Warner Bros. Exec Talks Future of DC Comics Movies

Want some proof of how badly the "Harry Potter" era's end will leave Warner Bros. hurting? At no extra charge, how about strong evidence that there is no God in Hollywood?

Warner Bros. film group President Jeffrey Robinov recently sat down with the L.A. Times comic-centric blog "Hero Complex" and discussed the future of a few current and future DC Comics properties on which the studio has its hands.

Clearly, the studio's priorities are in great order; up near the top, a "Green Lantern" sequel to a movie that is around $50 million short of making back its $200-million-plus budget domestically and was savaged by most critics.

Still, credit is due to Warner Bros. where 20th Century Fox deserved a pistol-whipping after desecrating the Fantastic Four: Warner Bros. at least sees where it can make corrections, namely probably ousting director Martin Campbell (by comparison, Tim Story was allowed to direct a second awful "Fantastic Four" movie, even though the first was instantly regarded as an all-time travesty of comic book movies immediately after its release.)

A deal might have to be worked out there, because the former "Casino Royale" and "Mask of Zorro" director's contract has an option for a sequel.

Moreover, I'd hope the studio would also acknowledge that Ryan Reynolds really is a letter-perfect Hal Jordan. Reynolds might've been the most perfect aspect of the movie.

But what Robinov had to say next is so buzz-word laden, it kills my faith a little.

“To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth," Robinov explained.

"Darker" . . . "Edgier" . . . Ugh. Damn you, "The Dark Knight."

Those were the words that hovered over every single super-hero movie that came out shortly after Christopher Nolan's masterpiece of a "Batman" story. "Dark" and "edgy" were the only ways any comic movie could apparently be successful. Nevermind that this normally came from blithering idiot executive who didn't give a damn about the spirit of the source material, or that the tone worked for "The Dark Knight" because it's BATMAN. There was even talk that Warner execs thought the next "Superman" should be "darker." They only knew and cared about this: "The Dark Knight" was dark, and it made money. Therefore, EVERY licensed property must be made more "dark" and "edgy."

It's Superman. How dark do you really think you can go before you dip into something almost parody-worthy? Earth to a*&holes: this is DC. Batman aside, things never really get all that "dark" or "edgy." They deal with death, loss and tragedy, but not in the same gritty, unflinching way Marvel often has. Studios are loathe to admit that those fan-boys that they just can't seem to get on a level with are a big audience and while not everything need be letter-perfect to the books, there has to be some respect shown for the characters' roots.

Though there's a script in progress from "Green Lantern" writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Mark Guggenheim. However, the blog reports that execs may want to tinker with the script once they see it, to meet their vision of what will make a great comic movie.

However, "Green Lantern" isn't the only hot comic property on the studio's radar. There's still hope that, in the style of Marvel's "The Avengers," several properties can be brought together for a "Justice League" movie that's been bandied about for years. In the meantime, the studio can still look forward to 2013's Zack Snyder-led "Superman" reboot, "Man of Steel." Sometime that year or in 2014, the studio hopes it can churn out either its "Green Lantern" sequel, or a take on "The Flash" that has a script currently in the works that Robinov said is "very solid."