Warner Bros. is planning a shake-up and restructuring of its DC Films operation following the box office disappointment of “Justice League”, Variety reports.
Jon Berg will be leaving his current job running the comic book's film production division, according to several sources with knowledge of the studio's plans. A search is underway for his replacement. Berg will instead become a production partner with Roy Lee, the producer of “The Lego Movie” and “It”, who has a deal on the lot.
Warner is expected to name a new person to run point on DC's films. Geoff Johns, who has partnered with Berg on much of the creative direction of the movies, is expected to continue serving as DC Entertainment's chief creative officer.
The DC overhaul is expected to happen by January.
Warner Bros.' corporate leaders at Time Warner support the moves and are said to be unhappy with the financial performance of “Justice League”. The film was intended to be DC's answer to Marvel's “Avengers”, uniting the likes of Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman under the banner of a team of world-saving superheroes. With a budget reported to be as high as $300 million, it represents an expensive bet. After three weeks of release, it has managed to gross $570.3 million worldwide. In contrast, the first “Avengers” film racked up $1.5 billion.
There are no immediate plans for Zach Snyder to direct another DC movie, though he is producing or executive producing several, including “Wonder Woman 2” and “Aquaman”. Warner Bros. continues to have a production deal with Snyder, so it's possible he could direct additional films for the studio. Time Warner is said to be frustrated that Warner Bros. leaders continue to bring the director back, especially after “Batman v Superman” was excoriated by critics even though it made money.
While Ben Affleck is expected to appear as Batman in a standalone Flash movie, it is highly unlikely he will don the cape and cowl in Matt Reeves' planned standalone Batman movie. The director is said to want to cast the role with fresh talent, according to sources.
Warner Bros. believes that “Justice League” succeeded in one importantly respect: it effectively introduced Flash (a quippy speedster played by Ezra Miller) and Aquaman (the king of Atlantis, portrayed by Jason Momoa). A solo “Aquaman” is due out in 2018 and Warner is still developing a standalone Flash adventure. Going forward, Warner Bros. is planning a sequel to “Wonder Woman” that's believed to be set in the Cold War, and New Line has greenlit a “Shazam” feature.