Warner Bros. shakeup: Streamlined greenlighting, no more copying Disney

Them Warner Bros. and DC Comics restructuring stories just keep coming. Shortly after the release of Justice League, there were numerous articles doing the rounds explaining what went wrong at Warner Bros. and the steps DC is taking to course-correct. This latest piece of news is another in line that sheds light on some major changes happening at DC Films, largely geared towards streamlining things.

The Wrap has the full story with all the intricate details but here’s how it can be summed up: Toby Emmerich, the new Warner Bros. chairman now has the power to greenlight films all by himself, answering to none other than CEO Kevin Tsujihara himself. He doesn’t need to consult a committee of people before taking a call. To sum up the situation, Tsujihara quoted:

Toby has green light, I have red light

Next, Sue Kroll, the company’s 23-year old marketing chief would take on producing responsibilities instead, likely moving to other Warner Bros. productions instead of superhero films. One of the insiders comments that Kroll hated superhero films in reality and was largely putting up with the job, an allegation that Kroll herself denied. The marketing campaign of Justice League was criticized by many for not including overt references to Superman which might have cost them a few millions of dollars in opening weekend revenue, for the common public may not have been aware that Superman is in the movie.

Finally, Tsujihara himself admitted that it was time for Warner Bros. to stop aping their competitor Disney and move on and do their own thing. To that end, he stated to The Wrap:

Warner Bros needs to continue doing what it’s always done: producing the biggest, most diverse slate in the business. That’s what’s made us successful. We can’t do what Disney’s done. It’s worked really, really well for them, but it’s not who we are. We need to continue to create a balanced slate of all types of movies and all genres.

Personally, I find it a bit ironical how Warner Bros. talks about ceasing to copy Disney and yet their restructuring in a very vague sense resembles a similar restructuring Marvel underwent years ago. Back then, Disney CEO Bob Iger removed Ike Perlmutter from Marvel’s think-tank making Kevin Feige the sole President of Marvel Studios, answerable directly to the CEO himself. That said, I disagree with some of the comments about excluding Superman from the marketing. I think preserving Superman’s scenes from the promotion worked in that it helped preserve a lot of surprises; even comic book fans had something to look forward to that they hadn’t already glimpsed in a movie which already had four trailers in the lead-up to its release.

Hopefully all this will at least mean better decision making from now on. For starters, the executives would do well to stay away from James Wan’s Aquaman and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman 2 and let the creative team do their thing. You can check out the entire story at The Wrap through the source link below.