It seems that Warner Bros. is finally at least beginning to show signs of being on the right track with its DC properties. The studio's super-powered ventures on the big and small screen have been the butt of many a joke in recent years; however, the winds of change are blowing. More recent DC adaptions in The Batman, The Suicide Squad, and Peacemaker have all garnered mostly positive sentiments, so things could be looking up.
And if this trend of success continues, fans of the DCEU may finally have something to be excited about. Under the care of filmmakers like David Ayer and Zack Snyder, audiences were treated to lackluster output, an output that Warner Bros. is working hard to change.
In the past, Warner has attempted to mimic Marvel Studios as best they can, creating a shared universe of heroes that leads to team-up projects. But the studio did not take the time to build out that world, with common complaints saying that the DCEU felt rushed with no cohesive vision.
Well, as WB distances themselves from those practices of yore, they seem to be taking another note from their competition's playbook; although, it may actually help them this time.
Warner Bros. Taking Notes from Marvel Studios
Variety reported that Warner Bros. is undergoing a massive overhaul of its DC entertainment vertical to more closely mimic the practices of competitor Marvel Studios.
Sources revealed that CEO of the newly merged Warner Discovery David Zaslav along with top leadership is exploring a unification of their DC TV and movie efforts into one "solidified content vertical."
Instead of the DC TV projects being under Warner Bros. Television and their motion picture efforts under Warner Bros. Pictures Group, this would bring everything DC into one bucket, akin to how Marvel Studios does things at Disney. The move to have these separate elements unified under one name is being called an effort to "maximize the value of the [DC] superhero stable" in order to better compete with Marvel.
Along with this merging of their disparate brand, the studio is also seemingly on the hunt for a figurehead to operate this new wing of the company. The studio has supposedly talked Emma Watts, a former executive at 20th Century Studios and Paramount, but those negotiations have gone nowhere.
Insiders believe that despite the success of recent DC films, the brand lacks a "coherent creative and brand strategy," so this is a direct effort to alleviate that issue.
I Want To Feel Like Feige
For DC fans, it is news like this that will offer a bit of a reprieve from the last nearly decade of the brand. While there have been highs, Warner Bros.' superheroic efforts have felt a little disjointed, with no success in building a cohesive story between its projects.
This doesn't mean they have to build a one-for-one recreation of the MCU, but it is an indication that they at least want to try again at this whole intertwined storytelling thing. They do not say that outright, but it's pretty easy to see where Zaslav and the WB brass have their sights set.
The key thing here will be that figurehead they are currently on the search for. The reason the MCU machine works as well as it does is because it has someone like Kevin Feige at the helm.
This hiring could make or break this effort before it even really gets started. It feels like they may be looking for someone with serious business acumen, but surely they will need someone who thrives on the creative side as well. The best part about Feige is that he has the business savvy as well as being a creative powerhouse.
Perhaps Warner should consider a two-prong Jobs/Wozniak approach. Get someone like Watts to help with the business side and then maybe elevate someone like comic great Paul Dini or the man behind the DC Animated Universe, Jay Olivia. If these two work together well, it could prove to be the right direction to go for DC.