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Geoff Johns Signs an Exclusive Deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment and Launches Mad Ghost Productions and Pop Up Comic Imprint

Geoff Johns is launching Mad Ghost Productions and is entering into an exclusive writer/producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to create content across multiple divisions of the Studio, including films, television and comic books, based on current DC properties as well as new and re-imagined IP. As part of this deal, he will segue from his executive post as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment to focus on creative matters full-time. DC Entertainment Publisher Jim Lee will expand his role to include the Chief Creative Officer title and responsibilities, and will continue to act as Publisher together with Dan DiDio as they have since 2010.

His publishing projects will include a new pop-up slate of comic books under the banner of “The Killing Zone” focusing on new and lesser known DC characters and titles. Johns will also be writing a Shazam! comic book series scheduled to be out in the fall. In addition, he will continue to write the commercial and critical hit Doomsday Clock, a comic book series illustrated by Gary Frank that collides the DC universe with the Watchmen universe, as well as the upcoming Three Jokers, illustrated by Jason Fabok.

Under this new deal, one of Johns’ first film projects will be Warner Bros. Pictures’ Green Lantern Corps, based on his New York Times bestselling series that saw an impressive nine-year run, spawning additional spin-off titles and comic book events. Johns will write and be a producer on the film. Additionally, he co-wrote and executive produced Aquaman, which releases worldwide December 21, and is writing and executive producing the second installment of the Wonder Woman franchise with director Patty Jenkins, releasing in November 2019. New Line’s Shazam!, slated for an April 2019 release, is based on his original graphic novel.

On the television side, Johns co-developed and is executive producer and writer on the first original series for the upcoming DC Universe digital service, Titans, with Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti. Johns also wrote the Titans episode “Doom Patrol” that is spinning off into its own 13-episode original series for the digital service. He is executive producing alongside Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jeremy Carver.  He has also been crucial in helping build the DC television empire and co-developed The CW’s most successful superhero show, The Flash. Alongside Peter Roth and WBTV, he has helped launch over a dozen additional hit television series such as Arrow, Gotham, iZombie, Supergirl, and Black Lightning, among others.

Diane Nelson Exits as President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Diane Nelson took a leave of absence in April for family reasons from Warner Bros. and now that is permanent as she has exited her roles as President of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

Nelson said in the announcement:

Warner Bros. has been my home for over 20 years with a wide variety of incredible professional experiences. The last nine–rebuilding and managing DC Entertainment–have been a particular highlight and privilege. With the support and talents of our staff and creators, I am proud to leave DC even stronger than when I joined it. I will miss everyone—particularly my executive management team—without whom none of our achievements could have been realized. And I am excited to take on my next professional adventure.

Nelson took over in her role in 2009 and spearheaded the development of the DC Universe of movies and television shows. Before her current roles, Nelson served as president and chief content officer of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.

The DC executive team of Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns and Amit Desai will answer to Warner Bros’ chief digital officer and EVP Strategy and Business Development Thomas Gewecke. Pam Lifford is now the president of Warner Bros Consumer Products.

Production Has Begun on the Vertigo Comic Series, The Kitchen

Principal photography has begun on New Line Cinema’s gritty drama The Kitchen. The film is written and directed by Andrea Berloff, who was nominated for an Oscar for the original screenplay for Straight Outta ComptonThe Kitchen is based on the Vertigo comic book series from DC Entertainment, written/created by Ollie Masters, with art/created by Ming Doyle, and covers by Becky Cloonan.

The film stars Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, and Elisabeth Moss as three 1978 Hell’s Kitchen housewives whose mobster husbands are sent to prison by the FBI. Left with little but a sharp ax to grind, the ladies take the Irish mafia’s matters into their own hands—proving unexpectedly adept at everything from running the rackets to taking out the competition…literally.

The Kitchen also stars Domhnall Gleeson, James Badge Dale, Brian d’Arcy James, Margo Martindale, Oscar winner Common, Bill Camp, Jeremy Bobb, Alicia Coppola, John Sharian, and Myk Watford.

Multiple Oscar nominee Michael De Luca and Marcus Viscidi are producing. Berloff’s creative team includes director of photography Maryse Alberti, production designer Shane Valentino, Oscar-nominated editor Christopher Tellefsen, and costume designer Sarah Edwards.

Principal photography will take place primarily in and around the film’s setting, New York City’s famed Hell’s Kitchen.

The Kitchen is currently set for release on September 20, 2019.

Teen Titans GO! To The Movies Gets a New Trailer

Everything is on the table to be made fun of in the new Teen Titans GO! To The Movies trailer.

When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! Teen Titans GO! to the Movies finds our egocentric, wildly satirical Super Heroes in their first feature film extravaganza—a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the super hero genre, complete with musical numbers. It seems to the Teens that all the major super heroes out there are starring in their own movies—everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick. If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them. With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream. But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously Super-Villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry. The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line!

Only in theaters July 27!

Ava DuVernary is Directing “The New Gods” for Warner Bros.

Deadline is reporting that director Ava DuVernay is closing a deal and will dive into Jack Kirby‘s creations with The New Gods for Warner Bros.

This is another big budget film for the director whose film A Wrinkle in Time opened this past weekend. That film was released by Buena Vista, a division of Disney, a competitor to Warner Bros. in both film and comics.

This is the second female director Warner Bros/DC has brought onto a project. Patty Jenkins was the first and her Wonder Woman went on to gross over $800 million worldwide.

It is believed this will be a freestanding film not connected to the DC Cinematic Universe. That move is interesting as Steppenwolf was the villain of Justice League and Darkseid has been looming over that film universe.

The director is a fan of Kirby’s creations stating that her favorite superhero is Big Barda.

Kirby’s creations debuted in the early 70s and involves two warring factions, those of New Genesis and those of Apokolips. Think of it as a combination of a lot of different mythological backgrounds. Known as the “Fourth World,” the New Gods can currently be seen in Mister Miracle written by Tom King with art by Mitch Gerads as well as appearing in various series of DC Comics.

This is a massive sandbox to play in and it’ll be interesting to see where it all goes from here.

Batman Ninja Gets a Trailer

A must-see for all Batman and comic fans! Announced at New York Comic Con, Batman Ninja’s first trailer has been revealed at Japan’s Tokyo Comic Con!

Batman Ninja was directed by Jumpei Mizusaki with a screenplay by Kazuki Nakashima. Character design is by Takashi Okazaki, music by Yugo Kanno, and animation production by Kamikaze Douga.

The film stars Koichi Yamadera as Batman, Wataru Takagi as The Joker, Ai Kakuma as Catwoman, and Rie Kugimiya as Harley Quinn.

Batman Ninja will be released in Japanese cinemas in 2018.

Superstar Creator Rafael Albuquerque Speaks Out about Berganza and DC Comics

With the line feeling like it’s finally being drawn and more and more speaking out about harassment everywhere creators are coming forward in signs of support and also taking a stand.

Rafael Albuquerque is taking a stand with after the recent Buzzfeed article laid out in detail the failure of DC Comics and Warner Bros. leadership to adequately handle ongoing harassment by editor Eddie Berganza.

Albuquerque is an award winning artist who has worked for DC Comics, Vertigo, Marvel, Dark Horse, BOOM!, Oni Press, and Image Comics. For DC he most recently worked on All-Star Batman, but also worked on Animal Man, Batgirl, Batman, Blue Beetle, among others, as well as American Vampire for Vertigo.

Rafael Albuquerque wrote on Facebook:

I love DC Comics characters since I can remember. First watching them on TV then with Batman movies and those definitely brought me to comics, where I could find my voice, my home. Having spent almost my whole career working for this company made me feel part of a family. That’s how important DC Comics is for me, and I believe that I can speak for many creators who have similar paths.

Maybe, by writing this, I might be jeopardizing my career over there, but I can’t just stay silent about what happened with our colleagues who reported sexual harassment. They probably had the same feeling about DC Comics, and probably felt the same way I did when they became part of the family, and suddently their careers were harmed by someone who just didn’t realized, respected or cared enough to understand that a power position is a privilege that must be used wisely and fairly.

DC Comics, you mean the world to me, but it’s time for you to make the right call, not just for your image, but also to show that there is no place for this kind of behavior in this industry and neither in our society.

I spent the whole day afraid to speak out. I shouldn’t and I won’t anymore. Neither any professional should be anymore.

Shazam! Finds Its Billy Batson with Asher Angel

Last week it was announced that Zachary Levi would put on the cape for Warner Bros.Shazam! based on the classic DC Comics character. But, the question remained, who would play Billy Batson, the kid who gains the power to turn into the hero? We have our answer as it’s been announced that Asher Angel is taking on the role.

Asher is primarily known for his role as Jonah Beck on the television show Andi Mack in his rather short career. At 15 years old, he’s the perfect age the play the character who is usually portrayed in his early teens. This is a case of an actor being cast to play someone about their age and seems like it’ll be a solid choice. Also great is that Asher looks like someone who could turn into Levi when he gets older.

Shazam! is based on the comic series and follows a boy named Billy Batson who can transform in a superhero by speaking the word “Shazam!” The word is an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.

A post shared by Asher Angel (@asherangel) on

New Justice League Clips Show Steppenwolf

Justice League is just a few weeks away and we’re getting a better look at what we can expect when the film is released. Included in this new set of clips is a better look at Steppenwolf.

The character was in a deleted scene in Batman v Superman, but this is the first official debut of the character in the DC Cinematic Universe.

Justice League releases Thursday night November 16.

The Justice League Images Released so Far

Justice League comes to theaters in a few weeks opening up Thursday night November 16 in North America. Below is all of the stills Warner Bros. has released so far of the movie. Anything stand out? Any guesses as to the film? Sound off in the comments below.

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