The DCEU's history isn't the cleanest. The DC Comics expanded universe of films started with Zack Snyder's Man of Steel, but by the time it reached Justice League only two entries later, everything was coming apart.
Jump a few years later, and Warner Bros.' efforts in that arena are plagued by questionable new leadership, a confusing slate of unconnected efforts, and the remnants of toxic Snyderverse fans.
In comparison, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has led the company since 2008's Iron Man, and 14 years later, it has released a total of 35 different MCU projects with dozens more in the works. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is truly a creation of wonder; its continued existence shows how talented those in charge are at what they do.
In a better world, DC Comics fans would have something similar. However, the leads at Warner Bros. have never been able to recreate Feige's success—nor has basically any other franchise.
After the recent Batgirl debacle and overall change in leadership, Warner Bros. has previously been reported to be looking for its own Kevin Feige. While Dan Lin seemed to be posed to take that position, talks seem to have fallen through.
Now, a new report indicated how the path ahead for Warner Bros. in finding this coveted person doesn't look all that bright.
The 'Kevin Feige Plan' Put into Question
A new report from The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Warner Bros. may be facing some troubles in finding its own president in the style of Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige—someone to lead the charge for the future slate of DC Comics movies.
Feige is the president of Marvel Studios and the key man responsible for what the Marvel Cinematic Universe is today, alongside many others such as Louis D'Esposito and Victoria Alonso.
Comparing the two efforts is only natural, as Warner Bros. desires to have its own MCU. Up to this point, the results have been mixed. In recent weeks, the studio declared that it is looking for the right person to head those efforts moving forward. The problem? Well, it's not going smoothly.
One anonymous talent rep called out how "DC is so fragmented," bringing attention to how "J.J. [Abrams] had this one, Zack Snyder had that one, Todd Phillips had the other thing... and they’re all such huge egos.”
Another leading talent rep noted how being compared to Marvel is "unfair" for the studio and that the whole situation is "rough all around:"
“Zaslav doesn’t know what he doesn’t know... that’s scary. And you’re always going to be compared to Marvel. It’s unfair. By the time they were being judged, it was working. It’s the exact opposite at Warner. It’s rough all around. Who the fuck would want that job?”
According to Borys Kit, a writer for The Hollywood Reporter, "it's becoming apparent to [Warner Bros.] that looking for a 'Kevin Feige' is a fool's errand."
It seems that the now acting heads of the DC Division, Michael De Luca and Pam Adby, are bound to end up leading the DC world by default. When it comes to De Luca, he was even a comic book collector when he was younger, and during his time at New Line, was a part of the previous Blade franchise.
De Luca had a small hand with Iron Man, but New Line chief at the time, Bob Shaye, let the option lapse. Why? Well, he didn't think the concept made sense because Iron Man was too heavy to fly.
According to a longtime associate of De Luca, the executive has long wanted a position like the one up for grabs:
" [De Luca] was championing and scratching at the surface of this comic book universe long before it became the only thing that anybody is interested in seeing.”
What Does the Future of DC Films Hold?
In a perfect world, DC Comics fans should be eating just as well as Marvel Studios. In that better timeline, the studio would have had an equally bombastic future timeline to show off at San Diego Comic-Con—instead, its minuscule offerings of Shazam! Fury of the Gods and Black Adam were crushed under the MCU's boot.
Given the current head of Warner Bros., David Zaslav, and his widely lauded moves, such as canning Batgirl and stripping HBO Max of content, the future doesn't look bright. This report doesn't help that image, as it paints doubts on any plans the studios have previously vocalized.
Hopefully at some point or another Warner Bros. will be able to get its act together. Then, maybe, the world can get a proper Justice League movie. But just how long will the world have to wait?
The DCEU's next release, Black Adam, hits theaters on October 21.