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DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson talks the future of DC Films

July 23rd, 2013 by Christopher Williams Comments


Want some insider info on the pas, present and future of DC Comics movies? Well president of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, recently sat down with The Hollywood Reporter and was kind enough to whittle out the highlights for us. Nelson had some very interesting things to say about Man Of Steel, Green Lantern, Sandman and even Aquaman. After every statement you can check out my thoughts in bold below them.

Off the bat she was asked about why it seems that Marvel is moving pedal to the metal with their movie releases while DC has taken it’s time, to which she replied, “I don’t know that we’ve been so slow. I think there’s been a very concerted strategy about working with the best filmmakers in the business to execute their vision of the right movies for the right properties. That may mean that we’re a little more focused or particular about which characters come on the screen as opposed to what Marvel’s done so brilliantly. And I do give them tremendous credit with what they’re doing with their slate, but our strategy has been different from that. I think more ‘precise’ is the word. It’s a specific vision from a specific filmmaker rather than a full slate.”

I don’t blame DC Entertainment for taking longer to develop their projects, aside from all of Batman and Superman’s film success, they don’t really have a great record like Marvel does. Lets not forget, though that when Marvel first got into the movie game they were utterly lost as well, giving us less than worthy versions of Daredevil, The Hulk and so on.

Next, Nelson was asked why a film such as Man of Steel was so successful and yet a movie like Green Lantern failed to land with audiences. “I think Chris (Nolan) and Zack (Snyder) really did give fans what they felt on some level they didn’t get at least partially in the last Superman film. People wanted to see Superman kicking ass. And he does in this movie. He does a lot of other great things. Henry (Cavill) brings the character to life so beautifully, and the dynamic between Clark and Lois is there, but people wanted to see Superman being Superman. That balance of what matters wasn’t quite right on Green Lantern. I know everyone involved with the project wanted it to work as much as everyone involved with Man of Steel wanted it to work. In the debate of art versus science, sometimes the mix isn’t just right. But we will find some other way to bring that character to the screen.”

Or could it be that the version of Green Lantern that came out was devoid of all soul? We had epic performances from Mark Strong, and I won’t lie, we did get a pretty faithful interpretation of Green Lantern from Ryan Reynolds, and things like Oa and the constructs were handled nicely, but none of that can save a bad story. It wasn’t that we didn’t believe in the Green Lantern, the problem was the story was God awful. Also Hector Hammond and Parallax were served a huge injustice in their depictions. My hopes are high though as it seems that Green Lantern hasn’t seen his final days on the big screen, which I is something I have been saying could be done in spite of the failure that was the first film. (Click here to read my desperate plea for a Green Lantern sequel.)

When asked if GL would make his return to the cinema in the form of the Justice League movie, the DC Entertainment head played it coy. “I can’t confirm, sorry. I would love to be able to give you that, but I can’t. I can say the success of Man of Steel has been incredibly great for our company, the studio, Warner Pictures, DC, and it obviously just reinforces the potential of that universe just moving forward.”

As my editor-in-chief Marc would say, get it done.

Nelson was also asked about which DC characters SHE would like to see on the big screen, and the answer was quite surprising. “Sandman is right on top. I think it could be as rich as the Harry Potter universe. Fables. Metal Men. Justice League. And yes, I’m going to say it…Aquaman!”

Yes, Aquaman! Under one stipulation though, Geoff Johns MUST write it. Up until recently Aquaman was sort of seen as the butt of jokes in the DC Universe. Johns, who I credit for making me a huge Green Lantern fan, took Aquaman and turned him not only into a successful character, but a critical darling of the comic book media, including myself. (Yes, I threw myself in there as well, deal with it.)

When asked about Wonder Woman’s chances of making the leap to film, Nelson said, “We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium? What you do in TV has to be different than what you do in features. She has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she’s tricky.”

I don’t care so much for Wonder Woman, not being sexist or anything, it’s just the way it is. One thing I do love though is Greek mythology and these characters permeate her universe. With Clash of the Titans going over well in theaters, giving Wonder Woman a story grounded in Greek Mythology might make for a successful story.

Lastly she was asked about the future of DC Entertainment. “We don’t want to oversaturate with superheroes, and DC is much more than superheroes. If we do our jobs as well as I think we can among our partners within Warner Bros., there is no reason why there wouldn’t be multiple slots across every one of our production businesses that is populated by DC Entertainment properties. We know that within this building, but part of our job is getting consumers to understand that there is more breadth and depth to DC beyond those primary DC characters. Our job has to be, let’s have great success with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman but then build on that to expand the universe for the broad populace.”

That’s great, but the question should’ve been “Insert some generic phrase here that really won’t answer my question anyway.”




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Christopher is self-billed as the World's Coolest Nerd (meaning he wears glasses and is clumsy, but he never earned good marks in school). He loves all things Star Wars and superhero related such as comics, books, cartoons and movies. He's a husband and father who somehow manages to keep up with his pastimes since his day job mainly consists of sitting around a store with not much to do. He's very outspoken and wants to share his opinions with the world, or at least his fellow nerds. You can follow him on Twitter @AUDone44.