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Following Justice League and other DC releases that haven't all been hits, it looks like some significant changes have taken place behind the scenes at Warner Bros. Perhaps most notably, the studio has shuffled personnel around in an attempt to refocus its efforts for future projects, including the promotion of Walter Hamada to president of DC film production. Now it looks like another change is taking place as well, as the studio has begun a concerted effort to place critical decisions in the hands of a smaller group of studio executives and streamline the development process.
The core of this development involves the positioning of Warner Bros. Pictures Chairman Toby Emmerich as the direct subordinate to Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara, as well as the decision to have Sue Kroll step down from her position as a DCEU producer. If this report from The Wrap is to be taken at face value, the aim here is to create a more cohesive sense of direction in which Emmerich and Emmerich alone will have the ability to greenlight DCEU projects.
The marketing of Justice League and the film's theatrical rollout has been cited as a prime example of the behind-the-scenes issues that Warner Bros. has faced. Between the film's Superman-less promotional campaign, as well as the rumored studio mandate that required the film to clock in at two hours, some have argued that too many people have had their hands on the wheel for the recent DCEU movies.
Although we cannot confirm exactly what happened outside the limelight, there's a certain amount of credence to these claims of too-many-cooks situations when we look at some of the drama that has taken place in the world of the DCEU over the last couple of years. From the constant problems and creative differences that have plagued The Flash's solo movie (which recently became The Flash: Flashpoint) to the decisions to release extended cuts of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, we've seen a number of instances in which several parties have had hands in making major decisions.
If the DCEU truly is streamlining its creative process, then it looks like Warner Bros. might be taking a cue from the competition. From a producing standpoint, the Marvel Cinematic Universe mostly falls back on a few key players to make the bulk of the decisions, with the buck stopping at Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Feige. With fewer major decisions made by committee, the DCEU could soon start to feel like it has a stronger, singular vision, and a sense of forward momentum.
Other shifts that have taken place in the DCEU recently have also involved the shifting and shuffling of key personnel. We have already mentioned the promotion of The Conjuring universe producer Walter Hamada (which may bode well for the release of Aquaman), but there have been some other changes, as well. Specifically, Sue Kroll's decision to step down was preceded by the announcement of reduced roles for key DC figures like producer Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. Looking at all of these developments through a big picture lens, it offers us the sense that the DCEU and Warner Bros. are trying to switch things up after expectations exceeded results.
CinemaBlend will bring you more information related to these latest shifts in the DCEU as more details become available to us. As for the next major DCEU film, James Wan's Aquaman will premiere in theaters later this year on December 21, 2018.