Warner Bros Finally Gets Serious About DC Comics

Published 7 years ago by

warner bros and dc comics round up Warner Bros Finally Gets Serious About DC ComicsIt has been a long time in coming, but it now appears that Warner Bros. has finally decided to make use of their stable of DC Comics characters.

Following the financial and critical success of The Dark Knight Warner Bros. has realized that they are sitting on a gold mine – not only from box office receipts, but also from DVD, television, video games and other sources of revenue.

Last month the company held a strategy meeting in an attempt to figure out what was needed in order for them to match Marvel Comics in the comic book movie stakes, and it would appear that they have finally come up with a plan.

Variety spoke with Warner Bros head honchos Jeff Robinov and Alan Horn who touched on topics such as the sequel to The Dark Knight (and director Chris Nolan’s involvement), the development of DC Characters movies and the chances of there ever being a Justice League movie.

It looks like the company is about to go to town on their stable of iconic characters that includes: Batman, Superman, The Flash, The Green Lantern, Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Warner Bros chief Alan Horn said that Warner and DC were committed to turning:

“the properties into viable movie product in an intelligent way so that we introduce them like planes on a runway. They have to be set up the right way and lined up the right way and all take off one at a time and fly safe and fly straight.”

With regards to Justice League, Jeff Robinov as good as admitted that the studio almost made a terrible mistake.  Robinov said:

“We’re not off the notion of a Justice League. There’s a massive interest and knowledge in the comicbook industry and it takes time to sort of catch up and understand the characters and the history, where they’ve intersected with each other and what their worlds are. That’s part of the education that we’re going through.”

There’s a lot of B.S. that flies around Hollywood, but it’s good to see somebody own up to making a mistake – or as close to owning up as you can in the City of Angels.

That said the studio isn’t totally off the idea of the multi-character superhero film.  Gregory Noveck senior VP of creative affairs for DC Comics stated:

“These are big, iconic characters. So when you make them into a movie, you’d better be shooting for a pretty high standard. You’re not always going to reach it, but you have to be shooting for it. We’re going to make a Justice League movie, whether it’s now or 10 years from now. But we’re not going to do it and Warners is not going to do it until we know it’s right.”

With regards to the sequel to The Dark Knight, there is a deal with Christopher Nolan –  if he is interested, but Horn says: We have no idea where Chris is going with this. We haven’t had any conversations with him about it.”

I find it very hard to believe that in the month since The Dark Knight has opened and broken all sorts of box office records that the studio has not started talking to the brains behind the film. You can bet that Warner Bros. wants to get into the Nolan-Batman business but it sounds to me like Nolan is playing a bit of hard ball (echoes of the Marvel/Iron Man/Jon Favereau situation). If he does decide to do the film (and I’m pretty sure that he will) Warner Bros will be bankrolling some of his passion projects for the next few years.

There will be more announcements next month with regards to Warner and DC’s plans, but it looks like the studio has finally decided to fight back on the comic book movie front. It would appear that Marvel will finally be getting some serious competition for the superhero limelight.

Source: Variety

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  1. This is truely great news. A JLA film is a great idea, I love it and hope they make it, the film should me made, but I want them to make it right. I’m willing to wait another 5 years or so as long as they’re doing it right. 😀 Way to go, DC. :)

    OK. WB/DC may or may not have dropped the ball back when they planned to do the Batman and Superman franchises in seperate universes and didn’t set up a “DC film U” like Marvel is doing. There’s no way that the Nolan Batman universe and the Singer Superman universe could coexist, in this poster’s opinion anyway. So the chances of seeing Batman Begins/TDK and Superman Returns lead into a JLA film are kaput. So if Batman and Superman are to be in a JLA film, it would have to be with different versions of them, completely seperate from the Nolan/Singer U, and played by different actors of course. So if DC/WB is going to do the Marvel Movie Method and bridge all their films together (namely Flash, GL, WW, Superman, Batman) leading into a JLA film but won’t be using the Singer Superman or the Nolan Batman in their JLA film, here’s what I suggest:

    Set up a GL, Flash, and WW film in the same universe. Do a World’s Finest: Superman/Batman movie also set up in that same continuity and not related to the Nolan/Singer worlds, cast new actors as Superman and Batman.

    Then do a JLA film with the GL from the GL film, the Flash from the Flash film, the WW from the WW film, and the Superman and Batman from the World’s Finest film – with the versions of those characters from those films and with the same actors of course. Basically, have all the afformentioned films set up in the same DCU and have them lead into a JLA film. There. We have a World’s Finest series and the GL, Flash and WW films leading into a JLA film and the Nolan/Singer universes aren’t interfered with at all. Everybody’s happy. 😀

    Nolan, before TDK’s release, said several times that he wasn’t certain about doing a TDK sequel. I’d say that he might be done with the series (and if he’s gone, so’s Bale and the rest of the crew), but after TDK’s BIG box office returns, it seems unlikely to me that he would say “no”. Maybe he would. I dunno. Time will tell I guess.

  2. Lol, Niall, I thought the exact same thing after reading that WB hadnt contacted Nolan. Thats BS, Im sure they were in contact with him 4 weeks ago.

    Im all for more DC films, I say less talk more production !!!!

    Lets gooooo!!! WB !

  3. It’s about time that DC started putting its superior universe out in theaters more often. With many of the Marvel icons already out there, DC will be able to seem fresher than Stan’s creations.

  4. I’m not really sure how serious WB is. We still only have batman and superman, lol… And the bare beginnings of Green Lantern. Niall, in your article you mention that they finally came up with a plan. Do we know what the plan is? There doesn’t seem to be any info on actual confirmed upcoming projects or a schedule like Marvel released.

    And after seeing what they tried to pull very recently with that JLA movie, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    as for JLA with the current Batman and Superman franchises, I think they can easily coexist. I mean you can apply the same logic to the Hulk, Ironman and coming Thor movie…those are quite different but will come together for the avengers.

  5. I took that comment to mean not that they havent talked to Nolan about doing a third film but they havent talked to him aboui his specific plans for the sequel itself.

  6. I think they should have started the SuperMan franchise over like Batman Begins. And they killed it with him having a son! After all that said (which wasnt much lol) i think they could use Bale and Routh in a JL movie, Fans will be happy if they are all together fighting crime, i dont think they would mind on how they get together. As long as it has a good story and it fits all the characters in nicely they should give it a shot. IMO not having Routh and Bale would be a mistake.

  7. Thing is Gary, the studio execs have middle men that talk to Nolans middle men and believe me they have had to be talking by now, the films made too much money. Im sure there gonna give Nolan whatever he wants. 😎

    Oscar, I would love it if Nolan did TDK,3 and then also did JLA movie, that would be ideal.
    I agree the film has to have Bale and Routh to succeed, and they have to get goin!!

    (ImO) Miller is out of touch on this film now that its not going to use Australia :-(

  8. WB’s suits are IDIOTS! It’s Marvel respecting their own universe and betting everything for WB to FINALLY say, “Gee maybe DC comics is more than Batman and Superman… maybe we should RESPECT these characters’ iconic tells sense most of them have flourished sense WWII!”. I geuss better late than never.

  9. Rob,
    From what I can tell the studio will go pupli next month with their “plan”.

    Once The Dark Knight had a record opening you’d like to think that the studio got on the phone to Nolan right away – unless they want Brett Ratner to direct the third instalment! :-)


  10. Ah Neil, that’s good news.

    Marvel announced their future like a week after Ironman, lol. I’m excited to hear what DC is gonna do, I’d love to see all their bigshot characters get feature films.

    For me, the JLA movie MUST feature Routh and Bale, no excuses, if not I’m out and I will do my best to get many other people ‘out’ as well.

    I’d love to see a Marvel, DC crossover film after avengers and JLA…is that asking too much? lol, jokes.

  11. Niall*,

    another typo from me

  12. Lol who knows, cuz a Marvel/DC crossover would make TONS of money, just imagine Batman and Iron Man in the same film. They might one day in the near future talk about it lol

  13. Don’t worry Rob – I’ve been called worse things!


  14. WB is really serious about Green Lantern going forward. Obviously they are drooling over a Batman 3 right now as well. Everything else? Hmmm.

  15. I still cant believe it is taking so long for a Justice League movie to come along. With Batman doing big and Watchmen in the way the talk of the town is DC Comics. Bring on the League.

  16. Wow, intelligent comments from movie execs about comicbook movies, i am shocked but pleased

  17. A DC/Marvel crossover film? Gee, haven’t had this much fun since Bambi (DC) vs. Godzilla (Marvel). In case you missed this actual movie, here’s how it went…

    [S P O I L E R W A R N I N G]

    … * SPLAT *

  18. Seriously, though I’m a Marvel fan, and I hate the endless Superman and Batman focus of DC, I don’t see DC movies as competition to Marvel movies. I like superhero movies. This summer I saw Iron Man, Speed Racer, Hellboy, Indiana Jones, that Joker movie–and I don’t think of them as competition. I think of them as a great movie summer.

  19. I dont care if DC movies are competitive with Marvel movies,
    I just want good movies based on both companies characters.
    And I see no reason that isnt possible .

  20. I agree with Gary 100%. Both companies have great characters and I would love to see great movies based on them. Who gives a flying flip which company it is!!

    Any ideas on who can play Hal Jordan? This is WAYYYY out of left field, but what about Joe Flanigan who plays Col. Sheppard on Stargate: Atlantis?? Right age, build, attitude, look….I think he could pull it off.

  21. I like the guy that played Mal on Firefly. He was the captain of the ship. And if you missed Firefly then check out Serenity…thats the movie for it.

  22. Im just throwing this out there,,,
    James Callis, the guy that plays Baltar, on BattleStar Galactica.
    (I think thats his name),,,
    I would love to see him in a superhero film, and also in 24,,,

  23. Also I agree, this Dc vs Marvel stuff is lame. We can all get along,,, 😎

  24. Callis would be a good choice for Loki in Thor.

  25. Anything,,,, hes the best actor on BSG,,,,

  26. Rob,

    on Bale and Routh in a JLA film together –

    Only if A – Routh was older and B – both Bale and Routh were playing completely different versions of their respective characters, as in not the Singer and Nolan versions.

    Guys, it just would not, could not, should not, and does not make any damned sense. Let’s start with the obvious:

    Routh is nearly 6 years younger than Bale and looks it. Batman and Superman are supposed to be the same age! If anything, Superman should be a couple months older, but a 30 something Batman with a 20 something Superman is complete ********. If there were different actors who were being cast like that, people would be flipping out! Bad casting.

    Nolan’s Batman does not work with the more sci fi and fantasy oriented JLA universe. Picture yourself watching The Dark Knight and then suddenly Superman or GL shows up. You’d be like “WTF?!”. The JLA Batman needs to be one that’s conducive to the rest of the DC Universe, now that doesn’t mean “jokey” or “campy” as some *******s would put it, but he needs to be the DC Comics Batman, not the “Punisher” Batman of the Nolan films. Not only that but Nolan’s Batman hasn’t really been Batman that long, I’d say he’s been Batman for 16 months maximum, while Singer’s Superman must have been at the Superman career for at least 6 years, yet Singer’s Superman is played by an actor who is nearly 6 years younger than the actor playing Nolan’s Batman. Face the facts, folks, it just don’t make sense. So even waiting till the Nolan series is finished, as some naive people have suggested, does not solve this problem.

    Perhaps Routh’s Superman and a different Batman would work, but even that still seems unlikely to me.

    And, again, the Nolan Universe and the Singer Universe were not set up in conjunction with each other from the start, this isn’t Iron Man and the Hulk here, people. You’re trying to apply the Marvel Movie Method’s casting to films that weren’t meant to be intertwined in the first place. Had DC/WB been smarter about things, they could have had a game plan with the Batman and Superman franchises (along with the other DC heroes) set up in the same universe from the very start leading into a JLA film (Marvel Movie Method), but since they didn’t set them up that way there is no way in hell that Nolan’s Batman and Singer’s Superman would fit into a JLA film. You guys have got the pieces from the Marvel puzzle trying to fit into the DC puzzle; they don’t belong. Instead, DC/WB should work with what they’ve niavley set up and do a JLA film with a completely seperate Superman and Batman. Look, it’s not like the lesser well known Iron Man, this isn’t the first time an audience has been exposed to the characters, this is Superman and Batman – the first 2 superheroes ever, they’re extremely iconic and recognizable, everybody and their grandparents is familiar with them in some form, they’ve been played by numerous actors hardly years apart since the forties, as long as they’re good choices, nobody will care that they’re recasted except for impetuous, small minded fanboys trolling the internet, who will piss and moan until they see the trailers.

    IMO, recasting with GOOD choices is the logical, reasonable, and wise thing to do, dealing with how the folks at WB/DC decided to do their films in the first place.

  27. Nice, alot of what you said make sense, but i guess im gonna be pissing and moaning cuz i dont think re-casting would be a wise decision. After the huge success of TDK, Bale IS Batman, why change that?