Charles Roven Discusses His Decreased Involvement in the DCEU

Thursday, 22 December 2016 - 8:40PM
DC Comics
Justice League
Wonder Woman
Thursday, 22 December 2016 - 8:40PM
Charles Roven Discusses His Decreased Involvement in the DCEU
With the exception of Green Lantern, Charles Roven has had a hand in the production of every DC film since Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. He was even said to have been a part of the DC films "brain trust," comprised of Geoff Johns and the Snyders. However, after Batman v Superman premiered, it was announced that Roven would have a reduced role in future DCEU films, and would only have credits as producer on a limited number of them moving forward, instead of each of them, as he originally intended. Recently, Roven sat down with The Hollywood Reporter for an interview, in which he gave his reasoning for his diminished role with DC films and answered a few other questions regarding some of DC's latest cinematic projects.  

Opening quote
There was talk you'd step away from DC Films to some degree.

The studio made me the producer of all the DC movies, and they announced eight. When we finished the [timetable], we looked at each other and said, "This is incredibly ambitious, but we haven't taken into consideration if something goes wrong." We also hadn't decided where we were going to shoot those movies. As difficult as it was for me to commute from Toronto to London to Italy, it became really clear I couldn't do the job that I do as a producer [with Aquaman likely to shoot in Australia]. I'm for sure producing the sequels of the movies that I have made.

How are Justice League and Wonder Woman going to be different?

Wonder Woman is an origination story, so the whole dynamic and the plot moves are different than other DC movies. There's also a great relationship between her and the guy [played by Chris Pine] who crash-lands on her island and is the trigger mechanism for her going back to man's world.

What about Justice League?

We knew we were making a very serious, compelling, driving film with Batman v. Superman. Now the bell has been rung and the whole tone of the movie is lighter.

If there is a sequel to Batman v. Superman or Suicide Squad, will the budgets be lower? They made less than the studio had hoped.

Suicide Squad made almost $750 million. Batman v. Superman did $873 million. Those two movies were huge hits.
Closing quote


Though it's interesting to hear Roven's explanation for his reduced role, the politics of moviemaking make it difficult to ascertain what exactly is actually going on with WB and their DC films division. The shakeups at WB came after Batman v Superman underperformed, both in regards to its critical accomplishments (there weren't any), and its final haul (in spite of Roven's defense, a film with the two most iconic superheroes of all time should have inarguably been able to cross the one billion dollar mark).

As it was assumed these shakeups (i.e. making Geoff Johns head of DC films, and giving those like Roven and Snyder, who previously had a significant amount of creative control a smaller part moving forward) were an attempt at course correcting the DCEU, it's easy to perceive this as Warner Bros' way of trying to fix what went wrong with Batman v Superman. For the most part, this could be counted as good press for WB — if it seemed like they were firing the people in charge of Batman v Superman, perhaps more people turned off by Snyder and Roven's DCEU would be willing to give the next installment in the universe more of a chance. So while Roven's explanation of a too-cramped work schedule makes sense, it's probably only part of the story. 

The next installment in the DCEU is Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, which hits theaters on June 2nd, 2017.
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