Comic Book and comic book film fans have been wondering when Warner Brothers was going to start more fully exploiting the number of superhero properties they have at their disposal through corporate sibling DC Entertainment much in the same way Marvel Studios have been leveraging their superhero franchises. After a couple of recent stumbles, the studio does seem to be moving forward in building their own set of interconnected franchises spinning out of last year’s Man Of Steel.
The problem is that outside of 2016’s Batman Versus Superman, the studio has only given us the vaguest idea of what they have planned. A Justice League movie at some point and maybe solo Batman and Wonder Woman films are the only semi-confirmed projects. Meanwhile other heroes such as The Flash are being reported as having screenplays in development but with no promise that they’ll actually make it to the big screen.
But that fog of uncertainty may be dispelled soon. This weekend saw a rather interesting profile of the newly installed CEO of Warner Brothers, Kevin Tsujihara, appear in the New York Times. In the piece, the makeup of the media conglomerate under its new head was outlined and stated that amongst the restructuring that Tsujihara has been doing at the company is a tearing down of barriers between divisions with the aim of “force[ing] Warner’s famously siloed divisions to work more cooperatively.” The upshot of this, in specific terms of its DC Comics-based films is –
a film series will be announced in the near future, Mr. Tsujihara said. It is expected to include a “Justice League” movie.
Now it should be noted that it took Tsujihara nearly two years to claim the office he now works out of at the studio, during which he was in contention for the job alongside Bruce Rosenblum, the studio’s television president, was seen as the likely winner and Warner Studio honcho Jeff Robinov. Both Rosenblum and Robinov have subsequently left Warners following Tsujihara getting the job. And it could very well be that this power struggle that kept the studio from focusing on long term plans when it was unsure as to who would be in charge.
Personally, a public game plan would be a great way to excite fans and still some concerns that have been voiced about the studio and the progress, or more specifically lack of progress, that has been made in bringing their superheroes to the big screen. It was when Marvel Studios officially announced their plans to build their individual franchises towards an Avengers film in their quarterly earnings phone call on the Monday follow the phenomenal opening weekend of the first Iron Man film that not only fans but industry watchers and the general public started to take notice and a deeper interest in what the studio was doing. And that kind of excitement is something that Warners would be wise to ignite.