Comics publisher plugs in new vice president

Ending a seven-month search for its “man in Hollywood,” Gotham-based Time Warner subsid DC Comics has hired Joel Silver’s TV topper Gregory Noveck to the newly created post of senior VP, creative affairs.

In his new position, Noveck will be responsible for exploring DC Comics’ vast, and so far largely underused, character universe. Many of those characters — including Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Flash — had been gathering dust, and Noveck’s charge is to identify characters and properties that lend themselves to Warner Bros. and New Line feature films and television skeins, and to establish relationships within the creative community.

While Warner Bros. Pictures has successfully exploitedtwo DC icons in Batman and Superman (and has pics based on Catwoman, Wonder Woman and Constantine in various stages of production), “creatively, we have barely scratched the surface of DC,” said Jeff Robinov, president of production at Warner Bros. Pictures.

Added Robinov: “Having someone dedicated to working with our development team will be invaluable in mining this amazing resource.”

Noveck, who’ll be bi-coastal, will also work closely with Time Warner’s filmed entertainment subsidiaries (Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, New Line Cinema, HBO Independent Productions) to further their development and production activities of titles and characters drawn from the DC library. He reports directly to DC publisher and prexy Paul Levitz.

As senior VP of television at Silver Pictures, Noveck developed and executive produced NBC’s upcoming series “Next Action Star.” Before that, he was senior VP creative affairs/producer at Platinum Studios, responsible for exploiting Platinum Comics library. There, he co-produced the Platinum-derived Showtime skein, “Jeremiah.”

“The DC characters have long been stars in media beyond comic books, from the blockbuster ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman’ films to hit television series and cartoons,” said Levitz. “By adding Gregory in this post, we will be able to bring more of our library to life. With his background in development and production, as well as the relationships he’s established, he’s the ideal person to push our development activities into a higher gear.”

His mandate will be to push DC Comics characters beyond initial successes like TV’s “Smallville” and Cartoon Network’s “Justice League” and delve into the myriad characters — some cult, some mainstream — to make a variety of pics at different pricepoints, just as arch-rival Marvel Comics has done with low-budget “The Punisher” at Artisan and pricey “Hulk” at Universal.

“DC Comics is an unexplored jewel in the Warner Bros. crown,” said Kevin Tsujihara, exec VP of corporate business development and strategy at Warner Bros. Entertainment. “We have charged Gregory with fully exploring and appropriately exploiting the thousands of DC Comics characters in the company’s vast library.”

Noveck also served as the head of television development at Gaumont Television in Los Angeles with stints at New Line Television and Rysher Entertainment.

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