After the Disney/Marvel merger DC Comics and longtime-partner Warner Bros. had to be shaking in their boots. "The House of the Mouse" is already looking like a force that few will likely be able to reckon with.
Well, in an effort to become one of those few forces able to take on Disney/Marvel, Nikke Finke reports that Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. has launched a new division, DC Entertainment Inc., in order to better expand the DC Brand.
Marvel fanboys have already been having heart palpitations wondering what the fate of their favorite characters will be in the hands of Disney. Now DC fans can officially share in that anxiety.
Diane Nelson will be the lady in charge of DC Entertainment Inc., as announced yesterday by Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer, and COO, Alan Horn. The mission statement of DC Entertainment Inc. will be to "strategically integrate the DC Comics business, brand and characters deeply into Warner Bros. Entertainment and all its content and distribution businesses." Basically that constitutes Warner Bros. taking a more hands-on approach to developing DC Comic properties into successful film and TV franchises, interactive and new platform media, etc. In the midst of all this, DC Comics will remain as is for the most part, serving as the creative cornerstone of DC Entertainment Inc.
Of course this new structure means that DC's comic book division has officially become a limb on a much larger body. As a result, Paul Levitz, President & Publisher of DC Comics since 2002, will vacate his exec post and return to a writing position, lending his three decades of experience to the "new DC" as a contributing editor and consultant.
“After so many roles at DC, it’s exciting to look forward to focusing on my writing and being able to remain a part of the company I love as it grows into its next stage. It’s a new golden age for comics and DC’s great characters, and I hope my new position will allow me to contribute to that magic time.”
Nelson is leaving her post as President of Warner Premiere to take on the DC Entertainment job. If you're wondering about her qualifications and experience: in her two decades working in creative brand management, strategic marketing and content development and production, Nelson has most notably had a big hand in adapting and managing the Harry Potter franchise for WB. Taking J.K. Rowling's beloved novels and turning them into a juggernaut (read: cash cow) movie franchise is no small accomplishment; IMO, it demonstrates that Nelson understands how to maintain the balance between being true to source material, while making the needed changes to create successful multimedia ventures - an area where DC has admittedly had some trouble (See: Superman Returns).
“The founding of DC Entertainment fully recognizes our desire to provide both the DC properties and fans the type of content that is only possible through a concerted cross-company, multi-platform effort...DC Entertainment will help us to formally take the great working relationships between DC Comics and various Warner Bros. businesses to the next level in order to maximize every opportunity to bring DC’s unrivalled collection of titles and characters to life.”
For a great in-depth explanation of all this (with more quotes from the players involved) head on over to Deadline Hollywood.
Personally, I'm not at all upset (or surprised, really) about any of this. For better or worse, comic book fans, these are chicks we raised that are coming home to roost. We were the ones who pushed for so long to see our favorite heroes grace the big and small screens; our money fed the box office and gave rise to the "Era of Geek-Chic." And in that proud era, our favorite comic books and superheroes have had their market value shoot WAY up - they are now worldwide icons and potential cash cows. When you think about it like that, it's only logical that the big dawgs have come a barkin' and comic book publishers have had to answer the call by stepping up into the corporate big leagues.
But will the source material - our beloved comic books - survive and flourish under these bright neon corporate banners, or whither and be forever tainted? As the zen master says "We shall see..."
What do you think about the creation of DC Entertainment Inc.? Will it be a good way for DC to catch up to Marvel in the multimedia market, or are you DC fans worrying that this is the end of the age of innocence for your beloved universe?
(And be sure to check our list of tags below to know which DC/WB movies are currently in the pipeline . Will this re-structuring affect them too?)
Source: Deadline Hollywood
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