Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara Talks DC Films, ‘Mad Max’, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ & More

Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara recently sat down with the Los Angeles Times and spilled the details on basically everything movie-related to the studio. Sit back, let’s dive on in.

On Business Relationships

Tsujihara explained that:

“One of the things we’re trying to do is cement the foundation and the relationships with the people who are going to be the next generation of Clint Eastwoods.”

Note: Eastwood has been with WB for more than 50 years.

On DC Films

Here’s what Tsujihara had to say on films based on DC Comics:

“The upcoming slate, with Shazam, Joker, Wonder Woman 1984 and Birds of Prey, feels like we’re on the right track. We have the right people in the right jobs working on it. The [DC cinematic] universe isn’t as connected as we thought it was going to be five years ago. You’re seeing much more focus on individual experiences around individual characters. That’s not to say we won’t at some point come back to that notion of a more connected universe. But it feels like that’s the right strategy for us right now.

“What Patty Jenkins did on Wonder Woman 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.”

On Fantastic Beasts

On the lower box office gross of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and how that impacts the franchise moving forward:

“The second film didn’t perform as well as the first, but I think we know what we need to do to get the third film hopefully even better than the first one. And J.K. Rowling is really working hard now on that third script, and we’re going to get it right. She has an incredible vision of where she wants to go with this that is incredibly exciting.

“The hardest part of the franchise is you have such a big core fan base. That fan base really knows the lore and they want to go deep into these characters. But what you don’t want to do is intimidate people. You want to be able to create a stand-alone movie that’s enjoyable for someone who isn’t steeped in the lore.”

On Rebooting Old Properties

Tsujihara mentioned Warner Bros. properties he’d like to reboot:

“We have incredible franchises on the features side such as “The Matrix.” We’d love to work with George Miller on furthering the “Mad Max” franchise. We feel there’s a big opportunity on the Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera side as well. We need to invest and build those franchises up. We think that, despite their age, they still maintain a special place in kids’ hearts.

“I’m really excited about “Space Jam 2.” We signed Bugs Bunny, and that was a tough negotiation [laughs]. We have a “Tom and Jerry” movie. We have a lot of stuff in development around those beloved characters on the movie side that we want to augment on the TV animation side.”

What future Warner Bros. films have you eager to see in theaters?