Something appears to be brewing at DC – or already has – as the former co-president of DC Entertainment, Diane Nelson, takes to social media to offer she is not friends with Geoff Johns while defending the new Joker movie.
Long story short, back in March of 2018 saw Nelson take a leave of absence from DC over “personal matters,” with Dan DiDio, Jim Lee, Geoff Johns, and Amit Desai continuing to run the company’s day to day operations.
Nelson would then resign on June 5, 2018 (insiders at Variety “stressed” Nelson was not forced out).
Two weeks later would then see Geoff Johns also resign from being co-president and the chief creative officer of DC Entertainment, with the reason reported so Johns could start his own production company.
Now while defending the violence in the new Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie by linking to an article at THR, “In Defense of ‘Joker’ and Its Repulsive Violence,” responding to comments from Twitter users in regards to not defending the Zack Snyder movies, Diane Nelson says she is not a “buddy” of Geoff Johns:
He’s no buddy of mine.
— Diane Nelson (@dewnelson1) September 18, 2019
Diane Nelson defends Joker, not Zack Snyder
Diane Nelson didn’t go into further detail, but obviously there seems to be bad blood between Nelson and Geoff Johns, which may have led to her departure from DC, or even both of them (Johns continues to write comics for DC, but interestingly enough Doomsday Clock has been severely delayed).
Regarding the fans’ comments about Zack Snyder, Snyder received a lot of heat following the release of Man of Steel for all the violence surrounding Superman battling Zod and the Kryptonians in the streets of Smallville and city of Metropolis, as the argument was Superman should have taken the fight to a cornfield (yet Superman is fighting a dozen Kryptonian super soldiers that share the same powers and he never really used his powers before in battle… I digress).
Snyder also received heat for Batman vs. Superman, and of course, was replaced on Justice League, leading to fans begging for the release of the Snyder Cut, as it has also been said WB execs massively interfered with Snyder’s DCEU vision.
So we see the fans are apparently calling out Diane Nelson for not defending Zack Snyder while she was at DC – citing politics – which led to Nelson’s response about Geoff Johns.
DCEU has new leadership
The comment about “politics” could have to do with the fact that there is new leadership in charge of the DC movies, as Kevin Tsujihara was the WB CEO at the time when Nelson left DC Entertainment, but as a result of a sex scandal resigned and is now replaced with Ann Sarnoff.
The DC movies also have James Wan’s The Conjuring execs in charge of the films, with really no mention of Geoff Johns being involved as of late other than producer credits.
Johns is listed as executive producer on various DC projects such as the DC Universe streamings service shows (Titans, Doom Patrol, etc.); he is listed involved with the DCEU movies (Wonder Woman films, Shazam!, Aquaman) and his production website still lists Green Lanter Corps.
However, while Geoff Johns is listed on IMDb as having executive produced the David Ayer Suicide Squad movie, Johns is not presently listed as being involved with James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad.
Geoff Johns out of DCEU?
I’ve also been told by DC insiders that a big reason why J.J. Abrams signed with WarnerMedia is to tackle the DC properties, with Abrams having a big connection to new CEO Ann Sarnoff. One of the DC properties I have been told that Abrams is using is Green Lantern.
While I don’t believe the backstory surrounding Diane Nelson and Geoff Johns has come out (yet), the creator of Deadpool also recently hinted at the turmoil within DC as Rob Liefeld recently blasted DC offering the company needs to be saved and needs a regime change.
It has also been suggested that parent company AT&T may sell off DC Comics.
With the change in direction for the movies and with Abrams apparently coming onboard DC, I have been wondering if Geoff Johns is out of the DCEU. Snyder and his production team are no longer involved with the DCEU and reportedly long time Batman producer Charles Roven is out (other than movies they are already contractually attached to), so Johns may not be further involved with the DCEU as well, or possibly just in name only.
What’s also interesting is that the DC_Cinematic Reddit has locked the thread discussing Nelson’s tweet with fans no longer allowed to comment.