[Update: We’ve been informed that in fact Charles Roven is remaining onboard Suicide Squad 2 as the lead producer, and Michael De Luca is joining him. Our updated story follows below.]
In a sign that things are changing with regards to Warner Bros.’ approach to its DC films, Suicide Squad 2 now has a new producer. Per Variety, Oscar-nominated The Social Network and Moneyball producer Michael De Luca has signed on to produce the sequel, which has The Accountant and Warrior filmmaker Gavin O’Connor writing and directing.
Now this may not seem like a big deal, but it kind of is. This signals that instead of having one or two people produce all the DC movies, Warner Bros. may be hiring key personnel to bring their specific talents to specific projects. Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Justice League, and Wonder Woman all boasted three key producers: Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, and Charles Roven. These movies also had other producers who had a hand in their making to be sure, especially on Wonder Woman, but by many accounts this trio kind of oversaw the day-to-day production of all the DC films.
Now, in this new phase for the DCEU, it looks like that’s changing. While Roven remains the lead producer on Suicide Squad 2, none of these three have been officially announced as producers on Shazam!, which is the next DC movie to go into production, and while the Snyders are listed as executive producers on Aquaman, that film’s primary producer is Peter Safran, who produced the Conjuring and Annabelle films with director James Wan.
Geoff Johns and Jon Berg had been installed to oversee the DCEU as a whole shortly after Batman v Superman hit theaters, but we learned earlier this month that Berg was stepping away from the DC films, Johns was moving to an advisory role, and Walter Hamada—who oversaw New Line’s development, production, and release of key hits like IT and the Annabelle movies—had been tapped as the new executive in charge of overseeing DC Films production.
So while Hamada oversees the larger picture, it appears WB may tap individual producers to ensure that the specific productions run smoothly and aren’t as concerned with interconnectivity. In the case of Suicide Squad 2, in addition to Roven—who also produced Christopher Nolan‘s Batman films—De Luca will be helping to spearhead the production.
De Luca is an interesting choice for Suicide Squad 2 as his recent output has been films like Captain Phillips and Inferno, but he previously served as President of Production at New Line in the 1990s and oversaw films like Boogie Nights, Rush Hour, and Blade. Most recently he helped secure the rights to the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and has been spearheading that as a producer alongside his Social Network partner Dana Brunetti.
Suicide Squad 2 is a priority for Warner Bros. and the studio reportedly hopes to begin filming this fall, making it one of two DC projects to get in front of cameras this year alongside Shazam!. Securing an additional new producer is a key part of getting this ball rolling, and if everything falls into place we just may see Suicide Squad 2 in theaters in the next year or two.