You might think that being the guy that helped guide Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy to two-and-a-half billion dollars at the global box office might buy you a little slack, but that seems to not be the case for Charles Roven. Roven, who was the producer of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Man of Steel, and Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, is reportedly the latest casualty in the studio shake-up at Warner Bros. after the less than uproarious reaction to the official launch of the DC Comics Extended Universe. He will be taking a step back to take on a more overseer role for the DCEU films.
According to Variety, Roven will now act as executive producer for the series, be less involved in the day-to-day management of the films, and more focused on keeping the films on schedule and on budget. In the short term, Roven will be credit as producer on all movies presently in production and post-production – Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Justice League Part One – but his new official role will take effect for all future projects like Aquaman and the solo Batman film. “Roven is a key member of not only the DC slate but of the Warner Bros. family implying that Roven just has more responsibilities elsewhere at Warner Bros. to keep him occupied,” said Warners in a statement.
This news follows on last week’s announcement that DC chief content officer Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executive vice president Jon Berg were being appointed to oversee all DCEU movies in the future starting with Justice League, on which both will be credited as producers. That follows other “shake-up news” with the departure of first time director Seth Grahame-Smith from The Flash, and the much ballyhooed reshoots on Suicide Squad. On top of that, there has been discussion of an overall shift in Warners’ production development to franchise management amongst the DC, Harry Potter and LEGO universe films, with some occasional contributions from prestige directors like Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan.
So once again the message is sent that Warner Bros is deeply concerned about what’s happened in the wake of Batman V. Superman, a film that was supposed to cash in at the box office, salvage the studio’s recent dismal slate of big budget releases, and give Marvel Studios a run for its money. So far, it’s plateaued at $871 million globally, and looks very unlikely to break the coveted $1 billion mark. Warners’ is banking that these maneuvers amongst the powers that be at the studio level will paint a happy face on the DC film series, because it’s very far along to change things on a creative level.
The next film in the DCEU is Suicide Squad, and it will be in theaters everywhere on August 5.