This looks like a job for… Walter Hamada. Warner Bros. has appointed executive producer Hamada as the new president of DC Comics movies. After ‘Justice League’ followed in the footsteps of earlier disappointments ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’, it was a given that WB would shake up its structure. The position was previously occupied by Jon Berg and Geoff Johns. In addition to the DC movies, Hamada will oversee any additional comic book films the studio chooses to make.
Hamada previously served as a production executive at Warner’s subsidiary New Line, where he helped shepherd such hits as ‘It’ and the popular ‘Conjuring’ series as well as its spin-offs, including the ‘Annabelle’ movies. ‘The Conjuring’ and ‘Annabelle’ films were guided by James Wan, who directed the upcoming ‘Aquaman’ DC film, while David F. Sandberg, the helmer of ‘Shazam!’ directed the acclaimed ‘Annabelle: Creation’. So the fact that Hamada already has a successful working relationship with these creators should be a good sign and maybe a large factor as to why WB selected him.
Hamada also has a close working relationship with Toby Emmerich, who was promoted to president and chief content officer at Warner Bros. in 2016, after functioning as president of New Line, where Hamada served for a decade.
Of Hamada’s new appointment, Emmerich said:
“Walter is creative, resourceful, and committed to excellence, and will bring those qualities to his oversight of our superhero films.”
Johns will retain his role as president and chief creative officer of DC Comics and will continue to provide guidance to the comic books, television shows, and movies. He will continue to work closely with Hamada to help guide the future of the struggling DC film slate.
“I’m confident Walter and Geoff, working with our filmmaking partners, will deliver films that will resonate with both broad global audiences as well as DC fanboys and fangirls.”
After the debacle of ‘Batman V Superman’, Courtenay Valenti (‘Harry Potter’) was promoted to President of Production at WB and she will remain in that role along with DC Entertainment chief Diane Nelson.
Hamada’s filmography mainly consists of horror movies, which is the majority of what New Line produces. It remains to be seen how that aesthetic may influence the DC movies. And while ‘Justice League’ underperformed, there was one massive DC movie last year– ‘Wonder Woman’. And other than ‘Wonder Woman’, WB scored another major win with ‘It’, in which Hamada had a direct hand.
‘Aquaman’ is the next DC movie, but it will not arrive until December 21. The film is already shot and is in post-production so there will not likely be any major changes made to it. ‘Shazam!’ is gearing up to begin production to be released on April 5, 2019. ‘Wonder Woman 2’ is also set to arrive in 2019, on November 1. Beyond that, no other DC films have release dates, or even production start dates.
This shakeup was no surprise, but time will tell if Hamada can rescue the DC film universe.