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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

WB's Film Head States DC Films Are "Great Films About Superheroes" Rather Than Superhero Movies

In an interview in THR, Greg Silverman, the WB film chief, spoke out about the studio's upcoming DC movie slate, particularly when posited against the meteorically successful Marvel offerings:

We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You’ll see the difference when you see Batman v. Superman, Suicide Squad, Justice League and all the things that we are working on. 
There were some complaints that the Batman v. Superman trailer was too dark. Is this a trademark of a DC superhero film in the post-Dark Knight era?
There is intensity and a seriousness of purpose to some of these characters. The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren’t making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development. There’s also humor, which is an important part.

In a way, it's a strum and drang we've heard before from WB: "our movies will be filmmaker driven". To an extent they're not wrong. The studio has a history of working with filmmakers with strong auteur-driven vision and dumping tons of money in their lap for them to make their desired movie. Christopher Nolan, George Miller and The Wachowskis are all fairly recent examples of WB's tentpole strategy. It doesn't always work out, but certainly it's an approach that can be admired.
The question is, in an era of "producer-driven, shared universe" blockbusters, will Warners stick to their tried and true formula? We're talking about a Batman v Superman that looks unmistakably like a Zack Snyder movie and a Suicide Squad film that resembles a lot of the griminess of a David Ayer film. But, look and tone are one thing, story construction is another. We'll see what happens.
On the other hand, here's this less promising development regarding Wonder Woman:
You’ve ruffled some feathers hiring competing writers to work on some projects at the same time, such as with Wonder Woman. What’s the strategy? 
Every project is different. On some projects, we have multiple writers working together. In some cases, we put writers together who have never been a team together. And sometimes, there is only one writer whose voice is right. In the case of Wonder Woman, the right approach was to have writers pitching different scenes within the framework we created.
Without knowing what the others were up to?
Correct. They came to me and said they wanted to try this approach. I don’t know how much collaboration and noncollaboration was going on. Treating writers well is a massive priority at this studio. I’d be very shocked if writers weren’t treated with respect and grace.

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