“It” producer Walter Hamada takes over running DC Films

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WB has found yet another savior for its crucial DC Films shingle: Walter Hamada, the producer of the Conjuring films and, most crucially, IT, the box offie smash remake. Borys Kit writes:

The ascension takes place after the December departure of Jon Berg, Warner Bros.’s co-president of production who was the studio’s point man for its DC movies. Berg is now a partner at Vertigo, the production shingle run by producer Roy Lee.
Hamada will focus on Warners’ slate of upcoming films bases on superheroes and villains, as well as titles based on other characters and other stories also licensed from DC. He will work closely with Geoff Johns, the president and chief creative officer of DC Entertainment who worked side-by-side with Berg, while also drawing resources from both Warners and New Line.
Hamada is part of the duo known as “Team Genre” within the New Line corridors. With cohort Dave Neustadter, Hamada has overseen the company’s horror line, including the billion dollar-grossing and audience pleasing cinematic universe centered around the Conjuring movies. He and Neustadter also oversaw the horror phenomenon, It, based on the Stephen King novel.

Well there you go! The guy made a successful movie b on a beloved horror classic so he must be the man to wrangle the torturous shoals of the DC Films.Not trying to be harsh there, but DC’s superhero movies have been a mess for decades now. Hamada enjoys close ties with, we’re told both Toby Emmerich, Warners’ president and former head of New Line, and James Wan, the director of Aquaman (and The Conjuring), this year’s DC Films output. According to the story Hamada oversaw pre production on Shazam! and did not alienate audiences yet, and so impressed Emmerich.

“Walter is creative, resourceful, and committed to excellence, and will bring those qualities to his oversight of our superhero films,” said Emmerich in a statement.  “He’s a terrific production executive and served as an executive producer on two of the summer’s most popular films, New Line’s It and Annabelle: Creation. I’m confident Walter and Geoff, working with our filmmaking partners, will deliver films that will resonate with both broad global audiences as well as DC fanboys and fangirls.  Walter’s a great addition to the Warner Bros. Pictures team, and I look forward to working with him in his new post.”

You’ll note that Johns is still in the mix. While he may not be running the studio hopefully he’ll have Hamada’s ear for inside comics stuff and pancakes.

Of all the notes regarding this hire, it’s the Aquamanconnection that sticks with me the most, as it gives you a sense of who Warners is likely relying on to shepherd this franchise(s) forward. Back in May of 2016, the studio picked both Geoff Johns and Jon Berg to oversee their DC product on screen in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice taking a critical dive. Berg was seen as a close confidant of Batman actor Ben Affleck, and Johns, the Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment, was working with Affleck to craft a script for the Batman feature the actor/director was tapped to helm. After the critical drubbing Suicide Squad received, and Justice League‘s anemic box office performance relative to expectations, last year’s Wonder Woman served as the only real unqualified success of the DC slate. It simply wasn’t enough.

And so, with Affleck seemingly on the way out of the Batman role, Warner Bros is now, by all appearances, looking to move toward the good graces of one of their most reliable performers in Wan, while also promoting one of their more successful execs into a big leadership role.

While there are a number of DC-based movies in various stages of pre-production, Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 are all set to be released in the 2018-2019 calendar.

Hamada is something of a shadowy figure as far as photos go, turning up in only a few group shots on Getty Images – that’s him on the right, below, with Wan. Is he ready for the rigors of Hall/Hell H? Stay tuned!

 

–Reporting by Kyle Pinion and Heidi MacDonald

4 COMMENTS

  1. Free advice for DC: Forget about super-hero movies. You are killing it there on TV and animation. Focus on the umpteen kajillion non-super-hero intellectual properties in your vault for the big screen. G.I. ROBOT? THE CREATURE COMMANDOS? THE WAR THAT TIME FORGOT? THE WARLORD? ADAM STRANGE? CAVE CARSON? CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN? Any of those ring a bell?

    Mike

  2. Dear People In Charge of the DC Movies,

    Please make the Shazam! movie fun and not brutally violent. Charming would be a good goal for a Shazam! movie.

    Also, please make the Flash movie something other than Flashpoint. I’ve only seen the animated movie, and not read the actual comics, but it was pretty brutal and depressing. I would think there are better Flash stories to tell.

    Also, please give the Flash a better costume. The TV costume is better than the movie costume. The movie one looks unwieldy.

  3. You do sound harsh.
    Not an old white guy, Good enough for me!

    Also James Wan makes the most out of shoe string budgets, a skill which more directors should have.

  4. “but DC’s superhero movies have been a mess for decades now.” What? Like the decades involving the beloved Superman movies? The original Batman movies? The Nolan Batman movies? The last decade has been more mixed, but it’s trash to say “decades” of bad movies from DC!

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