The DCEU leadership is undergoing a major shakeup after the release of Batman V Superman. Recent reports indicate longtime comic-book scribe and DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns will join Warner VP Jon Berg in overseeing Warner Bros. and DC’s spate of upcoming films. Of these developing films, few have as much early hype as the Ben Affleck-written and directed Batman.
Since launching his lauded variation of Batman, Affleck’s solo Bat-flick is rumored to be on the fast track to production. Reports also indicated that Johns would aid Affleck in bringing his Batman to the screen – something Johns has now confirmed.
Comicbook.com recently spoke with Johns about the relaunch of DC’s comic line, Rebirth. The soft reboot included a number of mildly controversial alterations and inclusions to the comic line, as well as a fresh new logo. During the interview, Johns discussed his role in the DCEU up till now, although he wouldn’t address his new joint-position in depth. He expanded upon his work:
“My job is to help other Warner Brothers divisions work with DC. I work with Warner TV and producers to get these shows up and running, in particular with The Flash, where I co-created the show, wrote a few episodes, wrote the pilot episode. I work with other people, Ames Kirshen in games, the studios like Rocksteady and Netherrealm, go in there on character choices, story they’re going to do and brainstorm on that, try to keep it true to comics.”
But when it comes to simplifying his job description Johns jokes, “I just tell them I write comics (laughs).”
Apparently, Johns’ new position means the prolific writer will have to step back from penning comics to a larger degree – which may come as a disappointment to those who enjoyed his work. His expanded position would give him a major role in adapting and appropriately utilizing characters and resources in the expanding DCEU. In the course of the discussion, his involvement in the anticipated Batman continuation came up. While still somewhat oblique, the DC CCO now affirms his participation with a grin:
"I do get to say I'm working on Batman with Ben Affleck. That gets the Thanksgiving table excited, especially my brother."
With Johns now officially on board, the world of Batman should have a clearly defined direction that makes sense within the overall DCEU. A unified vision for the franchise is vital now more than ever, since DC’s shared realms are becoming increasingly overstuffed with heroes and villains. Between Warner Bros. recently revealing a dead Jason Todd (Red Hood, perchance?), a wealth of possible villains to incorporate, as well as Harley Quinn and Shazam movies on the way, tying all the loose threads together will become increasingly challenging. In addition to all those solo films, somehow, Johns and company have to direct the trajectory of the various DC heroes and anti-heroes into the sweeping Justice League doubleheader.
Unifying the DCEU film branch is a role Johns seems born to play. His involvement with the day to day creative direction of DC gives him insight into developing the story arcs so they make sense and help the film group unify its vision. In addition, his presence as a co-writer (or at least consultant) on the Batfleck solo shot is also a good sign, since Johns’ work as a writer gives him insight into complexities of Batman, as well as the scores of other superheroes and baddies the Dark Knight will come in contact with.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.