Top of the Totem Pole
According to a private Facebook post from Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, Geoff Johns will be reporting straight to Warner Bros. instead of the DC executive. Her message obtained by Bleeding Cool, which you can read below, reads like an obituary mourning a relationship that seemed more personal and substantial than simply surface level. However, this is nothing but good news for DC and film fans everywhere. Johns is one of the best creative minds in comic books ever.
Considering the success of Wonder Woman, the first film Johns influenced, it’s no wonder they’re doubling down on their President and Chief Creative Officer.
Unfortunately, this is likely only going to take away from Johns’ comic work. Though he has the upcoming Doomsday Clock, he will likely be busy building DC’s film slate for the near future. The working relationship between the two higher-ups was clearly an important one. But now that Johns is the clear head of creative, there’s less studio interference for filmmakers to worry about. Johns is the man now pulling the strings at DC.
What Does this Mean?
Studio interference has been an issue with filmmakers since the 1970’s. Jaws had a major influence on Hollywood. Now that a film could deliver hundreds of millions of dollars based on entertainment appeal, studios were obsessed with getting back as much return as possible. The almighty dollar now consumes most of Hollywood, with only companies like Sky Dance and Annapurna taking chances. Every studio has tons of executives; every studio has a parent company. That means more hands in the cookie jar, looking to pull away with a bunch of the batch. And the more hands there are, the more they expect a certain kind of cookie. I always preferred snickerdoodle.
Now that Geoff Johns no longer has to report to another DC executive, he’s the de facto leader of DC’s creative division. That means Warner Bros. will hear from one voice and one voice only. This absolutely solidifies the parallel between Geoff Johns and Marvel’s Kevin Feige. Feige is the head of Marvel Studios and only has to report to Disney. Sounds exactly like Johns.
A Bright Future
DC has a long road ahead. Rumors still abound with Justice League. The rumored runtime is driving people insane, sending shivers up fan’s spines about the project. It’s not confirmed but it makes the already shaky foundation for Justice League even more unstable. But now someone is in charge. There is a talented, level-headed creative who knows the ins and outs of the entire DC Universe. Despite the fact that he and Nelson had a significant relationship it can only mean a more central voice to guide the DC Films slate for years to come.
Diane Nelson obviously loved the relationship she had with Johns, as well as the input she had. Though she seems to take it very personally, it means that Diane Nelson loved her work. She was undoubtedly an important part of DC History who deserves the respect and admiration of the fans for years to come.
I have lost (In Business)
My best friend;
My reality touchstone;
My partner and positive reinforcement behind hard or controversial ideas;
My resource in learning about the genre I now manage and how its fans think about what we do. The “insider” perspective I may miss;
A buddy who shares the excitement and humility of forging new ground and thinking of new ways to tackle a challenging, maybe softening business. Someone who is confident in his knowledge and instincts but can remain open to hearing another idea.
A confidant, with whom you can share the many ups and downs of our daily work, without wearing the hat of supervisor or supervisee. Someone with whom I can laugh. Someone with whom I can cry when it all feels bigger than it is.
DC did tell Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston, “Geoff is not moving over to Theatrical, or any other WB division, at this time. He will continue to work across all divisions as he has been, and not exclusively for one division.”
While Johns still may work across all WB divisions, the post by Nelson appears to show he will take a more involved role in the film-making and production process.
Justice League comes to theaters on November 17, 2017.