The DCEU ended the year on a very sour note. Despite Wonder Woman being a critical and commercial hit, grossing $821.8 million worldwide, the film was followed up by Justice League, an all-star DC superhero film that failed to meet box office expectations and was panned by a majority of critics. The latter only grossed a meager $651 million. And as a result of the film’s poor performance, and reports of the film proving to be a huge financial loss, the studio was forced to go through some major restructuring.
Now we are beginning to see those moves starting with the hiring of Walter Hamada, one of the executives behind the massively successful The Conjuring horror movies made by Warner Bros.’ New Line division. More on the story below.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Hamada’s hiring comes after Jon Berg’s departure. Berg, along with Geoff Johns, was the co-president who oversaw the production of the DCEU. He’ll be moving to Vertigo, a production shingle run by producer Roy Lee.
Hamada made up one half of the duo known as “Team Genre” within New Line. Together with Dave Neustadter, the two oversaw the company’s horror line, which included the very successful Conjuring films and most recently, IT. Hamada will now be tasked with overseeing the production of DCEU’s slate, with Geoff Johns. They will be working on a large slate of DCEU films that include Aquaman, The Batman, Flashpoint, Wonder Woman 2, Nightwing, The Batgirl, Deathstroke, and a handful of Joker and Harley Quinn spinoffs.
Here’s what Toby Emmerich, Warners’ president and chief content officer, said of Hamada’s hiring:
“Walter is creative, resourceful, and committed to excellence, and will bring those qualities to his oversight of our superhero films. He’s a terrific production executive and served as an executive producer on two of the summer’s most popular films, New Line’s IT and Annabelle: Creation. I’m confident Walter and Geoff, working with our filmmaking partners, will deliver films that will resonate with both broad global audiences as well as DC fanboys and fangirls. Walter’s a great addition to the Warner Bros. Pictures team, and I look forward to working with him in his new post.”
According to insiders, Hamada got the job by impressing Emmerich with his supervision of Shazam!, New Line’s only DC film, which will begin production later this winter. He had already been working closely with both Emmerich and Aquaman director James Wan when he was at New Line. So the transition seems to make sense. We will just have to see if the hiring was the right move and if it will work out in DC’s favor. Otherwise, we will have to go through the same process all over again.
Of course, we will keep you up to date on the progress of all of this as soon as new developments come up.