Superheroes are all the rage. After San Diego Comic-Con, the world of all things geeky just got a whole lot more interesting. For decades there has been an ever-raging battle between DC and Marvel, and recently Marvel has been winning that fight, at least when it comes to the film portion of their rivalry. However, WB and DC just restructured everything behind the scenes in a move that might just propel them a major step forward in that direction: Not only was longtime DC writer/consultant Geoff Johns recently promoted to the head of DC Films within Warner Bros. Studios, it was recently announced that he would also be stepping into a new role as the head of DC Entertainment.
The news that DC aficionado Geoff Johns is set to take a bigger role in the future of the DCEU is fantastic. Fans have wanted it for a long time, and WB and DC finally listened. Johns is the perfect man for the job, and, more importantly, perhaps the only man capable of taking on a role that DC has desperately needed for years, a role that is essentially DC's answer to Kevin Feige at Marvel.
Meet The New DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns
Geoff Johns is a self-professed fanboy of all things DC. He started out his illustrious career as a intern for the man known for directing the very first modern superhero film, Richard Donner (who directed 1978's Superman starring Christopher Reeve). Due to this connection, Johns soon got the opportunity to write comic books for DC Comics. In 2000 he became a co-writer on JSA, and in that same year he got his first job as a regular writer for The Flash comics. Over the years, Johns has made some important additions to the world of DC Comics, most notably creating the Red Lantern Corps, the Blue Lantern Corps, and the Indigo Tribe.
After years of writing comic books, Johns was named the Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics in 2010. This position cemented him as a force to be reckoned with within DC and the industry, but still allowed him the freedom to write. During that time, he wrote what would become one of his most celebrated story lines: the famed Flashpoint miniseries and the crossover event of the same name.
What Does Comic Book Writing Have To Do With Movie Making?
Geoff Johns is a man of many talents. Besides creating riveting comic books, he has also written episodes of some of DC's most celebrated television shows. He wrote three episodes of Smallville, including the feature length episode "Absolute Justice." Furthermore, he wrote several episodes of Arrow and he was one of the masterminds behind introducing Barry Allen into the DC TV Universe. Due to his deep understanding of the Flash character, Johns serves as a co-developer and executive producer of The Flash on the CW, which is arguably DC's most beloved and well-received live action property to date.
Most recently, Johns served as an executive producer for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, after the movie received rather poor reviews from both critics and many fans alike (and that for a movie starring two of the most well-known superheroes in the world), DC realized there had to be some changes made behind the scenes.
As President & Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment
After years of working in and around the world of superheroes, Geoff Johns is gaining even more power over the future of the world he has worked so hard to create. Johns has actually held the title of President since May when he was promoted to the head of DC Films alongside Jon Berg. However, in the latest report Johns now only reports to one person, Diane Nelson, who holds so many titles it's hard to tell exactly what's she's in charge of (her titles include President of DC Entertainment, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products and President and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment). Regardless, Johns is now the guiding force behind the film and television adaptions of DC Comic's properties that are produced by Warner Bros.
After the impressive showing DC gave at SDCC this past weekend, it's clearly evident that Geoff Johns was the right man for the job. I mean seriously, he co-wrote the script for Wonder Woman and just watch this trailer. It's simply amazing.
Right?!? By far one of the greatest superhero trailers to come out of SDCC this year (which is saying a lot because they were all so amazing). In addition to co-writing the script for Wonder Woman, Johns is co-writing the script for the Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie. Johns is one of the most experienced people currently working on the future of DCEU and his new title gives renewed hope the the DCEU will exceed all of our expectations. But it also shows that DC Films is moving in the right direction for another reason entirely.
Johns Is Positioned To Become DC's Answer To Marvel's Kevin Feige
Let's take a quick break from DC and talk about another studio that had a fantastic showing at SDCC, Marvel Studios. Who is the first person you think about when you hear the phrase "Marvel Cinematic Universe?" For some the mind might jump straight to Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, or some other superhero who stars in outstanding movies produced by Marvel Studios. However, there is one hero behind all the movies, a man so integral to the creation of the MCU that he has since become the most important person in the superhero movie genre. I'm talking about none other than Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige. Not sure why this man is so important? Let's break it down.
Alright, to really understand how important Feige is, and how Johns' rise within DC has mirrored Feige's own rise within Marvel, we have to go back more than a decade. In 2005, the head of the Marvel film division, Avi Arad, wanted to find a way to produce more movies in-house. Prior to 2005, Marvel just co-produced movies with other studios. With Arad, Kevin Feige (who at the time was Arad's right hand man) pitched the idea to create a shared universe utilizing the heroes they still owned the rights to and culminate it into a massive crossover event. His vision was to create something the likes of which Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created when they made Marvel famous back in the 1960s. Arad disagreed with the direction Feige wanted to take and resigned a year after financing the first "phase" had completed. But Feige forged ahead.
In 2007, Feige was named the President of Marvel Studios and formed a six person committee to oversee future projects. Then in 2008, the world got the first installment into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man. After thirteen movies, two hugely successful shows on ABC, and two seasons of groundbreaking Netflix Originals, Kevin Feige's dream for a shared universe has become an international phenomenon. Over the past decade, Feige has seen more and more power come into his capable hands. Back in September of last year, Feige's "years of frustration" came to an end when the creative committee was disbanded and Feige was personally put in charge of all decisions moving forward instead of having to convince the committee that it was a good idea (because let's face it, Feige was the heart and brains of that committee anyway). So wait a minute, what does Kevin Feige have to do with Geoff Johns?
Johns And Feige Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin
Kevin Feige and Geoff Johns both love superheroes. It is this love that has made both men some of the most powerful people in creating the future of the superhero movie genre. Feige created the concept of the shared cinematic universe, but Geoff Johns is set to take the genius idea and incorporate it in innovative ways into the DCEU.
Johns' experience easily matches up to that of Feige and DC needs him more now than ever. After the lackluster reception that BvS received, Johns has a lot of work to do to ensure the future survival of the DCEU. With a man like Johns, DC might stand a chance to recapture the lost decade of time that Marvel holds over them to create a cinematic universe that is equal in scope and greatness to the MCU. Only time will tell if Johns is able to accomplish the goals of the fandom, but with Suicide Squad, Justice League, and Wonder Woman all coming to our screens in the near future, DC has now gotten past their blackest night and entered their brightest day.