the company), and for the time being DC Collectibles has now been folded under the umbrella of WB Consumer Products.

While this may seem like a lot of behind the scenes shifting – and it is that – the ramifications of this will be felt at DC Comics and WB for months to come. Mark my word and watch this column to keep up to date on future developments.

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About Author

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian girl by day and Robin by night. She lives in Los Angeles now and stars as Ensign Williams in THE RED SHIRT DIARIES, co-hosts the GEEK HISTORY LESSON podcast and writes for Top Cow.

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