Wednesday, September 9, 2009

DC Comics Becomes DC Entertainment

If you haven't heard the news yet, DC's The Source blog is reporting that Warner Bros has created/rebranded DC Comics as DC Entertainment.

From what I gathered, the move is designed to position DC's brands in such a way that they can have movies, comics, video games, television, etc all under one roof so as to avoid the clutter and red tape of the separate divisions of Warner Bros Entertainment that seem to mar many of their projects, particularly in relation to movies.

Hit the jump for more thoughts and commentary on the move.

This Is Not a Reaction to Marvel/Disney

First things first, contrary to what internet forums and random musings will have you believe, this is not some ploy by DC/Warner Bros to take the wind out of Marvel's sails and their current Disney buyout news making the rounds. Companies do not restructure over night nor announce something of this magnitude simply to spite their business rivals. This was obviously in the works for a while and, more than likely, probably spurred on by Marvel Entertainment's (Marvel's movie studio) successes and intergration with the comic side of the business or Warner Bros lack of success in converting their brands to movies, despite being a movie studio.

Business As Usual

Similarly, this is not the end of DC or some call to arms for WB to take over and put out mandates for comics. DC will continue on with business as usual. This is almost entirely a movie and television related move that will help Warner Bros make better use of their brands. Comics will continue on unhindered. Blackest Night will still be good. You'll still get Secret Six every month. Everything will be hunky doory for comics. However...

It's Movie Time!
Current DC properties in development and/or production at Warner Bros. Entertainment include:

– “Human Target” is being produced by Warner Bros. Television for a mid-season debut on Fox.

– “Midnight Mass” is in series development at Warner Bros. Television for consideration for the 2010-11 season.

– “Jonah Hex,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ supernatural Western starring Josh Brolin, Megan Fox and John Malkovich, recently wrapped production in Louisiana.

– “The Losers,” Dark Castle/Warner Bros. Pictures’ action-adventure drama starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, began principal photography mid-July in Puerto Rico.

– “The Green Lantern,” Warner Bros. Pictures’ next big superhero tentpole release, recently cast Ryan Reynolds as the titular character. The film has a projected second quarter 2011 release date.

– “Lobo,” based on the DC Comics anti-hero, has Guy Ritchie attached as a director; Joel Silver, Akiva Goldsman and Andrew Rona are producing for Silver Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures.

– Warner Premiere’s direct-to-platform DVD animated release of “Green Lantern: First Flight” debuted July 28.

– Warner Bros. Animation currently produces “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” which airs on Cartoon Network.

– Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released “Batman: Arkham Asylum” on August 25, a dark, action packed videogame adventure for Xbox 360 videogame and entertainment system, PlayStation3 computer entertainment system and Games for Windows.

These were all listed as properties in the works or already released and I suspect you'll see a lot more traction in regards to other properties moving forward. Furthermore, expect more input from creators during the development of these projects, similar to how Marvel Entertainment calls in Marvel's comic writers for Iron Man, Thor and the like as consultants.

So, Is This Good or Bad?

In all respects, this is nothing but good news for comic readers and fans alike as it will not overly affect the comic end of the business yet will give us more movies faster and get projects, including television and direct to DVD movies, off the ground that much quicker and with more input from creators.

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Matt Ampersand said...

They also announced that Paul Levitz, former President and Publisher of DC, has resigned from that position and that he will be writing Adventure Comics in the future.

What a weird month this has turned to be for the comic world, huh?

Klep said...

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

Sea-of-Green said...

So, TAKE THAT, Disney! :-P

Ryan Schrodt said...

Matt touches upon what I think is the biggest news out of this. Paul Levitz "resigning" as President of DC is what could shake-up the comics. While Levitz isn't quite as hands-on as someone like Dan Didio, he was a major player. Also, you can't deny Levitz's impact on the comic book industry over the last several decades. I'm glad to see that he will go back to writing, but it's sad to see that he is no longer DC's head honcho.

Eric Rupe said...

Given that Geoff Johns is actually working on a couple of upcoming DC movies, I wouldn't be surprised to see talent moved away from the comics to the movies.

The Dangster said...

sad to hear Didio still in power and Levitz stepping down.

Mark Dykeman - Broadcasting Brain said...

Levitz stepping aside is the real story here, I think. You can't have that happen and not see some editorial changes unfolding over time. And it will be interesting to see what happens with Didio - Levitz will theoretically be working under him now in some capacity.

Kirk Warren said...

@Mark Dykeman - Levitz was president of DC, not the one in control of editorial. It's similar to Dan Buckley as the COO of Marvel stepping down. Ya, he's important and it's a big deal, but he doesn't control the editorial direction of the comics, which is Joe Q's job, similar to Dan DiDio at DC. If Dan had stepped down, it would be a big deal for the direction of the comics. That's not to say Levitz did nothing for the company - far from it as he's accomplished many things in his tenure - just that his stepping down does not overly impact the content part of the books.

Simon DelMonte said...

I think there will be a lot of changes to how DC is run. If this is about making more money, odds are that DC will come under the microscope. Budgets will be cuts, staff laid off, profit margins tightened. I think we will see fewer books like The Mighty, that sell nothing but that are expected to sell nothing, and maybe fewer new series altogether. And I expect that if finding movie properties is the goal, then Vertigo might benefit as it seems to be the new R&D lab.

But the big story, as has been said, is the changing of the guard. Levitz IS DC, and his steady hand on the rudder will be missed, even if he will still be around.

David Miller said...

With Levitz out, does this mean the Boys will come back to DC? ;)

Matt Ampersand said...

@David Miller, I doubt it, I'm sure Ennis knows that he has much more freedom in an independent company than in either DC or Marvel

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