|Headquarters||Burbank, California, United States|
(Warner Bros. Entertainment)
DC Films began prior to May 2016 as a production banner. In 2014, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced no fewer than 10 DC movies out to 2020. The DC Extended Universe operated under a "director-driven" mandate.
With a mixed response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio made moves to correct its direction. Warner Bros. Pictures reorganized in May 2016 to have genre responsible film executives. Thus DC Entertainment franchise films under Warner Bros. were placed under a newly created division, DC Films, created under Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg and DC chief content officer Geoff Johns. This was done in the same vein as Marvel Studios in unifying DC-related film making under a single vision and clarifying the green lighting process. Johns also kept his existing role at DC Comics. However, the division's formation was not designed to override the "director-driven" mandate.
The Justice League film had one of the biggest film budgets (nearly $300 million) but grossed about $96 million in its opening weekend. A Washington Post analysis expected that there would be a course correction again with a possible change in leadership. Forbes contributors felt the course correction would be for DC Films to give up on the shared universe while continuing with the Wonder Woman films and occasionally other films, as Warner Bros. has other franchises they can work with. Despite this, in December the studio reiterated their current film slate for the unofficially titled DC Extended Universe. That same month, Warner Bros. announced that a new strategy and organization of DC Films would occur with Berg leaving his position as studio's co-president of production and co-chairman of DC Films to form a Warner Bros.-based production company involving a contractual deal with Roy Lee, the producer of The LEGO Movie and It. In January of 2018, it was announced that Warner Bros. executive Walter Hamada will be the new president of DC Films, and will oversee the movies in the DC Extended Universe. Hamada has been closely associated with New Line Cinema, and helped developed horror movies, such as It and The Conjuring film franchises.
DC Films was promoted as having a "director-driven" mandate, however, it was met with skepticism. Suicide Squad actress Margot Robbie, who played Harley Quinn and the producer of several upcoming Harley Quinn-related movies stated that (DC) producers must trust their director's vision. “In the DC Universe, too, once you decide on who your director is, and they have a vision, you have to enable that vision and step in at moments to keep it on course if need be. I think that’s the way. I think that’s what a producer should do," Robbie said. Joss Whedon, who was hired to do re-shoots for Justice League, originally wanted a funnier opening sequence involving Batman. However, instead of adhering to Whedon's vision the studio tweaked the scene to make it serious. Whedon also dealt with studio pressure to make the movie funnier and lighter in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s negative reviews because of its dark tone. He was also tasked to make the movie under two hours long. Director Rick Famuyiwa, who was originally involved the upcoming Flash movie, disparaged Justice League over the success of Black Panther, which surpassed the total U.S. gross of Justice League in just four days and became one of the highest-grossing films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He parted ways from Warner Bros. due to creative differences. In November 2017, it was reported that the studio wanted to recast Kiersey Clemons who was Famuyiwa's pick to play Iris West. Her scene was cut from Justice League. It was also hinted that it was the studio's decision to move away from Famuyiwa's take on the Flash.
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