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    Geoff Johns Steps Down as DC Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer to Focus on Writing/Producing

    By | June 11th, 2018
    Posted in News | % Comments

    DC Entertainment continues to restructure itself after Diane Nelson’s exit last week. Today, it was announced that Geoff Johns will be stepping down as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment in order to focus more on creative pursuits. Johns will stay exclusive to Warner Bros and DC, but will see his role change considerably. Jim Lee will assume the CCO title in Johns’s absence. Lee will continue to act as Co-Publisher with Dan DiDio as well.

    “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 will launch ‘Mad Ghost Productions,’ which will “create content across multiple divisions of the Studio, including films, television and comic books, based on current DC properties as well as new and reimagined IP.”

    Most relevant to comics readers are the announcements that he will be writing a Shazam series, to launch this autumn, and that he will launch a new imprint for DC called ‘The Killing Zone.’

    DC has not published a Shazam focused series since Johns penned the “Shazam!” backup in the New 52’s “Justice League” series, which was illustrated by Gary Frank. With the (Johns-produced) Shazam feature film hitting next year, it seemed like only a matter of time before a new series would be launched. DiDio told Multiversity last year that a Shazam book was just ‘waiting’ for the creative team to be free to write it. Many presumed that meant Johns was attached to the project, a presumption that appears to be correct.

    ‘The Killing Zone’ will ” focus on new and lesser known DC characters and titles.” This sounds like the type of stuff that Johns loves, and will hopefully give a little boost to some characters that may have a hard time selling a book without a hook of some sort. Johns’s name still carries a tremendous amount of clout in the comics industry, and so it is nice to see him focusing his attention on bringing some lesser characters to the forefront.

    The article also mentions the upcoming “Three Jokers” series with Jason Fabok, but delivered no new information on when the series would hit, or how many issues it would comprise. Johns is currently writing the bi-monthly “Doomsday Clock,” a “Watchmen” meets the DC Universe maxi-series, illustrated by Gary Frank.

    On the film side, Johns was announced as the writer and producer of Green Lantern Corps, his and WB’s second attempt at bringing some of his Lantern stories to the big screen. The press release also notes that Johns is either producing, writing, or wrote the source material on Shazam, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman 2, all of which will see release by the end of 2019.

    Johns is also deeply involved with Titans, writing and producing the series for DC’s new streaming platform, DC Universe, set to launch later this summer.

    While the headline admittedly sounds more serious than the news itself suggests, it appears that Johns is simply moving out of the office and back into the creative trenches, where he has always seemed far more comfortable, anyway.

    Read the full press release below.

    GEOFF JOHNS TO EXPAND CREATIVE ROLE BECOMING A FULL-TIME WRITER/PRODUCER FOR FILM, TELEVISION AND MORE; EXCLUSIVE TO DC AND WARNER BROS.

    Set to Launch Mad Ghost Productions Based at Warner Bros.

    (Monday, June 11, 2018 – Burbank, CA) — Geoff Johns is launching Mad Ghost Productions and is entering into an exclusive writer/producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to create content across multiple divisions of the Studio, including films, television and comic books, based on current DC properties as well as new and reimagined IP. As part of this deal, he will segue from his executive post as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment to focus on creative matters full-time. DC Entertainment Publisher Jim Lee will expand his role to include the Chief Creative Officer title and responsibilities, and will continue to act as Publisher together with Dan DiDio as they have since 2010. These announcements were made today by Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, who is serving as DC’s interim head.

    Continued below

    Under this new deal, one of Johns’ first film projects will be Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Green Lantern Corps,” based on his New York Times bestselling series that saw an impressive nine-year run, spawning additional spin-off titles and comic book events. Johns will write and be a producer on the film. Additionally, he co-wrote and executive produced “Aquaman,” which releases worldwide December 21, and is writing and executive producing the second installment of the “Wonder Woman” franchise with director Patty Jenkins, releasing in November 2019. New Line’s “Shazam!,” slated for an April 2019 release, is based on his original graphic novel.

    On the television side, Johns co-developed and is executive producer and writer on the first original series for the upcoming DC Universe digital service, “Titans,” with Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti. Johns also wrote the “Titans” episode “Doom Patrol” that is spinning off into its own 13-episode original series for the digital service. He is executive producing alongside Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jeremy Carver. He has also been crucial in helping build the DC television empire and co-developed The CW’s most successful superhero show, “The Flash.” Alongside Peter Roth and WBTV, he has helped launch over a dozen additional hit television series such as “Arrow,” “Gotham,” “iZombie,” “Supergirl” and “Black Lightning,” among others.

    His publishing projects will include a new pop-up slate of comic books under the banner of “The Killing Zone” focusing on new and lesser known DC characters and titles. Johns will also be writing a Shazam! comic book series scheduled to be out in the fall. In addition, he will continue to write the commercial and critical hit “Doomsday Clock,” a comic book series illustrated by Gary Frank that collides the DC universe with the Watchmen universe, as well as the upcoming “Three Jokers,” illustrated by Jason Fabok.

    “Geoff is a super talented writer and truly embedded in the DC Universe and its characters,” said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “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,” said DiDio and 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.”

    As one of the most successful comic book writers of his time, Johns has built his career on re-inventing dormant characters to commercial and critical successes as seen with “Green Lantern,” “Aquaman,” “Teen Titans,” “The Flash” and “Shazam!”, among others. His gravitation toward lower-level characters with unexplored and untapped potential has led to Johns currently holding the No. 3 spot on the 100 most prolific DC comics writers list next to comic book legends Robert Kanigher and Gardner Fox.

    Johns’ impressive career history dates back to his beginning as an assistant to filmmaker Richard Donner. He established himself as a successful writer and rode the ranks to become President and CCO of DC Entertainment while simultaneously creating some of today’s most popular film, television and comic series.


    Brian Salvatore

    Brian Salvatore is an editor, podcaster, reviewer, writer at large, and general task master at Multiversity. When not writing, he can be found playing music, hanging out with his kids, or playing music with his kids. He also has a dog named Lola, a rowboat, and once met Jimmy Carter. Feel free to email him about good beer, the New York Mets, or the best way to make Chicken Parmagiana (add a thin slice of prosciutto under the cheese).

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