Geoff Johns Steps Down as DC Chief Creative Officer, Jim Lee to Take Over

Geoff Johns

Geoff Johns has stepped away from his executive position at DC Entertainment to focus on creative projects at Warner Bros. and DC including the Green Lantern Corps film, the company announced on Monday.

Johns has signed an exclusive writer/producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC, and as a result will leave his current job as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment. Jim Lee will take over as DC's Chief Creative Officer, while remaining as DC Publisher alongside Dan DiDio, a position they've both held since 2010.

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Under his new deal, Johns has launched a new production company called Mad Ghost Productions, and will write the screenplay for Green Lantern Corps, as well as produce. It's specified in DC's announcement that the film will be specifically based on Johns' run on the Green Lantern comic book series, which stretched from 2004 to 2013.

On the publishing side, he'll launch a new DC Comics imprint called "The Killing Zone," dubbed in the press release "a new pop-up slate of comic books," which is set to feature "new and lesser known DC characters and titles." Additionally, Johns will write a new Shazam! comic book series, the first in a decade, and continue on the currently unfolding Doomsday Clock 12-issue series, illustrated by Gary Frank, and the previously announced Three Jokers, illustrated by Jason Fabok.

“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything," Johns said in a statement. "But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters."

Johns has already had a significant creative role in DC's live-action projects, including writing and executive producing the Patty Jenkins-directed Wonder Woman sequel, due in Nov. 2019, and co-writing and executive producing the James Wan-directed Aquaman, which is out Dec. 21. Additionally, DC's press release confirms the 2019 Shazam! movie is based on Johns and Gary Fank's revitalization of the character in DC's "New 52" era.

Johns has had a significant hand in much of DC's television projects, including the upcoming Titans, which will debut on the DC Universe streaming service. His involvement in DC's TV efforts pre-date his time as Chief Creative Officer, including writing episodes of Smallville and Justice League Unlimited.

"Geoff is one of DC Comics’ most prolific writers, and we can’t wait to see what he does next now that he will be dedicating 100 percent of his time to telling the best DC stories possible across all media," DiDio and Lee said in a joint statement. "The new publishing projects we are working on together will be instant fan-favorites."

Johns has been a significant presence at DC for nearly 20 years, with the launch of his first comic book series, 1999's Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.. At the publisher, he's had notable runs on The Flash, Green Lantern, JSA, Teen Titans, Justice League of America and Aquaman, among others. He was named Chief Creative Officer of DC in 2010, and moved to President and Chief Creative Officer in 2016.

This news comes fives days after the announcement that DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson had left the company.

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