The Batman is finally out in the world, and DC fans everywhere are rejoicing. The latest Dark Knight adventure marks a shift for Warner Bros. and their strategy regarding their DC characters on the big screen. While the studio still has plans within the DCEU, the Matt Reeves-directed Batman epic takes place completely outside this super-powered shared continuity.
WB seems much more welcome to the idea of a creative coming into their building and making the DC movie they want to make, whether it be in the DCEU or not. And Reeves (being one of the first to do so) has seemingly done it with some success.
While Warner is not abandoning the DCEU and looks to have ambitions to reinvigorate the franchise with projects like The Flash, from the outside, it feels like the veteran studio has shifted to focus on letting filmmakers see their vision through. This is contrary to the mission of jumpstarting a cinematic universe that WB had been on in the Zack Snyder era of their DC properties.
And according to some new quotes, this isn't just something fans are noticing, but apparently, a directive being pushed within Warner Bros.
A Change in DC Movie Making
Speaking with Deadline, President and Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group Tony Emmerich shared his vision of a filmmaker-driven future for DC movies at the studio.
The studio executive said that "The secret of the movie business is quality" and the "biggest thing you can do to influence quality" is to hire the right filmmaker.
Emmerich then stated that DC Films' properties "don’t have to all have the same tone" and don't need to "interlock with other DC movies." To Emmerich, "quality is the most important factor:"
"The secret of the movie business is quality. It’s the best business strategy for both theatrical motion pictures and superhero movies. The movies don’t have to all have the same tone, or interlock with other DC movies, or have an Easter egg that sets up another film. Quality is the most important factor for a studio, and the biggest thing you can do to influence quality is the filmmaker that you hire.”
A Bright Future for DC
This change of tact is nothing new for fans who have been keeping a close eye on the happenings at WB, however, it is reassuring to hear it come ride from someone in charge at
Warner Bros. Emmerich took his role at WB back in 2017. While it wasn't until after Justice League that a real shift started to feel like it was needed in modern DC movie making, one can tell that Emmerich was likely one of the first to notice this.
It was after that that fans started to see things changing a bit in Warner's super-powered output. It was from here that the studio began to take some chances with their IP. This included Todd Phillips' Joker, James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and now Matt Reeves' The Batman.
It is becoming clear that when WB lets a visionary see their vision through, without having to worry about the burden off collective canon (unless they want to), the results come out glowing. Joker garnered Oscar attention, The Suicide Squad has quickly become beloved by fans, and The Batman is a certified hit at the box office.
If, as brought up in the above quote, Warner Bros. is going to fully immerse themselves into this pool they have been dipping their toes in for the past couple of years, only good could come of it. Or at least that is what the track record suggests.
The latest of these filmmaker-driven efforts for DC, The Batman, can be seen now in theaters worldwide.