Batman v Superman was a fan and critical bust despite grossing almost $1 billion dollars in worldwide revenue, and its disappointing reception has sent ripple effects throughout the DC Entertainment Universe.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, DC’s Chief Content Officer Geoff Johns and Executive Vice President Jon Berg have ascended to the top of the Warner Bros. creative pyramid, once presumably held by Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder, to help oversee the future of the DC film universe.
“With Berg and Johns, Warner Bros. is attempting to unify the disparate elements of the DC movies with a seasoned film exec and a comics veteran that together hopefully can emulate the way Marvel Studios has produced its films under the vision of president Kevin Feige…as part of their new jobs, Berg and Johns will become producers on the Justice League movies.”
Warner Bros. had made its reputation in the superhero world as being a filmmaker-first operation, but due to the lackluster response to Batman v Superman, which included the dark tone and misrepresentation of iconic characters, the studio took it upon themselves to right the ship before the next wave of DC films hits theaters over the course of the next few years.
“As much as some will view these moves as hopeless, or motivated by desperation, those following the development of the DCEU have no doubt recognized that the process is, if nothing else, unclear,” Screenrant explains.
“Over a dozen films, adaptations and projects have been confirmed to be ‘in development,’ with no additional word on exactly which are actually planned for WB’s slate. And with Zack Snyder appearing as the only creative force behind the studio’s core superhero franchises – a role that he may not fill or want – a more solid structure was bound to happen sooner or later (thankfully).”
As reported by the Inquisitr, Ben Affleck was recently tapped as an executive producer on the upcoming Justice League film, and he recruited his Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio to assist with rewrites. Considering Affleck’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman was seen as one of the few positives of the film, coupled with his Oscar-winning pedigree, the move by Warner Bros. seemed logical despite being reactionary.
Berg, meanwhile, is already heavily invested in the DC film world having worked behind the scenes on Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League. THR also called him a “conduit” to Ben Affleck, having worked with the actor-filmmaker on Argo and Live by Night, a new crime thriller being released by Warner Bros.
Geoff Johns’ resume includes a long history of comic book gold, having written critically lauded runs on The Green Lantern, Aquaman, The Flash, and Superman throughout his almost 20-year career at DC Comics. He also made a name for himself in the TV world having spearheaded Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl alongside showrunner Greg Berlanti. He has recently been tasked as the architect behind DC’s upcoming Rebirth storyline as well, which will see the reboot of every major DC comic book title. His one blemish, though, is as co-producer on 2011’s Green Lantern film, which bombed at the box office and was met with lukewarm reviews.
Berg and Johns’ promotions weren’t the only Batman v Superman fallout to take place recently. As reported by Variety, Seth Grahame-Smith left the upcoming Flash film citing “creative differences” with the studio. THR is reporting, however, that Warner Bros. didn’t feel confident in a first-time helmer on the project. And there were also rumors that Aquaman director James Wan was getting cold feet. The director took to Twitter, however, to dispel those rumors.
[Batman Image via Warner Bros./Geoff Johns Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]