Warner Bros.’ Kevin Tsujihara Talks DC, Matrix & More!

02 March, 2019

As Warner Bros. continues to adjust to a changing landscape of entertainment, the studio’s chief executive of film and TV, Kevin Tsujihara sat down with the L.A. Times to discuss their ongoing strategy. Along the way, he revealed some of what we can expect from future DC films, as well as what’s to come from Mad Max and even a new Matrix franchise.

When addressing the DC cinematic universe, which has seen a couple of high points but several misfires along the way, Tsujihara believes the upcoming slate is where they need to be.

Warner Bros.' Kevin Tsujihara Talks DC, Matrix & More!

He went on to praise director Patty Jenkins, who helped deliver Warner Bros.’ first certified blockbuster with 2016’s Wonder Woman. He says Jenkins “illustrated to us what you could do with these characters who are not Batman and Superman. Obviously, we want to get those two in the right place, and we want strong movies around Batman and Superman. But Aquaman is a perfect example of what we can do. They’re each unique and the tone’s different in each movie.

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So, rather than competing franchises like the MCU or Star Wars, which both have fairly rigid timelines interconnecting all their individual entries, the upcoming DC films will take a different approach that’s less concerned with the idea of fitting it all together. Tsujihara had also said he’s “trying to do is cement the foundation and the relationships with the people who are going to be the next generation of Clint Eastwoods. The longtime star, who’s maintained popularity across several decades, is serving as a model for the studio to focus more on the individual characters of a film, rather than one overbearing franchise.

Of course, it wasn’t all DC films on Tsujihara’s mind. He also teased some of the studio’s most beloved, non-superhero franchises. “We have incredible franchises on the features side such as The Matrix,” Tsujihara said. “We’d love to work with George Miller on furthering the Mad Max franchise.”
While Warner Bros. is still a major studio, it hasn’t seen the overwhelming success with franchises that its competitors have.

However, it sounds like Tsujihara and company have a plan in place to help right their course moving forward.

This is not the first time a continuation of The Matrix series has come up. Screenwriter Zak Penn (Ready Player OneThe Avengers) has been working on some mysterious project set in that universe for a while now, though nothing official has come of it. Given that it’s a multimedia, extremely profitable original superhero franchise, it makes sense for WB to dip back into this well again, though it’s worth considering audience-demand levels all these years later.

Family-friendly content will always be a strong bet. As Disney dominates with Pixar and its own originals, and Universal crushes with DreamWorks and Illumination, WB certainly needs to make a concentrated effort to beef up its theatrical animation division. But the real attention-grabbers that Tsujihara mentions are obviously The Matrix and Mad Max.


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