Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara talks DC, Matrix & more!
As Warner Bros. continues to adjust to a changing landscape of entertainment, the studio’s chief executive of film and TV, Kevin Tsujihara sat down with the L.A. Times to discuss their ongoing strategy. Along the way, he revealed some of what we can expect from future DC films, as well as what’s to come from Mad Max and even a new Matrix franchise.
When addressing the DC cinematic universe, which has seen a couple of high points but several misfires along the way, Tsujihara believes the upcoming slate is where they need to be.
“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track,” Tsujihara began. “We have the right people in the right jobs working on it. The [DC cinematic] universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.”
He went on to praise director Patty Jenkins, who helped deliver Warner Bros.’ first certified blockbuster with 2016’s Wonder Woman. He says Jenkins “illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But Aquaman is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.”
So, rather than competing franchises like the MCU or Star Wars, which both have fairly rigid timelines interconnecting all their individual entries, the upcoming DC films will take a different approach that’s less concerned with the idea of fitting it all together. Tsujihara had also said he’s “trying to do is cement the foundation and the relationships with the people who are going to be the next generation of Clint Eastwoods.“ The longtime star, who’s maintained popularity across several decades, is serving as a model for the studio to focus more on the individual characters of a film, rather than one overbearing franchise.
Of course, it wasn’t all DC films on Tsujihara’s mind. He also teased some of the studio’s most beloved, non-superhero franchises. “We have incredible franchises on the features side such as The Matrix,” Tsujihara said. “We’d love to work with George Miller on furthering the Mad Max franchise.”
While Warner Bros. is still a major studio, it hasn’t seen the overwhelming success with franchises that its competitors have. However, it sounds like Tsujihara and company have a plan in place to help right their course moving forward.