The shuffles at Warner Bros and DC are continuing following the announcement that Ben Affleck will have producing duties on the Justice League movies.
THR reports that there are changes being made following the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The superhero smackdown was hugely expensive but pulled in a disappointing (if still massive) $870 million worldwide. The site reports that the movie will end up being profitable, but “will end up being profitable” obviously isn’t a dream result for your tentpole blockbuster.
So, there are some shuffles and some changes happening. DC veteran Geoff Johns and executive VP Jon Berg will run the DC Films division, which has been created in an attempt to streamline and make things a bit less “murky.” There will now be “genre streams” at Warner Bros, and there’s obviously a lot of focus on their DC movie slate.
Johns will be a familiar name to DC fans. A comic book writer who moved into the TV/movie side, he’s worked on shows like Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl with Greg Berlanti, and was widely reported as working with Ben Affleck on his solo Batman movie.
Berg, meanwhile, is described as “a conduit to Affleck” following their collaborations on the star’s directorial outings like Argo and the upcoming Live By Night.
If there seems to be an emphasis on Affleck, that’s not an accident. The studio has prided itself on making these comic book movies “filmmaker-driven,” but they’re taking a serious look at those filmmakers and they seem to have a lot of confidence in their Batman.
On the other hand, THR suggests that Seth Grahame-Smith was taken off The Flash because Warner Bros “didn’t feel confident in a first-time helmer and is now looking for a more seasoned filmmaker who can not only handle a large, $150 million-plus movie but who can also have an authoritative stamp.” Affleck’s role as a executive producer on the JL movies was generally interpreted as a move to get more of his input while continuing his good working relationship with director Zack Snyder.
Next on the slate is Suicide Squad. Although the film has undergone “major reshoots,” the site reports that those aren’t to add more humour but to make sure that people are going to get what they liked about the very popular trailers, reportedly with Johns’ involvement (he’s apparently involved in post-production too). The studio made a big deal of the fact that David Ayer was both writing and directing the film, and what we’ve seen so far would certainly suggest that his stamp is on the film. With an early August release date, they must be hoping that the Squad will go a long way towards quieting those post BVS concerns.
Meanwhile, in terms of reshoots and concerns, it’s all been pretty quiet around Wonder Woman. Hopefully they’re just quietly getting that right.
Suicide Squad is released on 5 August. Wonder Woman is released on 2 June 2017. The Justice League Part One is released on 17 November 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.