The box office take for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was something that nearly every movie studio dreams about. However, with as much riding on the film as Warner Bros. had, the numbers, along with the less than favorable reviews, combined into something that the team behind the DC Extended Universe was far from happy about. As a result, Warner Bros. has been making several behind-the-scenes changes, and now they’ve added another. Jon Berg, an executive vice president at Warner Brothers, and Geoff Johns, the Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics, have been given oversight responsibility for the entire DCEU.
As Chief Creative Officer at DC, Geoff Johns was in part responsible for much of the recent success that DC has seen on TV in recent years with the likes of Arrow and The Flash. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jon Berg is currently involved already, with the production of all of DC current projects, from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to the first part of Justice League. Interestingly, Berg also has a strong working relationship with Ben Affleck, as the two worked on Argo and the Batman actor’s most recent directorial effort, Live By Night, together. Affleck himself was previously made an executive producer on Justice League in another recent behind-the-scenes move.
With a movie industry veteran and a comics expert at the helm, the plan seems to be to try to solidify and focus the efforts of the various parts of the machine. While Warner Bros. still wants the DC movies to remain "filmmaker-driven," it’s clear that the studio needs to fine tune their process. They are looking to emulate the type of oversight that Kevin Feige has over Marvel Studios.
In addition to the shuffling of executives at the top, there have been a few other reported changes to the future of DC’s movies. Seth Grahame-Smith was recently dropped as the director of the planned Flash solo movie, while Suicide Squad has been going through reshoots to reportedly make changes to the third act of the film. Some sources have claimed that the purpose of the reshoots is to add humor and lighten the tone of the film, while others have disputed that.
What is certainly clear is that Warner Bros. knows they need to make some changes, but they’re not quite sure what those changes need to be, much less what to do to accomplish them. Hopefully, some oversight and direction from the top will turn out to be the silver bullet the studio needs. Of course, with Suicide Squad getting ready for release, and Wonder Woman having completed filming already, it still may be awhile before the results of the changes are even seen.
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