DC Films' Jon Berg, Geoff Johns & Warner Bros' Toby Emmerich Talk DCEU

Coming off of the success of the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman, DC Films and Warner Bros. are in a good place to go even further with their DC Extended Universe.

Executives Jon Berg and Geoff Johns are overseeing the DC Comics film arm for the greater Warner Bros. - which has the newly-appointed Toby Emmerich as head chief of production - and all three have a vision for the aforementioned DC Extended Universe - the cinematic universe in which all DC Comics characters exist.

First up Berg and Johns, while speaking to Variety gave their thoughts on past films, Wonder Woman's success and the future.

Why did audiences embrace “Wonder Woman”?
Berg: It’s a fun movie. It’s positive and optimistic. The early films may have been too dark in parts.

Johns: Most of the DC Universe is known as being a hopeful and optimistic place. It’s known for characters that are inspirational and aspirational. Anyone who knows and loves the DC Universe knows that a lot of that has to do with its hope and optimism.

“Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman” made money, but critics hated them. Did you learn anything from the poor response to the films?
Berg: There are lessons from every movie. You would be silly not to analyse how a movie was received — what went right and what went wrong on the making of a movie.
On “Suicide Squad,” the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. “Batman v. Superman” was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.

Johns: “Wonder Woman” celebrated exactly who the character is, but looking at it, it’s not like we should change everything to be about hope and optimism. There’s nothing to change. That’s what these characters are.

Given the success of “Wonder Woman,” do you expect to make more female-driven comic-book films?
Johns: We’ve got a lot of plans for our female characters just because they’re great characters. There are many wonderful elements to the DC Universe, and one of them is that we have the best female characters, heroes and villains, in the world. No one is going to beat Wonder Woman and Batgirl and Harley Quinn.

Will Patty Jenkins be back to direct the sequel to “Wonder Woman”?
Johns: Patty and I are writing the treatment right now. The goal is to make another great “Wonder Woman” film. I had a blast making it with Patty the first time. We’ve got a cool idea for the second one.

Will Wonder Woman’s role be enhanced in “Justice League”?
Berg: Her role won’t change, but she was already playing a big role. People really responded to Gal [Gadot] in “Batman v. Superman.” We knew we had something special.

Joss Whedon is overseeing reshoots on “Justice League” and will write and direct “Batgirl.” How important will he be to the DC cinematic universe going forward?
Berg: He’s a big part already. We love him. He’s a great partner, collaborator; we want him to be ensconced. We bring people by, have general meetings and talk about comics and their favorite superhero movies. With Joss, he saw the master board, and he saw a “Batgirl” title and he said, “You guys seriously want to do ‘Batgirl’?” And we said, “Absolutely.” He said, “That’s my jam.”

Moving on, we have Toby Emmerich, who is another piece of the ever-expanding studio that is Warner Bros., talking about what he is doing with the DCEU.

He initially admits that he is not made from the same cloth like Geoff Johns, who is also head of DC Comics.

“I don’t speak comic,” Emmerich explained. “I do feel like I speak motion pictures. I speak for an audience. I look and ask, ‘How does this work for a general audience?’”

Johns backed Emmerich and noted that his lack of comic knowledge is no problem.

“He understands that when we’re talking about the characters, we’re not just talking about what their powers are,” said Johns. “We’re talking about who they are as people.”

Moving on, Emmerich noted that the success of Wonder Woman, is solely thanks to Berg and Johns' extensive work they done before Emmerich came on board earlier this year accompanied by Patty Jenkins' injection of “heart and humour” into the film, that made it more appealing for audiences. “The zeitgeist of the culture, in America and many parts of the world, were ready to embrace a female superhero,” Emmerich said.

Emmerich followed up on what he expects other studios to do, looking at the film's reception. “I know that our competitors are going to look at the success of this movie,” he said. “People love to call Hollywood lemmings, and it’s not always unfair. I’m sure that plenty of producers and writers and studio executives are asking, ‘What the heck happened with “Wonder Woman,” and how do we get in on that action?’”

Continuing on from Wonder Woman, DC are, going forward, making more female-driven features, Gotham City Sirens - a film which will see Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn team up with Catwoman and Poison Ivy - and Joss Whedon's Batgirl - which will be the first solo film for the DC Comics character of Batgirl. On top of those, we will see a sequel to Wonder Woman, which Emmerich noted that Jenkins is currently in the process of making. The sequel will be set at undisclosed time period, but will be after World War I.

“It will take place somewhere between 1917 and 2017,” Emmerich noted.

Emmerich is already planning ways to make DC stand out from the competition, that being the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which its films are more of a family affair than say a more darker in tone film like Logan

“I would be surprised if we didn’t at some point make an R-rated DC movie,” said Emmerich.

Source: Variety - Variety


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