The DC Extended Universe stands to be one of the beneficiaries of a management restructuring announced this week designed to streamline the approval process at Warner Bros.
Toby Emmerich, named last year as president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, has promoted to chairman, and will answer solely to Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara. Sue Kroll, studio's longtime head of marketing and distribution, will step aside in April in favor of a production deal. The move consolidates green-light authority with Emmerich, eliminating the need to get approval from a committee for a film to move into development or production. Kroll had been part of that committee.
Tsujihara told TheWrap, “Toby has green light, I have red light."
One studio insider told the website that the shakeup would be to the benefit of the DC Films slate, following some controversial moves. “The bizarre decision not to have Superman included in the marketing stopped Justice League from potentially hitting $100 million opening weekend," the source contended.
It may not be fair to blame Justice League's disappointing box office performance something as trivial as a mustache or marketing posters, but the idea of too many cooks spoil the broth comes to mind. The different directorial styles of Justice League were on obvious display, the result of Joss Whedon succeeding Zack Snyder, who stepped aside following a family tragedy.
A 23-year veteran, Kroll counts such successes as Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman among her credits. Some insist she was never right for her role, but the marketing and distribution head defended herself against allegations that she "hates" superhero movies. “I love superhero movies," she told TheWrap. "I’ve always considered it an honor to market films that fans feel so passionately about. And I think our track record stands for itself. As for the Justice League campaign, I stand behind everything we did. It was a strategic and creative campaign, and I am immensely proud of the work done by all of us.”
Tsujihara said he plans to work with Emmerich to stake out a distinct identity for DC Films, rather than attempt to emulate what Marvel Studios has done. “Warner Bros. needs to continue doing what it’s always done: producing the biggest, most diverse slate in the business," he told TheWrap. "That’s what’s made us successful. We can’t do what Disney’s done. It’s worked really, really well for them, but it’s not who we are. We need to continue to create a balanced slate of all types of movies and all genres,”