In the wake of the critical and financial disappointment that was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the future of the DC Extended Universe has been put into question. It’s still happening, as evidenced by news of in-development films like a Harley Quinn spinoff and Booster Gold solo film, but there have been several shakedowns behind the scenes of Warner Brots. The studio is apparently fighting with director Zack Snyder over the direction of Justice League (which Ben Affleck has just been named executive producer) and The Flash solo project lost director Seth Grahame-Smith over creative differences.
As it turns out, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Warner Bros. has in fact changed things up on an executive level in an effort to course-correct the DC Extended Universe after the Dark Knight and Last Son of Krypton’s big screen brawl. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they’ve done that by creating a division dedicated solely to DC Comics adaptions (called, aptly, DC Films), which will be co-run by DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns and executive producer Jon Berg.
According to the report, this restructuring marks a “broader refinement of executive roles” at the studio, and won’t just take effect for the DC film slate, but other major franchises like The LEGO Movie projects and the new Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Instead of the studio being in charge of a wide range of films, executives will be assigned to mange “genre streams,” then report back to Warner Brothers Pictures president Greg Silverman.
Johns (who’s also co-writing the next solo Batman film with Ben Affleck) will be reporting to DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson, while Berg (who was a producer on Argo, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman) will report to Greg Silverman. They have both been named producers on Justice League, and will oversee the rest of the DC Films slate.
So, what does this mean for the DC Extended Universe? It means that Warner Brother.s is finally taking Marvel Studios’ lead. The rival studio has produced all of its films under the vision of president Kevin Feige, who oversees each individual film and maintains the franchise’s larger, over-arching vision. WB hopes that Johns and Berg will “unify the disparate elements of the DC movies,” as they represent a seasoned comic book writer/fan voice and veteran film producer, respectively.