Three major executives at Warner Bros. Pictures, who are effectively the heads of the DC Expanded Universe films from “Man of Steel” to “Wonder Woman,” have sat down with Variety this week to talk the film initiative’s future.
Veteran producer Jon Berg and DC chief Geoff Johns oversees the films and spoke fairly candidly about how things have gone so far. Discussing how the critical reaction differed between “Wonder Woman” and the previous films, Berg says:
“[Wonder Woman] it’s a fun movie. It’s positive and optimistic. The early films may have been too dark in parts… On “Suicide Squad,” the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. “Batman v. Superman” was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.”
Asked if they expect to make more female-driven comic-book films, Johns responded:
“We’ve got a lot of plans for our female characters just because they’re great characters. There are many wonderful elements to the DC Universe, and one of them is that we have the best female characters, heroes and villains, in the world. No one is going to beat Wonder Woman and Batgirl and Harley Quinn.”
Joss Whedon is currently in the midst of reshoots on “Justice League” ahead of plans to write and direct “Batgirl”. Asked how important he will be to the DC cinematic universe going forward, Berg says:
“He’s a big part already. We love him. He’s a great partner, collaborator; we want him to be ensconced. We bring people by, have general meetings and talk about comics and their favorite superhero movies. With Joss, he saw the master board, and he saw a ‘Batgirl’ title and he said, ‘You guys seriously want to do ‘Batgirl’?’ And we said, ‘Absolutely.’ He said, ‘That’s my jam.'”
Separately, Warners CCO Toby Emmerich says one way that DC can differentiate itself from Marvel projects is not for them all to be family-friendly. He adds that he admires violent, irreverent and adult comic-book movies of late like “Logan” and “Deadpool”: “I would be surprised if we didn’t at some point make an R-rated DC movie.”
It’s expected the next phase of “Justice League” marketing is set to kick off next month at the San Diego Comic Con with DC Extended Universe reporting today that the new trailer for the film will arrive during the Warner Bros. Pictures presentation in Hall H on Saturday July 22nd.