Warner Bros. Considers New Label For Its Darker Comic Book Films As The Direction Of The DC Movies Shifts Again

Two Joker movies? One and a half Harley Quinn spin-offs? A Ben Affleck-less Batman movie? At this point, we've given up trying to make sense of Warner Bros.' DC Films plans. But newly appointed DC Entertainment film production president Walter Hamada is doing his best to make them sensible once again.

That includes seemingly rebooting much of the DC Extended Universe, and potentially launching a new label to encompass the multiple standalone and off-universe films that Warner Bros. has in the works. Because that will make people less confused over both Jared Leto and Joaquin Phoenix playing the Joker.

Warner Bros. has recently undergone its latest shake-up in so many months, with Diane Nelson exiting as the DC Films division president and Geoff Johns leaving his top executive position for a producing pact. Now, it's up to Walter Hamada, who helped usher the successful Conjuring franchise at New Line, to clean up the mess, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Walter Hamada, DC Savior

Hamada has reportedly been quietly working on sorting out the chaotic DC Films slate for the past few months, "going over the projects in development, culling certain ones, elevating others, keeping an eye on the big marquee heroes while also developing lesser-known characters that could pop big," THR writes. It seems to be under Hamada's orders that the future DC slate is virtually non-existent except for James Wan's Aquaman (set for December 21, 2018) and 2019's Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi, and Wonder Woman 1984, which just began shooting this week.

"He walked into a shitshow, and he's trying to clean it up," an insider told THR.

Notably, even as Hamada continues to sort through the mess of the DC Films division, he won't be relying on a writers room, THR reports. Studios like Paramount and Hasbro have done so with their toy-based properties, Universal with its monster universe, and Legendary with its creature features, but Hamada seems to be shying away from the brain trust, and focusing on the creator-driven projects that Warner Bros. first aimed to achieve.

Matt Reeves' Batman Will Be Young Again

After rumors abounded that Matt Reeves would move forward with his Batman movie sans Ben Affleck, THR seems to confirm that this will be true. The director, who is penning the film after throwing away Affleck and Geoff Johns' initial script, reportedly turned in a first act of his screenplay to the studio. The film reportedly presents "a young caped crusader," THR writes, which essentially excludes Affleck from playing the wizened version of Batman that appeared in Batman v. Superman, Justice League, and Suicide Squad.

A New Label for Joaquin Phoenix's Joker Movie

Warner Bros. has been playing with the idea of developing standalone movies based off DC Comics characters that wouldn't be part of the main DCEU saga, but nothing was set in stone except for Todd PhillipsJoker origin movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. Now, THR reports that Phillips' Joker movie could launch a new sub-label under the DC Films division, possibly branded "DC Dark" or "DC Black." I'm personally leaning more toward DC Black because of its similarity to DC Comics' recently launched publishing imprint DC Black Label, and DC Dark is just too on the nose.

That's not the only thing setting Phillips' movie apart from other superhero films. The origin movie, which will reportedly be an '80s gangster movie set in a different universe from Jared Leto's Joker solo movie, is budgeted at about $55 million — a fraction of the $100-plus range of most superhero movies. That essentially proves that the film is Warner Bros.' bid for a serious superhero film that will hide its comic book roots as much as possible.

The Flash Lightens Up

On the flip side, The Flash starring Ezra Miller will be shying away from the somber roots of the DCEU as much as possible, THR reports. Under the guidance of Game Night duo John Francis Daly and Jonathan Goldstein, the solo Flash movie will reportedly take a cue from Back to the Future, beginning production in early 2019.

The Flash movie — will may or may not be Flashpoint — looks like our most possible next film following Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2. And with a brighter tone and promising directors, it gives us a little glimmer of hope for the future alongside Margot Robbie's Birds of Prey, that Harley Quinn spin-off, and the Batgirl movie penned by Bumblebee screenwriter Christina Hodson.