×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DC Film’s Jon Berg, Geoff Johns on Success of ‘Wonder Woman’ and Sequel Plans (EXCLUSIVE)

Jon Berg and Geoff Johns are riding high. The two men, whose job is to oversee the DC film universe for Warner Bros., are basking in the glow of the critical and commercial success of “Wonder Woman.” Berg is a veteran producer whose credits include “Elf” and “Out of Time,” while Johns is deeply enmeshed in DC lore, having written for the likes of “Green Lantern” and “Aquaman” in addition to guiding the company’s television efforts.

They spoke with Variety about what’s next for “Wonder Woman,” their reaction to the poor reviews for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad,” and why there will be more female superheroes and villains in upcoming DC films.

Why did audiences embrace “Wonder Woman”?
Berg: It’s a fun movie. It’s positive and optimistic. The early films may have been too dark in parts.

Johns: Most of the DC Universe is known as being a hopeful and optimistic place. It’s known for characters that are inspirational and aspirational. Anyone who knows and loves the DC Universe knows that a lot of that has to do with its hope and optimism.

“Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman” made money, but critics hated them. Did you learn anything from the poor response to the films?
Berg: There are lessons from every movie. You would be silly not to analyze how a movie was received — what went right and what went wrong on the making of a movie.

On “Suicide Squad,” the movie did incredibly well commercially. It didn’t work narratively. You had some great casting and some great characterizations, but where the story fell down was on narrative, on plot. We could do better. “Batman v. Superman” was tonally dark. People didn’t respond to that.

Johns: “Wonder Woman” celebrated exactly who the character is, but looking at it, it’s not like we should change everything to be about hope and optimism. There’s nothing to change. That’s what these characters are.

Given the success of “Wonder Woman,” do you expect to make more female-driven comic-book films?
Johns: We’ve got a lot of plans for our female characters just because they’re great characters. There are many wonderful elements to the DC Universe, and one of them is that we have the best female characters, heroes and villains, in the world. No one is going to beat Wonder Woman and Batgirl and Harley Quinn.

Will Patty Jenkins be back to direct the sequel to “Wonder Woman”?
Johns: Patty and I are writing the treatment right now. The goal is to make another great “Wonder Woman” film. I had a blast making it with Patty the first time. We’ve got a cool idea for the second one.

Will Wonder Woman’s role be enhanced in “Justice League”?
Berg: Her role won’t change, but she was already playing a big role. People really responded to Gal [Gadot] in “Batman v. Superman.” We knew we had something special.

Joss Whedon is overseeing reshoots on “Justice League” and will write and direct “Batgirl.” How important will he be to the DC cinematic universe going forward?

Berg: He’s a big part already. We love him. He’s a great partner, collaborator; we want him to be ensconced. We bring people by, have general meetings and talk about comics and their favorite superhero movies. With Joss, he saw the master board, and he saw a “Batgirl” title and he said, “You guys seriously want to do ‘Batgirl’?” And we said, “Absolutely.” He said, “That’s my jam.”

More Film

  • Festival director Thierry Fremaux speaks to

    Cannes: Thierry Fremaux on the Lineup's Record Number of Female Directors, American Cinema and Political Films

    The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup for its 72nd edition that includes some high-profile Hollywood titles, genre movies and films from 13 female directors. The official selection has been applauded by many for mixing established auteurs like Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory”), Terrence Malick (“A Hidden Life”) and Xavier Dolan (“Matthias and Maxime”) [...]

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92% of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92% of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content