More Batman v Superman fallout: Longtime producer gets reduced role

Contributed by
May 25, 2016

The ongoing Warner Bros. drama around Batman v Superman's disappointing performance has claimed another casualty.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, veteran producer Charles Roven -- who has been involved with every DC Comics-based movie the studio has made since Batman Begins in 2005 -- is going to take a smaller role in the creation of the DC Extended Universe going forward.

Roven has been a mainstay on the studio's superhero movies, acting as producer on all three of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight films, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He's also a producer on the yet-to-be-released Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman and Justice League, Part 1

He's on the London set of the latter film as we speak, so this doesn't necessarily mean he's out of the DC picture entirely. What's likely to happen, however, is that he'll take an executive producer credit and a smaller role on upcoming projects like The Flash and Aquaman, two examples of movies on which he was already slated to be a full-on producer. 

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. said that Roven -- a successful and experienced veteran who's also worked on movies like Three Kings and American Hustle -- "is a key member of not only the DC slate but of the Warner Bros. family," although his position is said to be "evolving."

One reason for the change may be the simple fact that the studio is getting ready to start up a number of DC productions at different locations around the world, which would make it impossible for Roven to personally supervise each one. But the larger story goes back to Batman v Superman's less than spectacular arrival at the box office. While the film is going to close out with worldwide earnings of $871 million and will likely turn a profit, it wasn't the billion-dollar, fan-pleasing phenomenon that the studio wanted.

As a result, Warner Bros. is making a number of changes that will basically break up the Zack Snyder-led group that has been steering the DC film slate starting with Man of Steel. Changing Roven's status is one such move, while the other big recent decision was putting DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and WB production executive Jon Berg in charge of the newly created DC Films, with the two of them now tasked with overseeing all the movies (Berg's first assignment, in fact, was to head to the Justice League set).

Other changes included some significant additional shooting on Suicide Squad and the removal of screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith as director of The Flash. Will all these moves help get DC back on track? That remains to be seen.

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