Ben Fritz sat down with top Warner Bros. executive Jeff Robinov for a profile piece that ran Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times Business section. Fritz also brought back this Hero Complex report on the future of key DC Comics properties at the studio.
Jeff Robinov is already thinking about DC Comics movies for 2013 and beyond, and he’s got “Justice League” and a reinvented Batman on his mind.
The president of the Warner Bros. motion picture group, who recently sat down for an extensive interview with The Times, discussed his long-term strategy for DC beyond movies already in the works, such as June’s “Green Lantern” and next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Superman movie.
The first priority for the man with the ultimate say on what films get made at Warner Bros.: Finally getting the Justice League, DC’s team featuring all its top characters, on the big screen in 2013. The picture had been very close to production in late 2007 and early 2008, but was killed by the Writers Guild of America strike, tax credit issues in Australia, and concerns by some at Warner about presenting a competing (and conflicting) version of Batman while director Christopher Nolan’s films were breaking box office records.
But Robinov said a new Justice League script is in the works. Also being written for Warner are scripts featuring the Flash and Wonder Woman, who could be spun off into their own movies after Justice League. Though Wonder Woman is also in the works as a television pilot for NBC produced by Warner, Robinov dismissed that as a sticking point. “Wonder Woman could be a film as well, the same way that ‘Superman Returns’ came out while ‘Smallville’ was on,” he said, referring to the 2006 film that put Brandon Routh in the cape and the television show starring Tom Welling that is now in its 10th and final season.
Robinov knows that the most bankable part of his superhero empire has been Nolan and his Gotham City films – the studio has yet to deliver a 21st century superhero blockbuster hit without Nolan in the director’s seat. Batman will continue to be a centerpiece property beyond next year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” and Nolan’s departure from the franchise. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”
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