The DC Entertainment shakeup continues. Just days after the announcement that Diane Nelson has left the company, Geoff Johns, who has served as Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment and co-chair of DC Films, is relinquishing his post to spend more time on the creative end of the business. To that end, he’s launched Mad Ghost Productions, where he will take a more hands-on role writing and producing comics, movies, and TV featuring DC characters.
“Geoff is a super talented writer and truly embedded in the DC Universe and its characters,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group in a statement. “We’re thrilled that he’s returning to his passion and his roots as a writer and producer. And, it’s even better that he’s staying in our Warner Bros. family. We look forward to working with him on Green Lantern and other projects going forward.”
“Geoff is one of DC Comics’ most prolific writers, and we can’t wait to see what he does next now that he will be dedicating 100 percent of his time to telling the best DC stories possible across all media,” added DC co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “The new publishing projects we are working on together will be instant fan-favorites.”
“I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set. I’m thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role. It’s a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC’s vast pantheon of characters,” said Johns. “I’m also excited to continue to work with the amazing team at DCE and my colleagues at Warner Bros.”
Johns already has a full dance card at DC Entertainment, and there are some new details that have come to light alongside this announcement. He is writing and executive producing Wonder Woman 2 alongside Patty Jenkins, he’ll be writing and producing the Green Lantern Corps movie (characters he has a long history with), and he co-wrote and executive produced this December’s Aquaman movie. He’s also serving as executive producer and writer on the upcoming Titans and Doom Patrol series for the DC Universe streaming service.
On the comics end of things, Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock will continue over the next year on a bi-monthly schedule and he’ll launch a brand new Shazam! series (artist to be announced) this fall in advance of that film’s spring 2019 release. His long promised “Three Jokers” story will finally be told (with Jason Fabok on art), and he’ll launch a new imprint at DC Comics, known as The Killing Zone, which will focus “on new and lesser known DC characters and titles.”
Freeing Johns up to spend more time on the creative end of the DC Universe, on both page and screen, seems like the right idea. It has been two years since DC Comics relaunched their entire line with the Rebirth initiative, a back-to-basics approach championed by Johns, which resulted in some of the publisher’s best work in a decade. He has helped develop nearly every DC superhero TV show of the last few years, all of which feel very much in the spirit of what the characters should be. Giving him more freedom to write and consult should only help the film division, which, despite the commercial successes of Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has struggled to capture the heart of the characters the way 2017’s Wonder Woman, a notable critical and commercial success, did.