In the weeks since ‘Justice League‘ arrived in theaters, we’ve all been waiting for the other shoe to drop. Coming on the heels of ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ (which proved divisive to say the least), ‘Justice League’ had a lot resting on its shoulders. Despite the success of ‘Wonder Woman’ earlier this year (the exception that proves the rule, it would seem), ‘Justice League’ represented something of a “proof of concept” for the entire DC cinematic venture to date. As such, it needed to succeed. Unfortunately for Warner Bros, the film hasn’t met with a tepid reception from audiences and critics alike, underperforming by some $30 million in its opening weekend.
The moment those opening weekend numbers started to come in, it was clear that something had to be done behind the scenes. But how, exactly, would Warner Bros respond? Speculation was all over the map, with the most popular options among the commentariat being either a fresh start or a ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’-style reboot (most likely by way of ‘Flashpoint‘, the Flash’s still in development solo film, based on the reality-altering comic book of the same name). Well, today we got the first concrete sense of just what shape that response would take.
Variety, citing anonymous sources, is reporting that Jon Berg will be leaving his current job at the head of DC Films. Berg, along with DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, was tapped to head the newly created DC Films in the wake of ‘Batman v Superman’ divided audiences and found itself on the receiving end of the sort of critical evisceration usually reserved for the work of Tommy Wiseau. For his part, Johns is expected to remain, but the exact nature of his involvement in future films is likely to change. Warner Bros Picture Group President Toby Emmerich is also reportedly considering the possibility of folding DC Films into the studio proper, a model more closely resembling that followed by 21st Century Fox’s ‘X-Men’ franchise.
No major changes have yet been announced to Warner’s upcoming slate of DC films. ‘Aquaman’, which wrapped principle photography in October, remains on track for a December 2018 release. Meanwhile, ‘Wonder Woman 2’ and ‘Flashpoint’ remain in development along with a ‘Shazam’ feature. While several other films have been announced over the last few years, those are the ones most likely to remain on track. Everything else should be taken with a grain of salt, especially in light of today’s shakeup.
In all likelihood, this is just the beginning of the changes to Warner’s DC film operation. Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on the future of Warner’s DC films as it becomes available. Their latest effort, ‘Justice League’, is now playing in theaters. The would-be flagship of the DC Extended Universe, which was directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, features returning stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons, and Amy Adams alongside a slate of newcomers that includes Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Amber Heard, Ciaran Hinds, and J.K. Simmons.