Greg Berlanti Becoming DC’s Kevin Feige?

Could Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti become the Kevin Feige-style architect of a new DC Extended Universe?

By Vic Medina | Published

greg berlanti

Despite recent successes like The Batman and Zack Snyder’s Justice League, DC movies and TV shows haven’t matched the popularity and box office success of its rival, Marvel Studios. According to a new report by Variety, however, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), which owns DC Comics and its film and TV divisions, is looking to make a major change to correct that. In a recent speech to investors, WBD CEO David Zaslav said out loud what everyone has been thinking: they need to copy the Marvel Studios approach. He said DC is going to reform in a way “similar to the structure that Alan Horn and Bob Iger put together very effectively with Kevin Feige at Disney.” That has led to speculation that Greg Berlanti, the man behind the “Arrowverse” TV shows, may be called upon to shepherd all DC projects.

The speculation comes as the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery has created a new media conglomerate that has reset the DC universe and angered fans. Just as DC seemed to be finding its footing in film and television, WBD shed nearly all projects except those related to core characters. That included canceling the already-completed Batgirl, which would have featured the return of Michael Keaton as Batman and introduced Barbara Gordon into the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) of films. A number of other films and series have been canceled, or are in danger of being canceled, putting the entire studio in chaos, that looked to be doing fine just a few months ago. Don’t even get us started on the controversy around The Flash film, which is either about to be reshot or canceled, if you listen to the internet rumors. DC needs stability and focus right now, and the only creative executive at DC that has demonstrated that is Greg Berlanti.

With reports that DC Films president Walter Hamada (who clashed with Justice League star Ray Fisher) is no longer calling the creative shots, WBD needs someone who can take the most successful parts of the DCEU and build on them. MovieWeb points out that not only has Greg Berlanti established a cohesive “mini-universe” of DC TV shows, he introduced classic comic storylines across those shows, most notably “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” If given creative control of the entire DC multimedia empire, he could give it the focus it needs to keep the fanbase interested and rejuvenated. He would almost certainly end the practice of constant reboots, which has led to no less than three different cinematic Batmen existing at the same time. Given the already-established films, live-action shows, and animated series, Berlanti would do well to have each format retain its own identity and “universe,” unlike Marvel, which connects all of its films, shows, and even cartoons within one cinematic universe.

The move would not be without criticism from some fans, as you might expect. Most of the critics point out that the shows he created, including Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, were great concepts that never realized their full potential and lost creative momentum after a couple of seasons. Though Greg Berlanti was successful at building a TV universe, poor storytelling and cheesy production values alienated many viewers.

Currently, only one new film has been officially added to DC’s slate of films recently: Joker 2, aka Joker: Folie à Deux. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Black Adam, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and Blue Beetle are all on track for release, but beyond that, the future of DC is murky. A sequel to Robert Pattinson’s The Batman is in development, but no firm word on when we will see it. Wonder Woman 3 is also still in development, as is a potential Superman reboot, a Zatanna film, and Static Shock and Black Canary movies (characters Greg Berlanti has TV history with). WBD, however, has been mum on their futures, even declining to give any substantial updates at the recent San Diego Comic-Con. That has led to more fan anxiety, and calls for someone – anyone – to right the DC ship.