It was a move that was probably in the works for months, probably dating back to last year’s DC/Warner Brothers summit, but it simply appears like a knee-jerk reaction to Disney’s purchase of Marvel last week.
Today, Warner Brothers announced they were forming a new company by the name of DC Entertainment. In a press release found on DC Comics’ promotional blog, The Source, they explain what the mission of this new company will be:
DC Entertainment, a separate division of WBEI, will be charged with strategically integrating the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. Entertainment and all its content and distribution businesses. DC Entertainment, which will work with each of the Warner Bros. divisions, will also tap into the tremendous expertise the Studio has in building and sustaining franchises and prioritize DC properties as key titles and growth drivers across all of the Studio, including feature films, television, interactive entertainment, direct-to-consumer platforms and consumer products. The DC Comics publishing business will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment, releasing approximately 90 comic books through its various imprints and 30 graphic novels a month and continuing to build on its creative leadership in the comic book industry.
The new divison will be headed by Diane Nelson, an executive with over 20 years experience at Warners and who is known most for being a liason between the studio with J.K. Rowling on all things Harry Potter.
This announcement was rather vague, and fans have been guessing what this all will mean. Is this a ploy for Warners to keep up with Disney? Will this mean more corporate micromanagement of DC Comics? Will we finally see a Harry Potter/Books of Magic crossover?
My quasi-uninformed opinion is that this has very little to do with the Disney/Marvel merger. Like I said earlier, this was probably set in motion last summer during talks between DC and Warners in regards to bringing more DC characters to the big screen.
Basically, Warners has seen how much money comic book related properties can bring in at the cineplexes, on TV and at the video game counter, realize they have a comic book publisher under their corporate umbrella and that they own a whole bunch of comic book characters they can exploit. This new company is just their way of making that happen.
So, what we most likely will see is a whole lot more DC properties up on the big screen. But don’t get too excited. While we will probably see more DC Characters in films, this doesn’t mean the films will be all that good (or anything like the comic book). Remember, this was the studio that gave us Batman & Robin, is giving us a Jonah Hex that fights zombies, and is giving Lobo a teenage girl as a sidekick.
One bit of information to come from the press release was that Green Lantern, originally scheduled to be in theaters on December 17, 2010, has been moved back to the second-quarter of 2011.
More on this story as it develops.