One of the on-going criticisms of the Warner Brothers approach to their burgeoning “DC Cinematic Universe” is that they have no Kevin Feige of their own to shepherd the various films into production and provide oversight on how they congeal into one unit.

For a while, it appeared as though David Goyer was somewhat being thrust into that role, as he had a hand in a number of DC-based properties like the television series Constantine, the proposed Sandman film, his involvement in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and others that are still yet to be announced as I understand it.

But today, based on an interview that Batman v Superman producer Charles Roven has given with Collider, the DC move brain-trust actually consists of a different group altogether:

I think also very much involved in that brain trust is John Berg, who is the executive vice president at Warner Bros. I would say the Snyders, myself, John Berg, and Geoff Johns would be sort of that Brain Trust… I’m working with great people. They’re all really great people. And not that we don’t—there are many times we agree, and there’s many times we don’t agree [and] we work it out.

While it’s not exactly one go-to person, it does at least indicate that there’s a group behind the scenes making sure everything pulls together in something approaching a plan. Geoff Johns’ involvement especially continues to grow in his role as Chief Creative Officer, and given that he’s rumored to be writing the new solo Batman film with Ben Affleck, perhaps he’s slipping into that architect role that Goyer may or may not have been filling.

Unlike Marvel, the Warner Bros team is not particularly transparent, so speculation ends up running fairly rampant. We’ll see the first real fruit of their labor this coming March.


  1. The brain trust doesn’t matter as much as the people helming the movies. With Marvel, you had a diversity of styles among the filmmakers which enhanced the film-going experience. Sir Kenneth Branaugh lent an air of sophistication to an otherwise silly movie (Thor), while Joe Johnston helped bring to life Captain America’s pulpy 1940s roots. Jon Favreau (with a big helping of RDJ) made Tony Stark a loveable jerk, and Joss Whedon skillfully blended four different franchises into one cohesive movie. James Gunn made a group of c-listers into superstars with an awesome soundtrack, Peyton Reed made a super-hero-heist-action-adventure-comedy movie in Ant-Man, and the Russos made Captain America into a certifiable bad ass. Much like the comics themselves, the movies offer wide-ranging styles and touch many different genres while staying rooted to the shared Marvel Universe. That’s not even getting into Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter, Daredevil, or Jessica Jones, all of which are rooted in the same universe with different styles/genres/audiences of their own. This isn’t to say the Marvel movies are perfect, but like the comics themselves, there is a definite sense of fun mixed with the action/adventure/comedy.

    The DC television universe has been cut off from the cinematic universe (so why bother investing in it as a fan), and the DC cinematic universe is nothing but de-colored grim and grittiness. Nolan’s Batman films don’t even exist in the cinematic universe (although, by the end there, I was getting tired of Bale’s Batman voice and there’s only so much grim and gritty one can take, really, even for Batman). The NuDC cinematic universe is being helmed by Zack Snyder (and his aesthetic clones) and this does not bode well for these movies. I really want to see a fun Flash movie where he takes on Gorilla Grodd, a cosmic Green Lantern movie (taking on the Manhunters!), and even a pulpy WWII Wonder Woman movie (Nazis!). We might get those characters in those combinations, but when the starting point is “realistic” (again, grim and gritty) and de-colored, why bother? I know it hasn’t even begun filming, but every shot of Wonder Woman from BvS has her scowling and angry. I know she’s a warrior, but even Klingons had belly laughs that would curl your hair.* The DC cinematic universe is sapping all of the fun out of these characters and their movies. Maybe their braintrust could think up some better, more eclectic directors for their movies…?

    *quote from TNG episode 4×26, Redemption.

  2. I’m so glad you’ve been able to go into the future and catch Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Batman v Superman for us to let us know how these things are turning out.

    Side-note, if you think James Wan and Patty Jenkins have anything aesthetically in common with Zack Snyder, well…I don’t even know what to say.

  3. kang said: “The brain trust doesn’t matter as much as the people helming the movies.”

    That may have been true several years ago, but it doesn’t seem to be true anymore. Joss Whedon has said that on AGE OF ULTRON, he had to shoot scenes he hated (but that Marvel wanted) for every scene he liked. The experience seems to have left him utterly demoralized.

    And there was Edgar Wright’s well-publicized departure from ANT-MAN, after he spent many years developing the project. I assume you heard about that?

    The Marvel movies may have different moods, but visually they look increasingly alike. As film critic Mark Harris wrote, the “boardroom-driven bottom-line demands of this particular genre” make it unwelcoming for any director with a strong vision. Superhero movies are hugely expensive, which means they have to play everywhere. They have to reach the “global” audience — which basically means Asia, and especially China. And that means dumbing down in an attempt to appeal to everyone.

    As the budgets keep escalating and China becomes more important to Hollywood, you can expect more movies by committee.

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