Often criticized for its handling of its comic-book properties, Warner Bros. is holding high-level talks with DC Comics to develop a film strategy for its superheroes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov and Warner Bros. Pictures president Kevin McCormick have met with DC executives and top creators over the past couple of weeks to hammer out a new direction for the big-screen adaptations:
Up until now, the comic properties had been undergoing a hodge-podge development process. With the recent success of Marvel Studios’ Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk and that company’s plan to develop its many characters linked strategically together, Warners has been forced to take a close second look at its sister company.
Warner Bros. is keeping quiet on the details of the meetings, but released a statement saying: “While we are not going to go into the specifics of the meetings, we’re constantly looking at how best to exploit the DC Comics characters and properties. DC is an incredibly valuable asset to Warner Bros. and plays an important role across the entire studio by providing development and franchise opportunities for all media, including films, television, home entertainment, animation, consumer products, video games and digital platforms.”
Variety reports that, “Warners watchers may feel a certain deja vu, though, with all this talk of giving DC more attention.” In 2003, the studio was ready to hire someone to drive the development of DC characters:
Yet this year, Warner Bros. has been unable to point to anyone at the studio with responsibility for overseeing the DC characters. While DC’s senior VP of creative affairs Gregory Noveck pegs Warners toppers Jeff Robinov and Alan Horn as “the ultimate decisionmakers,” they’re the decisionmakers for pretty much everything at the studio, and neither is in a position to dive into active development of the DC universe.
In fairness to Warner Bros. and DC, the trade paper points out that The Dark Knight, which opens next week, has generated tremendous buzz, and Watchmen is scheduled to open early next year. And DC has had more success than Marvel in translating its characters for television.