Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was met with a barrage of scathing reviews following its release, sparking a debate about critical reception versus box office success. Although Zack Snyder's epic broke records and grossed just shy of $870 million, the stain of a 27 percent Rotten Tomatoes score has been hard to wash from the fabric of the DCEU.
As a result of DC's suited superhero ensemble failing to meet expectations, the men and women in grey suits at Warner Bros. are facing a backlash. In an effort to send shockwaves (or at least a ripple of change) through the creative process, the studio has made a multitude of adjustments behind the scenes.
And, if you can't wash the stain out, it's time for a new washing machine. To get their laundry in order, Warner Bros. has launched a new offshoot, DC Films, to oversee creative direction for specific projects. DC heavyweights Jon Berg and Geoff Johns will take control of the new division.
All Change Behind The Scenes
According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources have bemoaned the lack of distinction across the studio's wide range of creative material, something that the refinement of executive positions will be looking to resolve.
Berg was previously executive VP, and has already been working on upcoming projects including Suicide Squad and Justice League. He'll report directly to Warner Bros. president Greg Silverman. Johns — who has been instrumental in the success of TV shows such as Arrow and The Flash — will report to DC Entertainment's President Diane Nelson.
Away from the superhero landscape, Warner Bros.' LEGO and Harry Potter extended universe projects will also get their own division under the leadership of Courtenay Valenti, and senior production executives Jesse Ehrman and Niija Kuykendall will oversee other specific genres.
While more changes are to come, these also aren't the first; Warner Bros. has previously given director Seth Grahame-Smith the vote of no-confidence, removing him from The Flash feature. Meanwhile, the undeniable expertise of Ben Affleck will be utilized in Justice League, after he has been moved into an executive producer role.
But Are Creative Changes Imminent?
The background maneuvering suggests that Warner Bros. is determined to increase the critical reception of the films they produce. Although executives ultimately have the final say, it remains to be seen whether any additional changes will be made creatively.
As well as David Ayer's Suicide Squad undergoing some major patching up with recent reshoots, there have been doubts over James Wan's commitment to Aquaman, in addition to calls from some fans to remove Zack Snyder from Justice League.
As Warner Bros. aims to reach the peak of the superhero mountain — where currently Marvel Studios has firmly planted their flag — ultimately, giving more love and attention to DC's Extended Universe can only have a positive outcome for fans.
Do you think these changes will improve the DCEU?
Source: The Hollywood Reporter