Ever since the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. has always been behind the eight ball. They were always placed in a lose-lose situation. Movie fans loved the idea that a comic book movie could exist in the same universe, which would allow characters to crossover when needed. However, if they launched with a similar Marvel-like plan, they would be criticized. Doing something different would achieve the same result. After the disappointing performance of Justice League, it seems a shakeup has begun.
Warner Bros. had been greenlighting movies by committee, according to The Wrap, and has decided to put one person in charge. The newly installed Warner Bros. Pictures Chairman Toby Emmerich will be the sole person to make decision and only answers to CEO Kevin Tsujihara. Tsujihara, who many DC fans consider the reason all the movie are less-than-stellar. However, among the same fans, Wonder Woman is apparently an aberration.
Warner Bros. announced this week that marketing chief Sue Knoll will be stepping down to a producer role. Her decision to market Justice League without Superman was seen as a silly move. Everyone knew that Superman would be returning, just not how.
“The bizarre decision not to have Superman included in the marketing stopped ‘Justice League’ from potentially hitting $100 million opening weekend,” an insider said.
“There’s intense scrutiny on everything we do, particularly in this world, in the DC superhero universe,” Knoll said in a June interview to promote “Wonder Woman.” Some insiders have gone on record to claim that Knoll hated superhero movies.
“I love superhero movies. I’ve always considered it an honor to market films that fans feel so passionately about. And I think our track record stands for itself,” Kroll said denying those rumors. “As for the ‘Justice League’ campaign, I stand behind everything we did. It was a strategic and creative campaign, and I am immensely proud of the work done by all of us.”
Tsujihara, rightly so, wants Emmerich to help DC Films find its own identity. It is easy to copy Marvel, but DC’s characters deserve better than that.
“Warner Bros needs to continue doing what it’s always done: producing the biggest, most diverse slate in the business. That’s what’s made us successful. We can’t do what Disney’s done. It’s worked really, really well for them, but it’s not who we are. We need to continue to create a balanced slate of all types of movies and all genres,” Tsujihara said.
Warner Bros. has a wealth of potential in the comic book movie universe. Warner Bros. essentially needs their own Kevin Feige to help usher their movies to the masses. The market is there. However, their original plan devoted a lot of time and trouble to Zach Snyder’s vision, which was a mistake. It needs to be directed by the studio heads and find directors that can complete that vision. With Aquaman already in the can, it will be interesting to see how this all come together in the end.