Ever since we heard that DC Comics and Warner Bros. were forming a new venture called DC Entertainment, a lot of us have been wondering one thing: what's the new game plan going to be?
Well, we're still waiting to hear announcements from DCE about some of our favorite superheroes' chances of being on the big screen, but today we're at least getting a clearer picture of who will be making the decisions that put them there (or not). And some of these names are ones that comic book geeks know all too well...
Thanks to Deadline, we now know that on the creative side of things, Dan Didio and Jim Lee have been named co-publishers of DC comics, while Geoff Johns has been named Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. On the business side of things, John Rood has been named as DCE's Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development, while Patrick Caldon has been named Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration. Each of these new positions will report to Diane Nelson, the current President of DCE.
Said Nelson about the new appointments:
“DC Entertainment’s new executive team is a creative ‘dream team,’ with accomplishments and talent unrivaled in the business...This announcement continues and underscores DC’s legacy as the ultimate destination for creators. We’ll benefit enormously from the deep experience this team represents, while re-energizing the direction and focus of the company. I’m excited and honored to have each of them with me at the helm of DC Entertainment.”
Any comic book fan knows the work of Jim Lee. He's probably one of the best known (and loved) comic book artists ever, who catapulted to fame in the 90s by working on Uncanny X-Men and helping Marvel launch its sister title, X-Men. Lee left Marvel in 1992 to join other former Marvel writers/artists in the creation of Image Comics; under the Image banner Lee created Wildstorm Productions, which he sold to DC Comics in 1998. Lee has drawn iconic art for just about every popular superhero around, and has ushered more than a few new characters into the limelight.
Green Lantern as written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee
Any serious comic book fan of the 2000 era is equally familiar with Geoff Johns. Johns came aboard DC Comics in 2000, co-writing the JSA comic book along with Batman Begins/The Dark Knight screenwriter, David S. Goyer. From there Johns broke loose and put his own stamp all over the DC Universe. He "rebirthed" both the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen) and Silver Age Green Lantern (Hal Jordan); he made the latter one of the most popular comic book superheroes of today, with epic events like "The Sinestro Corps War", which recaptured old-school superhero adventure while updating campy mythology with a more sensible modern edge.
Most recently, Johns penned the Smallville television event "Absolute Justice," which was a ratings monster and featured the JSA. Before this official promotion, Johns has been working behind the scenes as a consultant on just about every DC/WB movie project in the works, including Green Lantern and The Flash.
Geoff Johns Brought the JSA to Smallville
Dan Didio, who got his start in television, has been the Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of DC in the 2000 era. His name most recently appeared on our radar when it was rumored that he has been considering giving the green light to spinoffs/prequels/sequels to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, which is currently the bestselling title in DC history. With his new title will Didio push a Watchmen sequel through? Time will tell.
John Rood spent a decade working as SVP of Marketing for Disney ABC Television Group; before Disney he worked for Warner Bros. Consumer Products, negotiating advertising deals often using DC characters. Patrick Caldon has a long career working various VP positions for both Warner Bros. and DC Comics.
DCE's mission statement has been clear: to develop all future DC and/or WB superhero projects under a united banner with multimedia development as the ultimate goal. After all, why plan a new Superman comic book when you can plan that same project as a comic book/movie/cartoon/video game/merchandising venture?
Forgetting Didio, Rood and Caldon for a moment (the suits), I'm so glad that Diane Nelson and DCE has tapped Jim Lee and Geoff Johns to sit in the big chairs. Lee and Johns are some of the greatest things to happen to comic books since the 80s era (which gave us Alan Moore, Frank Miller and "dark Batman") and both men are certainly two of the best minds DC has on its roster.
So what can we expect from this new "dream team?" Well, I for one expect Lee and Johns to continue as they have (for the most part): bringing kick-ass ideas to the table which both reinvent - and at the same time preserve - the greatness of DC superheroes. Rood and Caldon I expect to work with Lee and Johns, turning their ideas and concepts into big-budget realities (more TV movie events, more Dark Knight-quality movies, more awesome animated features, toys, video games - the works).
Didio? Well, as editor of DC in the 2000 era he has allowed creative innovators like Lee and Johns to flourish. If Didio steers clear of this Watchmen sequel business, he'll have my confidence; if he doesn't, then he will know my wrath (which basically amounts to an angry blog post :-| ).
However, while all this news about DCE promotions is nice, I know I (and most of you) are still waiting for the real announcement: which DC superhero movies we'll be getting next.
Screen Rant will keep you posted.