When it comes to the success of the MCU, showrunner Kevin Feige is generally credited for the smooth running of the franchise, overseeing each individual project being developed under the MCU for theaters and on Disney+. On the other hand, the DCEU has taken a more hands-off approach, with individual projects being overseen by different teams. But that may be set to change soon. In an interview with Variety, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff hinted that Jim Lee, Chief Creative Officer of DC Comics, will be playing the role of the central showrunner on all DCEU projects moving forward.
“The connective tissue in the middle is Jim Lee, who oversees DC Comics. Jim lives and breathes the canon of DC and he works with all of the divisions to make sure the storylines are true to the canon. He helps them come up with ideas for new storylines. Jim is very much in the middle of everything. But the group together helps spur on new ideas. But there’s not one person calling the shots, because I want all the voices in the room to offer their expertise and knowledge of their formats.”
While Feige’s influence had allowed the many different movies in the MCU to coalesce to an unprecedented degree, it has also led to complaints that the various movies in the franchise have all begun to look and feel the same, that adhere to a “Marvel formula” that individual directors must stick to.
On the other hand, the DCEU, which has a more mixed record at the box-office, is generally understood to offer a greater variety in terms of its content, from the dark and bleak Batman v. Superman to the cheery Shazam!, to Todd Phillips’ Joker, which was an unlike a superhero movie as it is possible to be.
Based on Sarnoff’s comments, it seems while Lee will ensure the various DCEU projects link together and remain true to the spirit of the comics, unlike Feige, he will not have the power to decide a film’s look, tone, and content from start to finish. Instead, according to Sarnoff, the DCEU will continue to stick to its original vision of offering diverse cinematic voices and content that will appeal to different demographics.
“We’ll have a slate of DC movies but it will be richer and more multi-dimensional with a broader array of characters. That will help reduce the [superhero movie] fatigue, because you’ll see a whole story about the Flash and then you’ll see sequels like “Aquaman 2,” or new takes on Superman, or Shazam which plays to a family audience. There would be fatigue if we stayed on a more singular path, but because we are broadening, we’ll have much more potential to grow the franchise across various demos and various types of fans.”
It seems the DCEU going forward will continue to experiment with its various stories, but will also be building them all within a more cohesive central cinematic universe under Jim Lee. How far this ambitious plan succeeds remains to be seen. This news is from Variery.