DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer Geoff Johns is stepping down from his executive position to return to writing full time. He is launching Mad Ghost Productions which will allow him to write for comic books, television, and film for Warner Brothers and DC Comics. Through his new production company, Johns will “have his hand in current DC properties as well as new and reimagined creations.”
Johns became one of DC’s most popular writers in the 2000s, reinvigorating concepts like ‘Green Lantern’ and ‘Justice Society of America’. Even after his promotion to DCE president, Johns continued writing best selling comics like ‘Justice League’, ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Doomsday Clock’– the book that introduced characters from ‘The Watchmen’ into the mainstream DC Universe. He reinvented ‘Shazam!’ for a modern audience and his work on that concept is the basis for the upcoming film. He also contributed to the scripts for ‘Aquaman’ and ‘Wonder Woman 2’. Johns also wrote for ‘Arrow’ and had a hand in crafting ‘The Flash’, ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Black Lightning’ plus the upcoming DC Universe series ‘Titans’.
In a statement, Johns said:
“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters.”
Warner Brothers’ Toby Emmerich stated:
“Geoff is a super talented writer and truly embedded in the DC Universe and its characters. We’re thrilled that he’s returning to his passion and his roots as a writer and producer. And, it’s even better that he’s staying in our Warner Bros. family. We look forward to working with him on ‘Green Lantern’ and other projects going forward.”
DC publisher Jim Lee will assume Johns’ CCO position. In a joint statement, Lee and DC editor-in-chief Dan Didio said:
“Geoff is one of DC Comics’ most prolific writers, and we can’t wait to see what he does next now that he will be dedicating 100 percent of his time to telling the best DC stories possible across all media.”
Johns was previously tasked with working closely with Warner Brothers, including president of DC films, Walter Hamada in developing further movies in this line. Unfortunately, rumor has it, Johns’ recommendations were largely ignored on projects like ‘Batman V. Superman’.
Johns announcement comes after the announcement last week that DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson was leaving Warner Brothers and one day before the judge’s ruling will be announced in AT&T’s planned acquisition of DC’s parent company Time Warner. Meanwhile, WB is still scrambling to fix their under-performing DC film franchise.
As part of his new venture, he will establish and curate a new DC pop-up label The Killing Zone, which will focus on developing “new and lesser known or dormant DC characters and titles.” He will write a new ‘Shazam!’ series, launched no doubt, to help build up the character before the movie arrives next year, as well as ‘Three Jokers’ a project that he has had in the works for a while, but had to defer due to his other responsibilities.
Not all creative types are cut out to be businessmen and vice versa. Although it seems that Johns has done a fine job, especially in the TV department, this frees him up to do what he does best and what he really loves. Time will tell how much input he will have in upcoming media projects.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter