Word is Berg never wanted to oversee the entire division for Warner Bros., and approached the studio about adopting a producer role nearly six months ago. The report makes no mention of Johns being DC president, and says Johns still reports to DC president Diane Nelson.
WB's parent company, Time Warner, is said to have supported the moves as the corporate leaders are unhappy with the financial performance of Justice League (current box office at $572 million), which hada budget of around $300 million. Picture Group President Toby Emmerich, this shift in personnel isn't entirely a reaction to the disappointing numbers from Justice League.
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"This is something that Jon approached me about six months ago, and he expressed his goal was to ultimately be a producer at the studio", Emmerich said in a statement. Berg had creative direction over the DC properties along with chief creative officer Geoff Johns, whose role on the comic book films may evolve and become more advisory in nature going forward, according to a bombshell report from Variety. Expect all of this to be worked out by January once Hollywood rings in the new year.
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The decision for restructuring comes after Justice League has brought in just $572 million worldwide, making it the lowest grossing film in the DCEU by nearly $100 million. Berg (Argo, Live by Night) with his connection to Ben Affleck, and Johns-who came up in the industry with geeky fanboy king of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, and successfully launched the successful TV arm of DC Entertainment-would try to bring order to the floundering franchise. Someone at Warner Bros. has to realize that most of us don't want to see CGI villains like Steppenwolf, who means nothing to a majority of the audience. "We're thrilled that Jon is partnering with Roy and anticipate their company being a valuable source of movies for Warner Bros. and New Line".
Up next for the DCEU is James Wan's Aquaman for December 2018; Shazam! is in development for an April 2019 release, the Wonder Woman sequel has a November 2019 release, and a movie for The Flash (said to be Flashpoint) is in development. On a purely storytelling level, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and especially Suicide Squad were just ghastly and embarrassing.
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