It’s not easy to understand what exactly is going on with Warner Brothers’ DC film properties. For one thing, they have two Joker films, an uncertain future with other DCEU titles, and a number of previous titles that have failed to live up to expectations. The only reasonably good DCEU film the studio has is Wonder Woman. And after a series of stumbles, the studio is looking to Walter Hamada to steer DC in the right direction.
Hamada, who was named president of DC Entertainment-based film production at Warner Bros. in January, will have to figure out its future. This includes sorting out the DCEU films and giving its much darker ones a new banner. More on the story below.
According to THR, Hamada’s hiring came after a series of changes to the DC film staff. That shakeup included Jon Berg’s exit as co-president of DC live-action movie operations. That was followed by Diane Nelson, who’s been on leave, not returning as president. And just this week, Geoff Johns left his post as president. While all three still have positions at WB, Hamada is the only person overseeing DC films.
Now the big question is, how will the DCEU and the untitled darker DC universe look under Hamada’s leadership? Well, the man behind The Conjuring films has his work cut out for him. “He walked into a shitshow, and he’s trying to clean it up,” says one insider familiar with the scene.
Though it’s a rough road ahead, Hamada is already hard at work looking at projects that are currently in development. He’s also turning his attention to culling certain ones, elevating others, keeping an eye on the big marquee heroes while also developing lesser-known characters that could pop big. James Wan’s Aquaman is the studio’s only DCEU film to be released this year.
However, audiences have two titles to look forward to next year. Shazam! and the Wonder Woman sequel – which started production earlier this week. Another title that could bring good fortune to Warner Bros. is The Flash, which will abandon the somber themes it had been expected to tackle. Based on previous reports and rumors, the film would be based on “Flashpoint,” a time-traveling story arc that saw Flash dealing with the fallout of changing the past when he traveled through time to stop his mom from being murdered. It’s said that Game Night team of John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein are looking to Back to the Future as a touchstone.
While Ezra Miller, Gal Gadot, and Jason Momoa are locked to their respective heroes, it looks like Ben Affleck‘s tenure as Batman may be over. THR says Matt Reeves‘ Batman will have a much younger person donning the cape and cowl, which may mean that Affleck is getting his wish to not play Batman.
As exciting as that sounds, DCEU will continue to develop their films on Batman’s rogues and supporting heroes. First, there’s the Harley Quinn/Birds of Prey film directed by Cathy Yan. And then there’s the Batgirl spinoff which is being written by Bumblebee screenwriter Christina Hodson.
But as for those two Joker films, that sounds a lot more promising. Which is very surprising. Jared Leto‘s Joker standalone is currently under development and could help launch a Suicide Squad universe. Meanwhile, the Joker origins film being directed by Todd Phillips and possibly starring Joaquin Phoneix, launched under a new label that could be branded with a name like “DC Dark” or “DC Black.”
The best thing about these shakeups is that Hamada doesn’t want to have a writers room. Paramount and Hasbro with their toy-based properties, Universal with its monster universe, and Legendary with its creature features have all assembled a writers room in the past. However, that strategy has produced mixed results.
Another thing that Hamada will no longer do is date upcoming titles in advance. That strategy has also hurt the studio in more ways than one. But these bold new moves are a breath of fresh air for the studio. “Walter has a specific design for the universe,” tells an insider to THR. “He has a plan.”
We will just have to see if Hamanda’s plan works out. Otherwise, it might be back to the drawing board for WB. Of course, we will keep you posted should any new developments come in.