There have been quite a bit of shuffling at DC of late. A few months ago, DC Comics announced another re-launch with DC Rebirth. This seems to be in response to slipping sales and low interest in their events and characters. Now, just a few days ago, DC has revealed a new logo to emphasis their new direction and focus. Yes, changes are abound at DC. But will they translate into success. Will, it’s time to consider these recent moves by DC, consider their purported new focus, and speculate if it will translate to success.
Part 1: The New Heads of DC Films
It was reported this week that Warner Bros and DC have finally determined who will be in charge of their comicbook cinematic universe. Based off of the success of the MCU directed primarily under the vision of Kevin Feige. Dc has determined that their Kevin Feige, their one man in charge of the creative vision of the DC movie universe will actually not be one man at all, but rather two men. Movie executive Josh Berg and DC Comicbook Guru and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns will jointly helm the DC Cinematic Universe.
DC did not go and poach an executive from another studio. DC just did what it’s been doing for the past year, they just restructured. It is a fair argument to be made that this move does nothing but establishes a scrape goat for the films. Josh Berg and Geoff Johns are still answering to the same individuals they were answering to before. Basically, this announcement just establishes a figurehead and adds both men to producer roles in the upcoming films.
Geoff Johns is an excellent writer for DC Comics and has expanded his role within the company in recent years. He has ventured into Hollywood with Producer credits in the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox as well as the 2011 movie Green Lantern and the recent Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. He has been strongly tried to the CW comic based tv series Arrow and The Flash as well as their spin-offs. Plus he has writer credits on several comicbook tv series and animated films. There is no doubt Geoff Johns knows these characters and this universe.
He now finds himself the Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, which is quite a time consuming position as it is with the new rebirth reset underway. Now with the announcement that he will be co-running the DC Films line, he’s going to be a very busy man. Perhaps that’s why Josh Berg was announced as a co-head to this two headed snake.
There is also the chance that Warner Bros and DC realizes the strengths and weaknesses of Johns. Could Geoff Johns really be the new man in charge and Berg is simply there to pick up the slack in areas Johns doesn’t have the best competencies in?He hasn’t had the best track record as a Producer. Green Lantern was the best of comicbook adaptations and Geoff’s influence as producer in Batman v. Superman didn’t seem to save it either. Josh Berg could be a stabilizing figure to balance out Geoff’s experience level. Yet, even if that is the case, I can’t help but wonder why DC chose to go with two guys instead of one.
Hopefully this new announcement will provide both men the influence necessary to actually make a difference. If Geoff Johns and Josh Berg are not given any additional authority, what does this move do? Was this just posturing by Warner Bros and DC to get some heat off their back from the fallout of Batman v. Superman?
The hope is that this move will provide both men enough influence to craft and direct the DCEU in the direction they desire it to go. However, therein lies another uncomfortable truth. Two men think differently. There is the chance that there are too many cooks in the kitchen. With two men at the helm, can both men share the same vision and direction without strife?
Then there is also the issue of accountability. Let’s peak into the future for a moment and contemplate some hypothetical situations. Of the next few DC films, let’s say 3 of 5 are not received well. Where will the blame be placed? Sure you can hold both men accountable but there will always be one that is whispered as truly at fault. Perhaps we enter into a situation where the blame is dispersed to both men but what happens then. I see a situation where either the film process will be over complicated with having to obtain to men’s approvals, or no true leader will be established and details fall through the cracks. There is room for error without a proper chain of command.
These executives are intelligent people who know what they are doing. It just seems like a clearer structure would have been more favorable. Wouldn’t it sound more favorable if Johns were placed in charge and Berg acted as a consultant, or vice versa. Can it work, sure it can. It will just take much more effort than just elevating one man in charge as Marvel has. I hope this move works. I hope Berg and Johns form an excellent team and deliver excellent films. I guess we’ll know soon enough.