With everyone in Hollywood chasing Marvel‘s model, one of the key ingredients to their success is that they have someone in an executive role, namely Kevin Feige, who takes a creative overview to make sure everything is working in sync. Warner Bros., eager to stand apart from their comic book movie rivals, have chosen to go with a director-driven approach, with a loose collective of suits peering at the developing projects, though there has been no real guiding light. That seems somewhat mystifying, and WB, perhaps recognizing they need some serious quality control, are making some changes.
Warner Bros. has now created a DC Films division, and tapped studio VP Jon Berg and DC’s chief content officer Geoff Johns to run it together. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s pretty insane it’s taken the company this long to try and put some kind of unified focus on the huge slate of superhero movies. But better late than never, I suppose.
The move comes as WB watches “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” slide out of theaters without crossing $900 million worldwide, and taking a beating from both critics and fans. And there’s one name that’s quite a notable omission: Zack Snyder. One of the architects of the current DC Films slate, it seems the studio is eager to strip down the influence he has had so far, first by signing up Ben Affleck to executive produce the currently shooting “Justice League,” and now by seemingly sidelining the director from a bigger creative role.
Indeed, there seems to be a major re-thinking going on about all the films. As we know, this summer’s “Suicide Squad” recently underwent extensive, multi-million dollar reshoots, with the rumor being that the studio wanted more humor. Jai Courtney countered that by saying it was actually more action being added, while director David Ayer has said that WB loves the movie and just wants to maximize its potential. So which is it?
According to THR‘s sources, it’s the humor quotient in “Suicide Squad” that’s being boosted. Even more, Geoff Johns has become more active during the post-production phase as WB is trying “to smooth out the third act” of the film and “make sure audiences’ expectations are not only met but exceeded.” It’s certainly becoming more apparent that a lot is riding on the reception of “Suicide Squad,” and WB is moving heaven and earth to make sure it’s a bullseye smash hit.
And expect more shake-ups to come. It was just a couple of weeks ago that Seth Grahame-Smith exited “The Flash” over “creative differences,” but apparently WB grew worried about giving a major tentpole to a director who hasn’t really done one yet, and are looking for a more experienced helmer. And I would also expect some of those solo movies to get pushed back or dropped in favor of other vehicles (like that Margot Robbie-driven Harley Quinn spinoff).
Thoughts? Can WB’s course correction work? Let us know in the comments section.