In a new interview, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara commented on how the studio changed its strategy following the lukewarm response to 2017's Justice League with a lighter tone and placing less emphasis on building a tightly constructed, shared cinematic universe.
"The upcoming slate, with Shazam!, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track. We have the right people in the right jobs working on it," Tsujihara observed in an interview with the LA Times. "The universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now."
Looking back, Tsujihara revealed that the success of 2017's Wonder Woman informed the future for DC Films, with Aquaman reaffirming the change in franchise strategy.
"What Patty Jenkins did on Wonder Woman illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman," Tsujihara explained. "Aquaman is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie."
The next DC Film, Shazam!, arrives on April 5. It is directed by David F. Sandberg and stars Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Zachary Levi as Shazam, Mark Strong as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Djimon Hounsou as the ancient wizard Shazam, Grace Fulton as Mary Bromfield, Jack Dylan Grazer as Frederick “Freddy” Freeman, Ian Chen as Eugene Choi, Jovan Armand as Pedro Peña, Faithe Herman as Darla Dudley, Cooper Andrews as Victor Vásquez and Marta Milans as Rosa Vásquez.