Warners Unveil DC Movie Strategy... Maybe

How to replace a multi-million dollar movie franchise with Harry Potter? Well, if you're Warner Bros., the answer seems to be "Suddenly realize you own a company that's specialized in creating movie franchise IP for years." Enter the DC years...

Speaking at ShoWest this week, Warners movie head Alan Horn told theater owners that they shouldn't worry about the fact that there are only two Harry Potter movies left:

As we ease out of Harry Potter, we hope to bring you the excitement of the DC [Comics] Library!

Collider's Steven Weintraub unpacks that announcement:

The thing you need to realize is under Alan Horn, Warner Bros. instituted a tent pole release strategy which calls for a few event films to be made every year. For the last decade, Harry Potter has been used to fill the release calendar and now that the franchise is ending after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the studio needs [new] blood to take its place and a new way of earning the huge money that only tent pole releases can generate... While nothing is officially on the calendar yet, I've heard in 2012 we're getting not only a new Batman movie… but The Flash! I've heard the studio is currently talking to directors and they'll announce who it is when they've found the right choice.

Rumors of a Flash movie have been around for years, but newly-installed DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns (and current Flash comic writer) has recently confirmed that he has worked on the script, suggesting that an announcement is imminent. With Batman, next year's Green Lantern and The Flash as a backbone - along with the in-progress-but-we'll-wait-and-see-what-happens-with-that-court-case Superman reboot from Christopher Nolan - Warners will have created a strong backbone for an ongoing DC Comics franchise, even if we're wondering where Wonder Woman is in the middle of all of this. But that's not all Warners have to compete with Marvel/Disney; also at ShoWest, Horn made an announcement many had been expecting, in light of Avatar and Alice in Wonderland's successes:

After the presentation Alan Horn talked about how much 3D is a game changer and how they'll be releasing a ton of movies in 2011 in 3D. He also told us that all future Warner Bros. tent pole releases will be released in 3D.

Firstly, does anyone really want the Dark Knight follow-up in 3D? And secondly, with Warners now apparently promising annual DC superhero movies in 3D, how soon before Disney/Marvel announces the leap to 3D for Thor, Captain America and Avengers?