If at first your movie studio doesn’t succeed, restructure and restructure again. After Justice League received subpar reviews and underwhelming box office returns, Warner Bros. is looking to shake-up its DC Films division—again. Per Variety, DC Films co-head and producer Jon Berg will step down, and the studio is considering bringing DC’s film operations closer to Warner Bros. proper.
The establishment of a “DC Films” with film producer Berg and DC Comics veteran Geoff Johns as co-heads came after the failure of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and was WB’s attempt to emulate Marvel Studios and their president Kevin Feige, who is not only an experienced film producer but has an encyclopedic knowledge of Marvel comics. Although the first film with this pair in charge, Wonder Woman, was undoubtedly a success, the same couldn’t be said for Justice League. Johns is expected to stay on in at least an advisory capacity.
Warner Bros. is also considering bringing its DC films operation under the same umbrella as their other studios. Although Marvel Studios is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, it generally operates independently—Fox and Sony, on the other hand, are more directly hands on with their X-Men and Spider-Man franchises, respectively. A move from WB would probably resemble Fox and Sony more so than Disney.
Justice League received a 40% score on Rotten Tomatoes (our review here ) and grossed $570.3 million worldwide in three weeks; in comparison, the first Avengers film made up to $1.5 billion in the same amount of time. Production problems plagued Justice League—already coming off of a lambasted Batman v Superman, WB executives were quite skittish about the future of the franchise. According to a large spread by The Wrap, the changing of hands from Zack Snyder to Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon, clashing visions and studio interference and an overall rushed production led to a “Frankenstein” (although really, it’s Frankenstein’s Monster) of a film.
A replacement for Berg will be announced sometime soon. The next DC movie will be Aquaman directed by James Wan (The Conjuring, Furious 7) for a release date of Dec. 21, 2018.