Recently, it was announced that CCO of DC Entertainment, Geoff Johns, would be one of the two men to over-see the creative direction of DC’s Extended Universe of films. Thanks to the poor reception of director Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice by many critics and fans, Johns will join WB executive vice president Jon Berg in having the final say on projects coming from DC and WB’s new DC Films department.
While at a small press event for the new Rebirth launch from DC Comics, Johns spoke indirectly about his new position for DC’s film projects, and his personal vision of the DC mythos. That mythos, to him, is an embodiment of “hope and optimism.” Two things that were terribly lacking in Snyder’s less-than-stellar beginning to DC’s share cinematic universe. While Johns would not speak ill of Batman V Superman and its director, its obvious that he does not share the man’s affinity for dark, gritty, and dour superheroes. In fact, the two seem to have very differing opinions on a certain Kryptonian.
“I think people make a mistake when they say, ‘Superman’s not relatable because he’s so powerful,’” he said. “I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me? He’s a farmboy from Kansas who moves to the city and just wants to do the best he can with what he’s got.’ That’s the most relatable character in the world.”
Image: DC Entertainment
As a true disciple of Richard Donner, the director of the original Superman film, this is not a surprising stance for Johns to take. Not only has this been apparent in his comic book stories, but Johns also worked as a writer for several episodes of Smallville, as well as played a crucial part in the development and creation of both Arrow and The Flash for The CW. His continued work as the chief creative officer for DC also puts Johns in charge with over-seeing all kinds of projects that bring DC’s characters to their fans, including video game adaptations. Throw in the fact that he was named as one of the people writing Ben Affleck’s stand-alone Batman film, and there is very little Johns isn’t doing for DC at this point.
Whether or not this will work in DC’s favor will be seen in the future, but it does allow them a chance to compete with Marvel without having to completely copy their structure and methods. Marvel has seen plenty of success under Kevin Feige and his plans for their Cinematic Universe, but Feige is not the be-all-end-all of Marvel’s brand. Marvel’s television shows are currently spearheaded by Jeph Loeb, and Joe Quesada still sits as CCO for everything else Marvel is involved in. While each arm is doing well in it’s own right, they have not been fully capable of meshing together as much as they may like. On top of that, Marvel doesn’t even own the film and television rights to numerous characters from their comics universe, unlike DC and Warner Bros. DC truly has an advantage where they stand, and Johns’ plan for hope and optimism to prevail over dour and gritty storytelling could be just the boost needed to finally make them a contender again.
Featured Image owned by Warner Bros/ DC Entertainment