Toby Emmerich (right) was named the new president of Warner Bros. on Wednesday, replacing Greg Silverman (left), who held the position since June of 2013. On the surface, this may not seem like big news. Presidents of production companies come and go from time to time, without major consequence. However, this has the potential to shake up Warner Bros. immensely, including their prized possession, the DC Extended Universe.
Warner Bros., given the wild success of Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, has made the DCEU their top priority over the last few years. With shakeups already in play; namely the announcement in May of 2016 that Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were named as co-runners of the DCEU; it is clear that the success of their first three films (“Man of Steel”, “Batman v. Superman”, and “Suicide Squad”) has not reached the potential the company would like. The bulk of the blame after the commercially divisive and critically panned “Batman v. Superman” was cast at the feet of Zack Snyder. However, reports began to surface of studio tampering, and with the release and aftermath of the similarly received “Suicide Squad”, it became apparent that there was some validity to the claims.
Emmerich’s predecessor, Greg Silverman, was named president of Warner Bros., having only five production credits to his name; “10 Things I Hate About You”, “Error In Judgement”, “On the Line”, “The One”, and “The New Guy”. One of those titles perfectly encapsulates Warner Brothers’ decision to hire him, and no, it’s not “The One”. Under his care, the studio has hardly fulfilled its potential. Whether it be films like “Edge of Tomorrow” or “The Equalizer” which were great films, but grossly under-marketed, or films like “Pan” and “Point Break” that should have never been made; his resume has not been great. In short, the guy was hastily hired, amidst the shake-up of Kevin Tsujihara taking over as CEO of Warner Bros. in March of 2013, and not so much the best guy for the job, but someone to fill the role immediately.
Enter Toby Emmerich! Emmerich has a wealth of production experience, including “Rush Hour 2”, “Blade II”, “Elf”, “The Notebook”, “A History of Violence”, “Wedding Crashers”, “Snakes on a Plane”, “Shoot ‘Em Up”, “Appaloosa”, “Horrible Bosses”, “The Hobbit” trilogy, and “The Conjuring 2”. I could give you many more reasons he’s a great fit, but I’ll let the Warner Bros. CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, do it for me:
“Toby is incredibly talented, well-respected, and the perfect choice to help us continue the momentum of our film operations. He has great relationships across the creative spectrum, from writers and producers to directors and actors. He’s also got a track-record of producing hit films from all genres at every budget. I look forward to working with him in his expanded role in our Pictures Group.”
With a new, more qualified president of Warner Bros., Johns and Berg directly overseeing the DCEU, and the company’s dedication to the DCEU, this could be the making of greatness. Let’s just hope it’s not a different version of “too many cooks in the kitchen.” I, myself, am very optimistic!
– Nick Smith; The Vibes Entertainment