Warner Brothers Continues to Move in New Directions With DC Films
Since the release of Justice League, Warner Brothers Entertainment has been moving in different directions because of the studio believing it underperformed and the obvious negative reviews the film has received. The worldwide box office gross for the film, according to Box Office Mojo, was $657,576,535 ($228,776,535 domestically and $428,800,000). The film also received a 40 percent on the Tomatometer and a 76 percent on the audience score that are found on Rotten Tomatoes. It is obvious that over half the audience loved the film but it did not resonate with audiences or have the legs it needed to build a great deal of buzz around it, especially domestically. The films always seem to have more interest from audiences overseas to an extent.
In response, Warner Brothers Entertainment hired Walter Hamada to be president of DC-based film production after working on the successful Conjuring horror films’ series. Just recently on February 20, the company made further news with someone else being positioned to a new seat of power. Chantal Nong has been hired to be the VP of production for WB’s DC film group. While Hamada will place his focus on the DC films about the various heroes and villains within that universe, Nong will focus on the development and production of the different slate of films.
There was an update as well about where some of the films are headed too. Noticeably, there has not been much news about the films overall and where they are headed. Yet, with the news talking about the hiring of Nong, came an update of sorts on where things are headed. With the release of Aquaman starring Jason Momoa headed for 2018, Shazam! remains the only film in their slate that is currently in film production but there are more heading in that direction.
Wonder Woman 2 is moving toward casting and it will begin filming very soon. The film studio seems to have a focus on Batgirl and The Flash film, Flashpoint, afterward. It is interesting that Nightwing is absent as a film since Chris McKay has been one of the vocal proponents of the film. Since it appears to be not so important for the studio, McKay is talking with Paramount Studios about directing Dungeons & Dragons. The studio also seems to be interesting in the independent Joker film that will star Joaquin Phoenix and directed by Todd Phillips, the Suicide Squad sequel, and Matt Reeves’ The Batman film.
It seems strange that Warner Brothers Entertainment would make many of these films before one based on one of the most important characters not only in the Batman universe but also in DC Comics itself. Dick Grayson was the first Robin and adopted son of Bruce Wayne. After his falling out with the latter, he becomes Nightwing, a hero who is still connected to Wayne’s Batman but is independent too. He wants to be his own man, and whatever form that story could take cinematically would still be fascinating to watch.
It’s a true shame, however, that Warner Brothers Entertainment does not wish to push the Nightwing film forward when it seemed that McKay was ready to begin production on the film based on his aforementioned enthusiasm and many conversations with the fans and media about it.
It could be interesting to see if he ends up bowing out of the project altogether. As a director who puts lots of his heart into films as evidenced by The LEGO Batman Movie, it might seem disheartening to him to remain on a project that does not seem to be headed in the direction he wishes it to. It may be a good idea for Warner Brothers Entertainment to reconsider exactly their approach, especially given McKay just committed to a Paramount Studios’ project.
As Warner Brothers seek to make changes to their cinematic universe, what seems to keep happening is the questioning of the current strategy over at the film studio. Those who don’t learn the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them. For WB, it seems they could be headed in that doomed direction again.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.