Yesterday we found out that Warner Bros. has created DC Entertainment Inc. (DCE) to better expand the DC Comics into a multimedia brand of steel . Now comes the inevitable question of “What’s the game plan?”
MTV Splash Page posted a nice piece declaring which DC properties should be put on fast-track under the DCE banner, and this being Friday and all, I thought I’d once again do a little call-and-response on the topic (I now consider Splash Page‘s Josh Wigler to be something of a pen-pal).
So in response to the call, here’s my take on the DC Entertainment venture and what paths it should be considering…
BIGGER PICTURE BUSINESS
DC Entertainment Inc. President Diane Nelson has already been grilled by the press and thick-skinned exec has been pretty forthright with her opinions. As she told The Wrap earlier this week:
“…I’m the first one to admit, I’m not by my nature a comic fan. It’s not what I’m bringing to the party. We have so many experts who will remain the cornerstone of DC Entertainment. What I bring to the party is a skill at moving properties and brands through Time Warner as a company… additionally it will be about how invested our content distribution is in the DC library. If our businesses feel that they have greater access and enthusiasm for new characters to incubate.”
Now some people are going to read that quote and worry that Time Warner is going to “corporatize” (read: taint) their favorite DC properties. I’m going to keep in mind that Nelson is the same lady who helped transform Harry Potter from a lucrative book franchise into a multimedia/merchandising empire, loved by both Potter devotees and newcomers who just know the films. Nelson understands how to take what is at the resonating core of a character and/or story and fit it into the bigger profit picture.
For DC Superheroes, I suspect Nelson aims to give us more Dark Knight quality films and Arkham Asylum video games (read: ventures which transform the core appeal of the properties into commercial appeal), and fewer Catwoman disasters (read: failed ventures that tarnish both the core and commercial viability of the properties). And I see no reason at this point why she’d fail at the task.
DOING THINGS THE MARVEL WAY
No, I don’t want DC Entertainment to try to be the second coming of Marvel Studios, however, the latter did set an interesting precedent by linking all their Avengers related films – Captain America, Iron Man, Thor – in one shared continuity, complete with cinematic cameo crossovers.
Should Christopher Nolan’s Batman universe be disrupted for the sake of a Superman cameo? No. Should The Green Lantern maybe feature an appearance from Supes or (better yet) The Flash? Absolutely. And what would be the reasoning behind doing so? Remember a little project called Justice League that DC/WB tried and failed and failed and failed to get off the ground awhile back? If you want to expand your brand, getting your heroes onscreen together where everybody can revel in them is a great way to do it.