Geoff Johns In As "Kevin Feige" Of DC Movies Following Batman Vs. Superman Fallout
With Zack Snyder 0 for 2, Warner Bros. is not waiting for the third strike to end the game.
THR reports Geoff Johns and executive vice president Jon Berg will co-run DC Films in an "attempt to course-correct Warners' comic book movies," which is a direct result of the failed reception and performance of Zack Snyder's Batman Vs. Superman.
Along with the recent addition of Ben Affleck as producer on Justice League, both Johns and Berg have been named as producers on the Justice League movies as well.
The report says: "With Berg and Johns, Warner Bros. is attempting to unify the disparate elements of the DC movies with a seasoned film exec and a comics veteran that together can hopefully emulate the way Marvel Studios has produced its films under the vision of president Kevin Feige."
The report makes no mention of the further involvement of Zack Snyder other than he had the opportunity to shape the DC movie universe to 2020, but it's noted critics and fans "ripped" into Snyder. It's further mentioned that Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is nearing a billion in its first two weeks, while Batman Vs. Superman didn't come close to the number.
Jon Berg has already been involved with Batman Vs. Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League. Berg also has a good relationship with Ben Affleck as the two have worked together on Argo and Affleck's upcoming Live By Night. Affleck and Johns also co-wrote the Batman solo movie, with Affleck assumed to be directing.
Johns, in addition to his comics gig, is also responsible for the stellar performance of DC TV, with Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl. I'll also say this, that more than likely the failure of the Green Lantern movie is not Johns' fault (we know this is going to be brought up). DC TV executive producer/showrunner Greg Berlanti recently spoke about the failure of Green Lantern in which Berlanti offered up that he (Berlanti) didn't have much to do with the finished product -- Berlanti was fired from writing and directing. Johns was probably more or less an advisor on Green Lantern, offering his two cents when someone would listen (and they probably didn't). Berlanti is now involved with the DC movies as well, as a Booster Gold film is in development that Berlanti wants to direct (more of Berlanti is always a good thing).
It's also noted Johns is still sticking with the DC Comics division, so no worries there.
The report also mentions WB is smoothing out the third act of Suicide Squad as "WB wants to make sure audiences expectations are not only met but exceeded," and that Geoff Johns is involved in post-production.
It's reported the reason WB parted ways with Seth Grahame-Smith over directing the Ezra Miler The Flash movie is because they didn't want a newcomer on board -- they want a seasoned vet who can make his stamp on a movie with a $150 million budget.
My two cents on Zack Snyder is that WB gave him too much free rein. It was a mistake to kill both Zod and Superman (among other things), something of which Christopher Nolan argued against. I think Snyder made the mistake of thinking he could do whatever he wanted with these iconic characters -- thinking that fans would like whatever he did just because they are said iconic characters. I think Snyder made the mistake of intentionally attempting to go in an opposite approach than Marvel, with Marvel's route being to basically stick pretty close to the comics and a big desire to please the fans. Snyder at times did what he wanted to do and laughed about it. Not a good thing, which Batman Vs. Superman, and Man of Steel to a lesser extent, proves. I think Snyder is a good visual director and there is a place for him in the DCEU, it's just that he needs someone (Johns, Affleck, Berg) to rein him in.