And the Batman v Superman saga continues…though not in the way Warner Bros. had hoped. The fallout from the massive (and massively expensive) superhero smackdown has been reverberating for the past two months, with the biggest shockwave coming last week in the form of Geoff Johns and exec Jon Berg being set to officially run DC Films. Now it appears that even more executive shuffling is taking place, as THR is reporting that producer Charles Roven may be changing roles for future DC Films.
Roven has been the strongest piece of connective tissue between Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and this new DC Extended Universe, as he produced all three of Nolan’s films as well as Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and the now-filming Justice League – Part One. Roven has been one of the key members of the unofficial DC Brain Trust, which also included Johns, Zack Snyder, and producer Debbie Snyder, but now as Warner Bros. continues making post-BvS changes, it appears Roven may be stepping back on the studio’s upcoming DC Films.
According to THR, talks are underway for Roven to segue into “a different role” going forward, likely serving as an executive producer instead of someone involved in the day-to-day production. Final decisions have yet to be made, and sources tell THR that the extent of Roven involvement in the DC Extended Universe going forward is “evolving,” which essentially means that WB is still in the midst of deciding how, exactly, the DC Films will continue going forward.
Roven’s track record as a producer is solid—his credits also include American Hustle, Three Kings, and The Brothers Grimm—so to me this sounds more like Warner Bros. wanting to break up the core group of the unofficial DC Braintrust than an action pointed specifically at Roven. Clearly the studio isn’t happy with the Snyder-directed vision of the DC Extended Universe and is looking for ways to shift this giant ship that’s already well in motion. The easiest fix? Find a new team to man the wheel.
THR adds that one reason for the change in Roven’s role has to do with WB wanting “to ramp up the number of DC productions,” and it becomes difficult for one man to take on all aspects of a production—from pre-production to release—on different continents simultaneously. The report cites Australia, Los Angeles, Louisiana, and London as production locations, hinting that upcoming films like Aquaman and The Flash may be filming at the same time in very different parts of the globe. While Roven was set to serve as producer on those two films, sources tell THR that will no longer be the case.
Roven remains a producer on Justice League – Part One and is currently on set overseeing shooting in London, but following last week’s news, WB has already dispatched Jon Berg to be a part of the day-to-day production of that movie as well. Indeed, even though Justice League started filming mere weeks after BvS opened, Warner Bros. seems intent on ensuring the Snyder-helmed film doesn’t receive the same response as Batman v Superman did.
As for the future films on DC’s slate, things are looking up. The Roven-produced Suicide Squad underwent some additional photography and continues to look like a breath of fresh air to the superhero genre, and the Patty Jenkins-helmed Wonder Woman remains one of the most anticipated superhero movies on the docket. There’s also word of a Margot Robbie-fronted Harley Quinn spinoff in the works, as well as a Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie co-written by Johns, and there’s a strong possibility that we’ll see Suicide Squad 2 in the near future.
Indeed, THR points out that even if Roven moves to an executive producer role on films like The Flash and Aquaman, he could potentially remain a producer on sequels to films that he’s produced. That said, there certainly seems to be a strong changing-of-the-guard feeling at Warner Bros. right now, and I’ll be curious to see what other changes are in store. Stay tuned…