Today marks a massive change for DC Entertainment, which announced its plans to relocate the multimedia side of the company (film, television, videogames, et cetera) from New York City to Burbank, California. The print side of the company—including DC Comics, Vertigo, and Mad Magazine—will remain in New York. Could this be the big DC movie announcement that was talked about recently, or is that still forthcoming?
Rumors of a move have been swirling for months, so the announcement itself doesn’t come much as a surprise. A little over a year ago, DC Entertainment was formed to better incorporate the characters and properties of DC Comics into Warner Bros., and this appears to be just one more in a long line of steps toward making that a reality.
Straight from the press release:
“This strategic business realignment allows [DC Entertainment] to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner. […] [DCE is] creating a seamless, cohesive unit that will bring even more great characters and content to consumers everywhere. […]The relocation process is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011, with DCE’s businesses related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, video games and consumer products as well as the company’s administrative functions relocating to a Warner Bros.-managed property in Burbank, CA. DC Comics’ publishing operations, which have been the bedrock since the company’s inception with an annual output of over 1,100 comic books, 300 graphic novels and MAD magazine, will remain in New York. […] The senior management team responsible for shepherding DCE through this reorganization is comprised of Nelson, Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer; John Rood, Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development; and Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, Co-Publishers of DC Comics.”
Meanwhile, Comic Book Resources talked to Diane Nelson, President of DCE, about what this means for future film properties like The Man of Steel and the rumored Wonder Woman and Flash films, and even briefly discussed comic book superstar Geoff Johns’ (Blackest Night) involvement.
“[W]e will be discussing a lot of our content plans before the end of the year. It won’t necessarily be exhaustive, and it will not be limited to a theatrical slate, but at the same time [...] we’ve been looking carefully at the organization, everyone’s been working very hard to keep the business moving in the direction we want – [...] in particular being Geoff Johns, who has a lot of great stuff with our divisions. […] Geoff Johns is leading to take our stories and characters into other media. We want editorial to see what Geoff is doing and Geoff to see what they’re doing, which is what his role is all about.”
Nelson also talked about the impending layoffs as a result of the move—including the shutting down of Wildstorm Comics—but was unwilling to provide an exact number. The Los Angeles Times, on the other hand, is claiming that 20% of DC New York’s 250-person staff could lose their jobs. This is sour news, especially considering what few visible strides have been made on the theatrical side of things since the appointment of Nelson as president. Many expected grander, faster changes on the DC theatrical front in the wake of DCE’s formation. Now, a year and change later, the only DC film set for release is Green Lantern, which was green-lit well before Nelson became president.
Zack Snyder Talks Superman
In somewhat related news, Zach Snyder talked to Latino Review about Warner Bros. approaching him to direct a Superman movie. It’s unclear as to whether or not he’s referring to The Man of Steel (the Superman reboot being produced by Christopher Nolan and written by David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan), or a previous iteration, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Like Guillermo del Toro, Snyder passed on the project.
Check out the relevant part of the interview at the 10:34 mark:
It’s disappointing that there have been so few official DC movie announcements of late, especially with regard to yet unannounced projects, but this planned move seems to indicate that something big is, at the very least, on the horizon. When we know about it (whatever it is), so will you.