Vacant Leadership Position Atop WARNER BROS. Slowing Development Of DC Comics Adaptations?

Vacant Leadership Position Atop WARNER BROS. Slowing Development Of DC Comics Adaptations?

A recent report by the LA Times where top studios execs were quoted reveals a divided studio where jockeying for a vacant Office of the President position has created an air of uncertainty for WB with its financial partners and within its ranks.

The picture painted in this article from the LA Times is pretty grim for fans hoping to see Warner Bros. become more proactive in the superhero movie business.

The gist of the story is that Television Group President Bruce Rosenblum, Motion Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov and Home Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara are all jockeying for the newly created top executive position, Office of the President title created by chairman Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes two years ago. The goal was to promote 'collegial competition' but instead its created an atmosphere of 'distrust and disharmony', with virtually no cross collaboration between each man's division. Here's some of the key highlights from the article:

  • Some insiders describe an atmosphere in which executives are hesitant to extend contracts, staffers are afraid to cross department lines for fear of "taking sides" and potential partners are wary of signing long-term deals without knowing who will be in charge.
  • "People are very preoccupied with the issue of succession, and it creates an undercurrent of tension and awkwardness," said a Warner Bros. executive, one of more than a dozen interviewed by The Times who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. "It's like being a kid wondering if your parents are about to break up."
  • Bewkes is expected to announce early next year whether he has selected one of the three men to be the new chairman or if, after the long and public bake-off, he is electing to bring in an outsider.
  • Contract renewals, deal making and companywide initiatives at the studio have been complicated by the uncertainty.
  • Several other key Warner executives have not negotiated new employment contracts — and appear unlikely to do so until the leadership situation is resolved. They include TV studio President Peter Roth, DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson and Toby Emmerich, president of film label New Line Cinema.
  • "The turf skirmishes have slowed development of movies based on Warner-owned DC's superheroes such as the Flash at a time when rival Marvel Entertainment is cranking out blockbusters like "The Avengers." Uncertainty about who will run Warner Bros. has stymied the studio from renewing its important deal with finance and producing partner Legendary Pictures. The deal expires at the end of next year."
  • Many worry that when Bewkes announces his choice for chairman it will create further instability, particularly if one or two of the losing candidates flee after losing the public runoff. If Bewkes were to choose an outsider, it's possible all three could leave.

Given a lack of a true clear-cut leader it seems that Warner Bros. may be hesitant to pull the trigger on some of their costly ventures and would account for some of the canceled films in recent times, like Akira and Paradise Lost. There's much more over at the source so naturally, go read the article in full so you have the full context of the piece. Contemplate and discuss below in the usual spot.

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