David Zaslav’s plan for a 10-year plan may finally be coming to fruition. According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Dan Lin is circling the role of DC chief, also known as “the Kevin Feige role.” Lin is the producer behind recent blockbusters like It, Aladdin, Sherlock Holmes, and The Lego Movie franchise.
In his controversial corporate takeover of Warner Bros., Zaslav hammered home the importance of the DC brand, the company’s commitment to theatrical releases for its tentpole superheroes, and his explicit desire to build a framework similar to Feige’s Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, his vision disrupted the vision of current DC president Walter Hamada (also a producer on It, as it happens), who reportedly almost quit during the shake-up but agreed to stay on through the release of Black Adam.
Lin is now the frontrunner for Hamada’s replacement, though THR sources are conflicted about how far along the deal is: some say “no negotiations are taking place and no official offer has been made,” while others claim “the parties are discussing salary, reporting structure and the future of Lin’s prolific production company, Rideback.” (One source says WB Discovery could take a stake in Rideback as part of Lin’s deal.)
What Lin has going for him is the support of Alan Horn, former Warners president and COO and current advisor (and Lin’s boss back in the day). He also has experience with both film and television (producing Lethal Weapon, Walker, and the upcoming live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender). The latter is crucial as sources report this new position would oversee the studio’s film and television offerings, superseding several other WB execs and putting complete control of the entire DC universe into the hands of one person.
It’s another echo of the MCU’s current structure, with its interconnected films and Disney+ series, but it represents a big change from DC’s strategy over the last decade. While the films have struggled to find their footing, DC TV has flourished as disconnected spheres, finding success with not only the Arrowverse but with shows like Gotham, Titans, Doom Patrol, and Pennyworth (a.k.a. “The Origin of Batman’s Butler”). All of these shows originated on different platforms and exist in different universes.
It seems that DC will run a tighter ship moving forward, and Lin appears to be the most likely candidate to make it happen. Perhaps he’ll take pity on the poor Batgirl fans and give them something to look forward to after all the carnage.