Charles Roven has been a hands-on producer of every Warner Bros/ DC movie since ‘Batman Begins,’ a track record that until recently, has been pretty good. His potential downfall came in that he was part of Zack Snyder’s brain trust laying out the foundation of the DC Cinematic Universe, especially with ‘Batman V Superman.’ With the disappointing box office returns (the film did not even break $1 billion after a $300 million budget), and disturbing critical reviews (still hovering around 28% on Rotten Tomatoes), Warner Bros is cleaning house.
Roven’s role within the Warner Bros DC film projects is being re-shifted but he’s not being removed entirely from the picture, as he is still producing ‘Suicide Squad,‘ ‘Wonder Woman,’ and ‘Justice League,’ but he is being removed from other DC Expanded Universe projects, which the company explains away by stating that it would be very difficult for one man to be such a hands-on producer on all of these films, especially as many will be filming at the same time in locations around the world. One studio spokesman was quick to remind us that “Roven is a key member of not only the DC slate but of the Warner Bros. family,” which sounds nice, but actions still speak louder than words. If any of the films that Roven is currently attached to fail as spectacularly at ‘Batman V Superman,’ I would not be surprised if we saw the man let go from the studio altogether.
What is sad is that ‘Batman V Superman’ still made close to $900 million, so it was not a complete failure, and Warner Bros is basically making all of its decisions based on comparisons to Marvel and the MCU, who just managed to break the $1 billion mark with ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in just under 3 weeks. They are forgetting that Marvel took the time to build up all of these franchises (‘Civil War’ after all is the 13th film of the MCU) and did not rely on one director (like Snyder) or one producer (like Roven) to pull everything together and make a billion dollar franchise in the first film. That’s a lot of pressure, even if you do have the luxury of making a film using the world’s premiere superheroes like Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. And of course, what makes it even more sad is that when Warner Bros executives saw an early cut of ‘Batman V Superman’ they thought it was so fantastic that they all got up and cheered for the film, proving that the fault lies with everyone at the company (and that executives do not always know a good product when they see it either).
What are your thoughts on Warner Bros latest assignment of blame for ‘Batman V Superman’? Is there still hope for the DC Expanded Universe? Share your comments below!
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.