How Warner Bros. Hopes To Improve The DC Movie Universe

Things are pretty bleak in the movies of the DC Extended Universe, and that's bled into the tone behind the scenes at Warner Bros.

While Marvel's expanded, interconnected film universe seems like it can do no wrong with blockbusters including this year's Captain America: Civil War and 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy, rival DC's first two movies in the DCEU (this year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad) were largely met with mixed reviews.

But Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told investors (via Variety) there's a plan in place–and it mostly involves lightening up. "[There is] a little room for improvement," he said. "The DC Comics characters... have a little more lightness in them than maybe what you saw in those movies, so we're thinking about that."

The studio recently tasked DC Comics entertainment president Geoff Johns and production mastermind Jon Berg with taking control of the DCEU. But that doesn't mean the folks at Warner Bros. are disappointed with this year's flicks. "The main thing was to launch DC and reinvigorate it with the fan base," Bewkes said. "The reboot of Batman with Ben Affleck (in the role) was a big success." He also pointed out that fan reaction to Gal Gadot's debut as Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman has been positive.

In their first interview since taking over DC Films, Johns and Berg recently told The Wall Street Journal they're making a concerted effort to lighten the DCEU's overall tone. "[In] the past, I think the studio has said, 'Oh, DC films are gritty and dark and that's what makes them different,'" said Johns. "That couldn't be more wrong. It's a hopeful and optimistic view of life. Even Batman has a glimmer of that in him. If he didn't think he'd make tomorrow better, he'd stop."

The first changes should be noticeable when Zack Snyder's Justice League is released next year. Berg said the duo "accelerated the story to get to the hope and optimism a little faster."

Johns will also be heavily involved in the upcoming batch of DC flicks. He did a rewrite on the Wonder Woman script, and he's co-writing the upcoming Batman solo movie with director Ben Affleck. "We're trying to take a really hard look at everything to make sure we stay true to the characters and tell stories that celebrate them," he said.

Justice League drops Nov. 17, 2017, but Wonder Woman will arrive first on June 2, 2017. Meanwhile, check out DC Comics movies they'll never be allowed to make.