Has DC’s new leader been found?
Dan Lin, the executive-turned-producer who boasts hits such as live-action Aladdin, The Lego Movie, and the This horror movies among his credits, is in talks to take on DC chief role, multiple sources say The Hollywood Reporter.
The role would include overseeing not only film but also television, with Lin reporting directly to the CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, according to sources.
The proposed structure would bypass three separate division heads – the heads of Warner Bros. Pictures Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy, HBO/HBO Max chief Casey Bloys and chairman of Warner Bros. TV Channing Dungey – and would put control of DC in the hands of one. the person.
Walter Hamada, the current director of DC Films, would leave this role, according to sources. A Warner insider says no negotiations are taking place and no official offer has been made, although other sources say the parties are discussing salary, reporting structure and the future of the company. Lin’s prolific production company, Rideback.
If a deal is struck, it would cap off one of the most intense executive searches in recent memory, one that has come under intense scrutiny from rival Hollywood producers and executives as well as fans of DC.
Zaslav said he was looking for Warners’ own version of Kevin Feige, the famed Marvel exec who led the rival comics company’s movie slate and then later TV portfolio, turning him into a juggernaut of the multi-billion dollar pop culture.
It’s an almost impossible request, but that hasn’t stopped the names of the leaders from surfacing. Emma Watts has proven to be an early contender, while in recent months names such as Amy Pascal, Matt Tolmach, Sean Bailey and Greg Berlanti have been rumored to take meetings or pushed by business leaders. informed agency.
Lin’s name came up late in the game, but he has a champion in Warners adviser Alan Horn, the former Disney chairman who led Warners as president and COO in years to come. . It was during this last tenure that Lin worked for Horn, starting as a junior executive and moving into senior vice president production. He struck out as a producer on his own in 2008, but not before helming films such as The dead and 10,000 BC He also oversaw the infamous and aborted Justice League feature film that was to be directed by George Miller. (The 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike and tax credit complications were factors in its derailment.)
Lin is a respected producer known for his intelligence and, in a city full of hype and ego, his willingness to find experts in areas that aren’t his forte. He’s worked on franchises — the Sherlock Holmes feature films starring Robert Downey Jr., all four Lego movies — as well as Stephen King’s hit two-part adaptation. This. His resume ranges from big deals, such as the billion dollar Aladdinto intimate dramas, like the Oscar nominee The two popes. He’s coming off the early August release of Universal’s comedy Jo Koy Easter Sunday.
And he also has television experience, a key factor for the new position. Lin and his corporate executive produced the lethal weapon show that aired for three seasons on Fox and Walkerthe restart of Walker, Texas Ranger which will begin its third season on The CW this fall. He and company are in post-production on the big-budget live-action series on Avatar: The Last Airbender for Netflix.
Lin has also shown ambitions beyond the screen. Its banner, Rideback, has a non-profit arm and several initiatives and grants that help BIPOC and emerging entrepreneurs. It’s unclear what would happen to Rideback, but one scenario, sources say, is that Warner Bros. Discovery would take some kind of stake in the company. Rideback would also continue to operate as a production entity and would be led by current President Jonathan Eirich.
If Lin takes over, he will replace Hamada, who joined DC in 2018, at a time when the brand was looking to reset after Justice League (2017) Bombed. Hamada, who had a reputation for being a kind collaborator, kept a much lower profile than Marvel’s Feige, who really is the face of the franchise. Although rival Marvel Studios has a closely related universe, DC under Hamada explored some stories that took place in separate universes, including the Oscar-winning $1 billion in revenue. Joker (2019) and Matt Reeves The Batman (2022), which grossed $769.2 million worldwide. Sequels to both are in the works.
Hamada has formed relationships with talents such as Marvel favorite James Gunn, who directed The Suicide Squad (2021) and created the HBO Max spin-off Peacemaker and has other projects in development in DC.
However, Hamada’s tenure has also underscored the public pressures that come with DC’s leadership. Over the past two years, Hamada has been the subject of critical tweets from Justice League actor Ray Fisher, who put the executive in the unusual position of leading a film division while being publicly criticized by one of its stars. In the summer of 2020, Fisher accused filmmaker Joss Whedon of abusive and unprofessional behavior on the set of the 2017 reshoots for Justice League, which Whedon oversaw after director Zack Snyder left. Although Hamada was not in DC during the production of Justice LeagueFisher accused the executive of to attempt throw Whedon and producer Jon Berg “under the bus” to protect Geoff Johns, another Justice League producer Fisher said he activated Whedon. Hamada was cleared in the studio’s investigations into everything Justice League interference.
Hamada was gearing up to release three or four movies a year between theaters and HBO Max when the Warner Bros. Discovery happened. Some consider its exit only halfway through its proper course from DC, while other observers believe it didn’t receive enough internal support from the old AT&T regime.
Lin would join DC at a time when Zaslav has pledged to reshape DC with a 10-year plan that he hopes will allow the brand to compete with Disney-owned Marvel Studios, which has built the biggest franchise. cinematography of history.
“We did a reset. … We believe we can build a much stronger, more sustainable growth business out of DC,” Zaslav said in an Aug. 4 earnings call, just two days after dropping the $90 million HBO Max. . bat girl film that Hamada presided over. “In this context, we will focus on quality. We will not release any film until it is ready. …DC is something we can improve on.
Aaron Couch contributed to this story.
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