In response to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice receiving poor critical notes and significant-but-disappointing box office returns, Warner Bros. is changing the way it handles DC movies and other franchise properties, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The biggest news stemming from the overhaul is that Warner Bros. has put executive vice president Jon Berg and DC chief content officer Geoff Johns in charge of the newly created DC Films. Berg already has worked on Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and Justice League. He also has a good relationship with Ben Affleck, who, besides playing Batman in the DC movies, has worked with Berg as the writer-director of Argo and the forthcoming Live By Night. (Affleck also recently became an executive producer on Justice League.)
Meanwhile, Johns wrote comics before becoming an executive at Warner Bros., and he more recently teamed with showrunner Greg Berlanti to launch the superhero television series Arrow and The Flash. Johns is also co-writing the new standalone Batman movie with Affleck. The goal here seems to be putting an actual authority on comics in charge of movies based on comics, which Marvel figured out a long time ago. However, Warner Bros. sources say that the company wants to remain a filmmaker-driven studio, so while this change-up aims to guarantee a certain level of quality, it’s possible the individual DC movies will be more idiosyncratic than Marvel’s superhero happy meals.
The reshuffling at DC also extends to non-comics properties. Now, executives will be in charge of certain “genre streams” instead of having a broad range of movies to oversee. For example, executive Courtenay Valenti will now oversee films related to Lego and Harry Potter (like the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them) rather than fielding all of the studio’s new projects. That’s a good stream to have, and we feel sorry for whichever executive drew the short straw on the Scooby-Doo reboot.