‘Justice League’ turning into a critical failure has caused Warner Bros. to shake up the status quo at DC…
When Warner Bros. and DC began production on ‘Justice League’ the idea was that the film would serve as a rival to Marvel’s ‘Avengers’, which grossed more than $1.5 billion at the box office under the direction of Joss Whedon.
Unfortunately, ‘Justice League’ has been a flop by comparison drawing just $570 million worldwide on a $300 million budget that could ultimately cost the studio money when it’s all said and done.
That has led to major changes at DC with Variety reporting that Jon Berg is leaving his current position running the comic book movie division and he will move onto a production job alongside Roy Lee, who also works at Warner Bros’ and is responsible for films such as ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘It’.
With Berg leaving, DC is currently searching for a replacement to fill his spot. Geoff Johns, who served as the co-creative lead with Berg will remain DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer although his new role may be more of an advisory position on future films. Johns also works on the television side for DC, having written scripts for several series such as ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash’ and remains a constant at DC Comics as well after just recently launching the highly anticipated ‘Doomsday Clock’ crossover series.
Berg and Johns were both producers on ‘Justice League’, which ended up as a near disaster for Warner Bros. and DC thanks to numerous changes made to the film in the middle of production. An early take on the film by director Zack Snyder was seen as far too dark, especially after the criticism he received for a similar tone on ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman V. Superman’. Snyder eventually left ‘Justice League’ following the tragic suicide of his daughter and Joss Whedon was brought into finish the movie.
Whedon attempted to salvage the film by adding some lighter and more humorous moments to ‘Justice League’ including several very expensive reshoots but so much of the movie had already been shot that it was nearly impossible to cram his vision on top of what Snyder had already completed. As of now, there are no plans for Snyder to return to direct any future DC movies.
As far as changes to the cast, Ben Affleck is currently expected to appear as Batman in ‘The Flash’ movie alongside Ezra Miller but all signs are pointing towards director Matt Reeves going with a younger star to play the role in his movie “The Batman”. There have been rumors for months that Affleck was looking to get out of the role playing Bruce Wayne/Batman and this change over at DC could be just the opening he needs to make an exit.
The overhaul at DC is expected to happen in January but there is positivity on the horizon.
‘Wonder Woman’ was a smash hit for DC and Warner Bros. earlier this year and the sequel is already in the works from director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gadot. Expectations are high for the upcoming ‘Aquaman’ solo film starring Jason Momoa and there’s a lot of optimism about ‘The Flash’ film after Ezra Miller’s breakout performance in ‘Justice League’.
Still, expect changes to continue to reverberate at DC in 2018 following a disappointing end to the year with ‘Justice League’.