Arrowverse Creator Abandons Management Amid DC Shakeup

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
DC Arrowverse posters

Arrowverse boss Greg Berlanti has switched up his Hollywood management amid the DC management shakeup that has placed James Gunn and Peter Safran at the head of the franchise's movie, television, and animation endeavors. 

For the last decade, Greg Berlanti's infamous Arrowverse has unfolded across six series and seven blockbuster crossover events. This all made for arguably the most connected DC story ever brought to screens, but alas, all good things must come to an end, as The CW franchise now seems to be winding down.

The Flash - the last surviving of the six shows - is set to debut its final episodes with an abbreviated Season 9 in 2023, bringing Berlanti's masterclass in DC storytelling to a close. However, the Arrowverse boss already has big career moves in the pipeline as he has just made a major career shift. 

Arrowverse Producer Makes Major Career Switch

Arrowverse Crisis poster

According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), DC's Arrowverse producer Greg Berlanti has inked a deal with CAA to represent him in all areas, abandoning his 15-year tenure with WME. The legendary producer will now have his representation handled by a CAA team led by Bryan Lourd.

CAA's Lourd has recently been on the attack in Hollywood after already taking Charlize Theron from WME and now Berlanti - who may be the agency's second biggest TV client, just behind Law & Order producer Dick Wolf.

Berlanti is currently in the fourth year of his $400 million deal with Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) that expires in 2024 - although the producer is in negotiations to extend this deal. But as that agreement predates the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger, it remains unclear if he will extend under the new management.

The producer currently holds the record for having the most scripted originals airing or in development and receives bonuses under his WBD deal for the number of his projects that get picked up. Although this career model is becoming increasingly less viable due to shifts in the industry.

That record has taken a hit since The CW was sold to Nexstar in October, as three of Berlanti Productions' eight series running on the network are due to end this season - The Flash, Stargirl, and Riverdale. The new owner is said to be seeking more lower-cost scripted series in an effort to make The CW profitable. 

Puck revealed in a recent newsletter that Berlanti has been agitated as of late as Nexstar has been far less willing to throw money at the producer.

Berlanti's future role in the superhero world under James Gunn and Peter Safran's DC Studios may also be of concern. As DC seeks to unify its content across multiple mediums, there may be no place for the producer and his historically separate content such as the Arrowverse, Titans, and Doom Patrol.

On top of the upcoming seasons of The Flash, Superman & Lois, and Gotham Knights, Berlanti is reworking his Green Lantern series for HBO Max to star the John Stewart iteration of the emerald hero. However, the status of the project under the new DC Studios leadership remains unclear at this time.

In the past, it was far more viable to have as many as 15 shows airing at the same time, and Berlanti thrived under that. But the desire for a less-involved producer who outputs high volume has dipped severely over recent years, particularly in the age of big-budget streaming endeavors.

The producer has reportedly been angered that his previous management under WME and Ari Greenburg didn't foreshadow this shift. Meanwhile, CAA's Lourd - who has long been friends with Berlanti - seems to have played a long-game and sold him on what Puck describes as a "hybrid volume-and-prestige plan." 

THR's sources claim that Berlanti is excited about the next chapter of his career and wanted the right agents to assist with that mission. The producer has recently been jumping further into film through his new movie company that he formed last year with long-time collaborator Sarah Schechter, Berlanti/Schechter Films - which now has a first-look deal with Netflix.

Berlanti has not received the coveted "created by" credit on any of his projects since 2012's Political Animals. Part of the role of his new representation at CAA will be to change that in the coming years.

In an unprecedented move in the industry, the DC veteran's lawyers reportedly recently sent a letter to WME to note that Berlanti's former agency would receive no commission from a potential 2024 renewal deal with WBD - the commission for which could exceed $40 million.

WBD CEO David Zaslav is said to be eager to extend the studio's deal with Berlanti Production, with THR's report referring to it as "one of the studio’s most important deals." Puck even claimed that Zaslav is eager to renew the deal before 2024, likely to secure his involvement for the long-term.

What's Next For Greg Berlanti At DC?

Arrowverse poster

Greg Berlanti currently has The Flash Season 9, Superman & Lois Season 3, Titans Season 4, Doom Patrol Season 4, and Gotham Knights all safe at DC. The first entry on that list could bring the producer's infamous Arrowverse to a close as it marks the end of the last running series in the connected DC universe.

That will seemingly leave Berlanti with an assortment of different projects taking place in distinct universes, none of which yet have commitments beyond their current seasons. With DC Studios aiming to unify the franchise under the new regime, any of those projects could prove to be among the next casualties. 

Aside from those projects, the fates of which are up in the air, Berlanti still has both the John Diggle-led Justice U spin-off and his Green Lantern series in the works. The former could truly go either way, while the latter appears far more likely to get the axe as Gunn likely has his own plans for the emerald space cop.

Nonetheless, with Zaslav supposedly seeing the deal with Berlanti as among the studio's most important, the producer likely has a bright future ahead at the company and the newly-formed DC Studios. After all, the Arrowverse creator was reportedly a contender for the top job that eventually went to Gunn and Safran.

The Arrowverse will return to The CW when The Flash premieres its ninth and final season on February 8, 2023.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.