No matter what you might think of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s hard to deny that the film did not garner the reception that Warner Bros. had hoped for, and we’ve seen quite a bit of behind-the-scenes shuffling in the aftermath of its release. Earlier this week, Alex reported that some studio restructuring saw DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns brought in to help oversee the future of the newly-created DC Films division, and a recent interview sheds some light on what changes he might be making.
Speaking with Vulture just 12 hours after the news broke, Johns wasn’t at liberty to confirm his new role with Warner Bros., but coyly told journalists “you can connect the dots.” And while he stopped short of levying any criticism against Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder for his darker, grittier interpretation of the iconic characters, it’s clear that Johns sees things in a very different light, frequently using the phrase “hope and optimism” when discussing the DC Comics lineup.
“There’s a lot of emotional underpinning of the characters and the stories. It’s not that people take it for granted. They’re just not as aware of it. But when it’s not there, you really feel that emptiness.”
Johns was on-hand to discuss his upcoming one-shot DC Universe: Rebirth, which will once again find the DC brand going through some major changes, canceling titles and launching (or relaunching) others. But if there’s one person who seems to know the entire DC pantheon inside and out, it would definitely be Johns: his incredible eight-year run on the Green Lantern books completely revitalized the character, and his Justice League series was at the forefront of The New 52 reboot in 2011. This is someone who not only understands these characters, but has an incredible affection for them. For example, here’s what he had to say about Superman:
“I think people make a mistake when they say, ‘Superman’s not relatable because he’s so powerful.’ 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.”
In those few sentences, Johns expresses a far better understanding of the Man of Steel than Zack Snyder has been able to exhibit in two films. And he already has a solid track record with bringing the DC properties to live-action entertainment, serving as a writer for The CW’s Arrow, helping launch The Flash, and working alongside Ben Affleck on the upcoming Batman solo flick.
So with Warner Bros. giving Johns control of their upcoming slate of DC films, you can probably expect quite a few changes – and I’m betting that most of them will be for the better.
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