Another shake-up at the top of Warner Bros. just happened. New Line Production EVP Walter Hamada, has been appointed to oversee DC films at the studio. The move comes after Warner Bros Group president Toby Emmerich continues to evolve the unit after the studio had set DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns and executive Jon Berg to oversee things in the wake of Batman v Superman’s disappointment. Last month Berg exited his post to become a production partner with WB staple Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie), and Johns has been moved to “more of an advisory role” (but will still be involved closely with all TV series on The CW).
Hamada is being named President, DC-Based Film Production, Warner Bros. A very specific title but one that may finally give the DC films the cohesion they have been struggling with so very much. Hamada previously served as a production executive at New Line films, helping that division of WB produce horror hits like It and The Conjuring. Naturally, Hamada has ties to Aquaman and The Conjuring director James Wan, helping to expand the Conjuring brand into a successful franchise universe, with hits like the Annabelle series. He also worked for TriStar and Columbia Pictures earlier in his career.
“Walter is creative, resourceful and committed to excellence and will bring those qualities to his oversight of our superhero films,” Emmerich said Thursday in a statement.
“He’s a terrific production executive and served as an executive producer on two of the summer’s most popular films, New Line’s It and Annabelle: Creation. I’m confident Walter and Geoff, working with our filmmaking partners, will deliver films that will resonate with both broad global audiences as well as DC fanboys and fangirls. Walter’s a great addition to the Warner Bros. Pictures team, and I look forward to working with him in his new post.”
Hamada is a decent choice, and he has the numbers to back up himself up at least. It’s still unnerving that they chose someone who has had such vast success in horror to move over to comic-book adaptations. Although many of universe’s source materials could benefit from the structural cohesion of movies like The Conjuring or IT, we, by no means, need a Flash film that looks like the dark worlds of Stephen King or James Wan’s more horror-fueled fare.
The move comes at a pivotal time in the studio’s DC initiative. Wonder Woman ranked very high among both fans and general audiences (critics too), becoming a cultural phenomenon and grossing $821.8 million worldwide, while Justice League, which is just finishing up its run in theaters, unfortunately, hasn’t broken even yet with just under $700 million at the global box office.
Justice League will be followed in the DC Extended Universe by Aquaman on December 21, 2018, Shazam on April 5, 2019, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, and both Cyborg and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.
Images: Warner Bros., DC, New Line