Last year, Warner Bros. outlined their plans for a massive DC Cinematic Universe that includes 10 movies, starting with next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and spans to the year 2020. Suicide Squad is currently in production, also slated for a 2016 release, and the next project after that is the highly-anticipated Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot. Michelle Maxwell MacLaren, best known for her work on Breaking Bad, initially signed on to direct, but backed away due to creative differences with the studio, leading to Patty Jenkins signing on. Warner Bros. executive Greg Silverman recently spoke about their process in finding the right Wonder Woman director, revealing that both Michelle Maxwell MacLaren and Patty Jenkins were the top choices from the start.
"We had a very intensive process looking at everybody. Patty and Michelle were really the ones who came to the forefront the first go-round, so when things didn't work out with Michelle, we all knew we had someone great who had expressed interest before. She came back and is doing a great job. But it was never about the best female director. She has demonstrated doing amazing work with female characters, such as in Monster."
The studio also caused a bit of controversy when it was revealed that they hired six different writers for Wonder Woman, who would all turn in their own drafts and essentially compete with each other for the job, based on those drafts. When asked about this process, Greg Silverman had this to say.
"Every project is different. On some projects, we have multiple writers working together. In some cases, we put writers together who have never been a team together. And sometimes, there is only one writer whose voice is right. In the case of Wonder Woman, the right approach was to have writers pitching different scenes within the framework we created."
When asked if none of the other writers knew what the others were working on, the executive had this to say.
"They came to me and said they wanted to try this approach. I don't know how much collaboration and noncollaboration was going on. Treating writers well is a massive priority at this studio. I'd be very shocked if writers weren't treated with respect and grace."
We have reported numerous times on Warner Bros.' alleged "no joke policy" in regards to their superhero movies, but, surprisingly, the executive revealed that humor is an "important part" of these movies. Here's what he had to say, when asked about fan complaints that the first Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer was too dark.
"There is intensity and a seriousness of purpose to some of these characters. The filmmakers who are tackling these properties are making great movies about superheroes; they aren't making superhero movies. And when you are trying to make a good movie, you tackle interesting philosophies and character development. There's also humor, which is an important part."
Of course, even with the first trailer already out, it's tough to tell from that footage alone how much "humor" will be in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but we'll have to wait and see. When asked about Warner's approach to their superhero properties, as opposed to Marvel's approach, the executive stated that they are looking for "master filmmakers" to shape these beloved characters.
"We have a great strategy for the DC films, which is to take these beloved characters and put them in the hands of master filmmakers and make sure they all coordinate with each other. You'll see the difference when you see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League and all the things that we are working on."