Warner Bros. is feeling the pressure from Hollywood and investors in regards to its planned Justice League shared universe, according to an article at THR.
With Disney and Marvel Studios being such a success, will WB be able to follow along a similar path and match the near $7 billion that Disney has generated since 2008 with the Marvel movies?
While Marvel has Kevin Feige at the helm, WB seems to be leaderless as shake-ups recently occurred which saw Jeff Robinov (Dark Knight Trilogy, Harry Potter) leaving for Sony and Kevin Tsujihara coming on board. Tsujihara, at the recent CinemanCon, even seemed to mention he might not be with WB in the near future. Add to that, the failure of the Green Lantern movie and the lukewarm reception to Man of Steel only fueling the fire, and WB's shared Justice League universe isn't a sure bet.
The article at THR specifically questions both the Wonder Woman and Aquaman movies in development. Director Michelle MacLaren recently departed Wonder Woman over creative differences where it became known that WB has five separate writers working on scripts for the film (now said to be down to two), which apparently doesn't sit too well with Hollywood agents that rep the writers. An insider said the process on Wonder Woman is "unorthodox" with still another adding it "felt like they were throwing shit against the wall to see what stuck." Regarding Aquaman, the article states WB has three separate writers on the movie, with it said the the writing process is on hold until WB is "ready to proceed."
"Marvel has been an unbelievable platform for Disney to build and foster franchises," BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said. "The question for Warners is, can they replicate that strategy using DC?"
"They just haven't been thorough about their whole world and how each character fits and how to get the most out of each writer's time by giving them direction," said a rep with knowledge of the process, according to the article. "Obviously, Marvel's very good at that."
"You can't just give it to a filmmaker," said a reported Marvel insider. "You have to give it to someone who has an institutional knowledge of these characters."
It's not all doom and gloom for WB though, as Zack Snyder is said to have presented his vision for the DC Cinematic Universe to investors which analyst Michael Nathanson found "very impressive." However, Nathanson did say he is taking a careful approach.
"Embedded in my earnings forecast [for Time Warner] is some estimate of success for DC, but I would say we're conservative in our outlook," he said. "I'm not giving anyone credit for a movie until we see the product."
DC Movie Universe schedule:
• Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25, 2016)
• Suicide Squad (August 5, 2016)
• Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot (2017)
• Justice League Part One (2017)
• The Flash starring Ezra Miller (2018)
• Aquaman starring Jason Momoa (2018)
• Shazam starring Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam (2019)
• Justice League Part Two directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
• Cyborg starring Ray Fisher (2020)
• Green Lantern (2020)