DC President Diane Nelson talks about the Future of DC films and Possible Upcoming Projects


DC Entertainment’s president  Diane Nelson gave an in depth interview to the Hollywood Reporter. The Syracuse University graduate has worked for the DC/Warner since the early 1990s, when Tim Burton’s Batman films were helping to set the stage for the future of comic book films. She took over DC Entertainment in 2009 and now works closely with Kevin Tsujihara, the new Warner Bros. CEO, to whom she reports directly.  She says “I can say it is the most optimistic time for me professionally, and for the company, DC and Warner Bros. in the 17 years since I’ve been here.”


                When asked about why DC is taking a slower, more deliberate pace to their movie releases than rival Marvel Comics, Nelson answers, “I don’t know that we’ve been so slow. I think there’s been a very concerted strategy about working with the best filmmakers in the business to execute their vision of the right movies for the right properties. That may mean that we’re a little more focused or particular about which characters come on the screen as opposed to what Marvel’s done so brilliantly. And I do give them tremendous credit with what they’re doing with their slate, but our strategy has been different from that. I think more ‘precise’ is the word. It’s a specific vision from a specific filmmaker rather than a full slate.”


                Nelson explains why, in her opinion, Man of Steel worked but the Green Lantern did not. “I think Chris (Nolan) and Zack (Snyder) really did give fans what they felt on some level they didn’t get at least partially in the last Superman film. People wanted to see Superman kicking ass. And he does in this movie. He does a lot of other great things. Henry (Cavill) brings the character to life so beautifully, and the dynamic between Clark and Lois is there, but people wanted to see Superman being Superman. That balance of what matters wasn’t quite right on Green Lantern. I know everyone involved with the project wanted it to work as much as everyone involved with Man of Steel wanted it to work. In the debate of art versus science, sometimes the mix isn’t just right. But we will find some other way to bring that character to the screen.”


                Will the Green Lantern be brought to the screen in a Justice League movie? Nelson’s only comments about a Justice League film are, “I can’t confirm, sorry. I would love to be able to give you that, but I can’t. I can say the success of Man of Steel has been incredibly great for our company, the studio, Warner Pictures, DC, and it obviously just reinforces the potential of that universe just moving forward.”


                Nelson was asked about the top five DC intellectual properties she’d like to see brought to the screen.  Sandman is right on top. I think it could be as rich as the Harry Potter universe. Fables. Metal Men. Justice League. And yes, I’m going to say it…Aquaman!”


                What about the DC character who most people ask about…What about Wonder Woman? Nelson describes her views on bringing the Amazon Princess to the big screen. “We have to get her right, we have to. She is such an icon for both genders and all ages and for people who love the original TV show and people who read the comics now. I think one of the biggest challenges at the company is getting that right on any size screen. The reasons why are probably pretty subjective: She doesn’t have the single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes. There are lots of facets to Wonder Woman, and I think the key is, how do you get the right facet for that right medium? What you do in TV has to be different than what you do in features. She has been, since I started, one of the top three priorities for DC and for Warner Bros. We are still trying right now, but she’s tricky.”


                Nelson is not a big believer in letting fans have input into what the company does. She says, “I don’t believe we should take fan feedback into the direct creative process. I am a believer that what Warner Bros. does, what DC Entertainment does, is to be in the business of creating professional storytelling. There’s a craft to it, honed by storytellers across each medium. And we have to trust them and give them freedom and latitude. You can’t do it by committee. And you would be paralyzed if you tried to take in the feedback we get every day from fans that care desperately. On one hand it matters, and I’m always conscious of it, but you have to consciously turn it off because it will cripple the creative process.”


                Finally, she was asked where she sees DC Entertainment films in 10 years. “We don’t want to oversaturate with superheroes, and DC is much more than superheroes. If we do our jobs as well as I think we can among our partners within Warner Bros., there is no reason why there wouldn’t be multiple slots across every one of our production businesses that is populated by DC Entertainment properties. We know that within this building, but part of our job is getting consumers to understand that there is more breadth and depth to DC beyond those primary DC characters. Our job has to be, let’s have great success with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Aquaman but then build on that to expand the universe for the broad populace.”