Warner Steps In To Show DC How To Play With Their Superhero Toys

For everyone who's been complaining that DC Comics don't know what to do with their characters... You're not alone. Parent company Warner Brothers is, according to reports, stepping in to work with DC to create a cohesive strategy for how to handle the Justice League of America, Teen Titans and Metal Men (amongst others) once and for all. Their main competition, however, are more than eager to share their secrets with anyone who'll ask.

Variety reports that

The studio is keeping details of its meetings under wraps, but issued a statement saying, in part, "We're constantly looking at how best to exploit the DC Comics characters and properties."

But Warner and DC have often appeared lethargic in getting comic properties developed into films, with only Batman and Superman established in movies. In fact, Warners watchers may feel a certain deja vu, though, with all this talk of giving DC more attention.

Five years ago, WB was getting ready to hire someone to kickstart its development on the DC characters (Variety, July 14-20, 2003). WB said then that it was aware it could lose an entire generation of fans if it didn't get its characters into the movies. "We're not going to let that happen," said a senior VP... Yet this year, Warner Bros. has been unable to point to anyone at the studio with responsibility for overseeing the DC characters. While DC's senior VP of creative affairs Gregory Noveck pegs Warners toppers Jeff Robinov and Alan Horn as "the ultimate decisionmakers," they're the decisionmakers for pretty much everything at the studio, and neither is in a position to dive into active development of the DC universe.

Perhaps this new corporate movement explains Incredible Hulk director Louis Letterer's recent revelation that he knew of/had been asked about a move to reinvent the Superman line of movies. Maybe Mark Millar wasn't as delusional as he seemed last week...

Over at Marvel Studios, however, President of Production Kevin Feige is happy to explain where he thinks they've gone right with Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk while talking to Newsarama:

As we work on these films every day, and in fact go back two years...look at Iron Man for an example. We were living and breathing Tony Stark every day and trying to find the best Tony Stark we could for film and asking those basic questions: Would Tony Stark do this? Who's the best villain? Who are the best allies? How do we put together a story that can best showcase who Tony Stark is? As we asked these questions, we realized there are other talented people who sit around and do the exact same thing every day, and it's the people in our publishing division who write and edit and guide the Iron Man books. So we brought out Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso and Tom Brevoort and Ralph Macchio and Mark Millar and Brian Bendis had a great brain-trust roundtable. It was a great experience, very, very helpful. And we think it was very successful for all parties... As we gear up on our next four films, operationally, there are lots of boring business things we've learned behind the scenes that we can streamline and make more efficient to get better. But creatively and in front of the camera, the success of the two films has just given us a big vote of confidence. We think that the way we've been doing things has been the right way. Now we just need to continue and not lose sight that staying true to the characters will ultimately give people the best experience possible.

Well, at least he didn't openly point at the Warner/DC problems and say "See? That's how to do it" or anything...

Warner, DC hold superhero summit [Variety]

Kevin Feige on Building the Hit Marvel Movie Machine [Newsarama]