Thursday, December 7, 2017

JUSTICE LEAGUE Fallout Results in DC Films Overhaul

Another year, another restructuring of DC Films.

Variety is reporting that Warner Bros. is planning to shake up and restructure its DC Films division following the box office disappointment of Zack Snyder's Justice League.  The overhaul is expected to happen by January.

Back in May 2016, Warner Bros. made similar changes following the box office disappointment of Snyder's previous DC Extended Universe film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  In an attempt to replicate the way Marvel Studios has produced its films under the supervision of Kevin Feige, Warner Bros. decided to team executive vice president Jon Berg with Geoff Johns, DC's chief creative officer, to co-run the newly created DC Films and oversee the DCEU.

But now, the article claims that Berg will be "leaving his current job running the comic book’s film production division, according to several sources with knowledge of the studio’s plans.  A search is underway for his replacement.  Berg will instead become a production partner with Roy Lee, the producer of The Lego Movie and It, who has a deal on the lot."  Warner Bros. is expected to name someone else to oversee DC Films.

As for Johns, the article states he's "expected to continue serving as DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer.  Johns, who reports to DC president Diane Nelson, works in areas such as television (and has written various episodes for DC-inspired shows), publishing, and consumer products, in addition to his contributions to the films.  Going forward, his work on the films may evolve, and could be more advisory in nature."

In addition, Variety's sources claim that Warner Bros. Picture Group President Toby Emmerich is reportedly considering integrating DC’s film operations into the studio’s main movie purview, which would mean putting the divisions under the same roof rather than having DC remain in a separate building on the lot.

Variety claims that Warner Bros.' overlords at Time Warner support the moves and are not happy with how Justice League has performed.  The film reportedly had a production budget of around $300 million, but after three and a half weeks, has only made over $201 million domestically and over $573 million worldwide.  This pales in comparison to Marvel's The Avengers, which made over $623 million domestically and over $1.5 billion worldwide.

Thankfully, there aren't any plans for Snyder to direct another DCEU movie, although he's producing or executive producing Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman.  The article mentions that Warner Bros. still has a production deal with Snyder, so it’s possible he could direct additional films for the studio.  Variety states that Time Warner is "frustrated that Warner Bros. leaders continue to bring the director back, especially after Batman v Superman was excoriated by critics even though it made money.  They are also upset that each new DC film seems to be making less money than its predecessor.  Only Wonder Woman, with its optimistic heroine, managed to be both a critical and commercial success."

The current DCEU slate has James Wan's Aquaman up next on December 21, 2018, followed by David F. Sandberg's Shazam! from Warner Bros' New Line Cinema on April 5, 2019, and Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019.   Other unscheduled films include Matt Reeves' The Batman, which will now star someone other than Ben Affleck as Batman, and Flashpoint, which is currently expected to have Ezra Miller reprise his Justice League role as The Flash.

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