Current Executive VP and Superstar Comics Writer to Steer the Justice League Film Franchise.
According to an exclusive at the Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros is shaking up their executive infrastructure in response to the relatively disappointing reception of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The newly created DC Films division will be run by Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.
Jon Berg, currently an Executive VP at Warner Bros, already has his hands in the production of BvS, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League. He has also worked with current Batman Ben Affleck on the star’s previous directorial effort Argo, as well as the upcoming Live By Night. Affleck himself was recently appointed as a producer on Justice League, a move (when coupled with this one) that suggests that Warner Bros is concerned about getting their flagship franchise on the right track following the BvS‘s muted reception.
Joining Berg is Geoff Johns, a superstar comics writer who has seen his star rise at a meteoric pace. Over the course of the last ten years, Johns has ascended from the ranks of comics writers (including lauded, best-selling runs on Green Lantern and The Flash, among many others) to becoming the Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, as well as stints as a writer on DC’s television properties Arrow and The Flash (where he also serves as an executive co-producer.)
Johns is commonly seen as a writer who “gets” the characters of the DC Universe, and the warm reception of DC’s television properties in contrast with the shaky start of their film franchises is likely a good reason why Johns has received the latest promotion.
THR speculates that “With Berg and Johns, Warner Bros. is attempting to unify the disparate elements of the DC movies with a seasoned film exec and a comics veteran that together hopefully can emulate the way Marvel Studios has produced its films under the vision of president Kevin Feige.” It is understandable that Warner would be envious of Marvel’s success, seeing as how the similarly themed Captain America: Civil War is on its way to $1 billion+ after only two weeks of release, whereas BvS has grossed “only” $870 million to date. There is some that hope that Johns steering the ship will mean an infusion of color and humor into the dark, brooding cinematic world ushered in by Man of Steel and BvS director Zack Snyder.