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DC Entertainment Gets Vertigo
New head honcho likes the grown-up stuff

14 September 2009  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: MTV

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Last week it was announced that Warners and DC Comics have finally got their house in order and created DC Entertainment: essentially a behemoth multimedia division designed to keep DC's roster of comics characters in-house (Warner's house), even as they're sent out into the world in the form of movies, TV, and... whatever. It's more or less the case already, but any future media you see based on a DC character, will stem from Warners.

Head of the new division is Diane Nelson, who oversaw the Harry Potter series, and ran Warner's Premiere DVD line, which included small-scale movies based on DC characters like Green Lantern. Talking to MTV over the weekend, she enthused about "greater opportunities to work with the characters and stories that are part of the DC library: both the big ones that we all know and, equally importantly, the ones we might not know."

The "big ones that we all know" of course include the currently in development Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Batman 3 and, er, Lobo, not to mention the apparently resting Superman, and Joel Silver's long sat-on Wonder Woman.

But specifically, although she stresses that it's by no means her only focus, Nelson highlights DC's Vertigo imprint as worthy of particular attention (she speaks fluent Corporate, so bear with her). "There's a lot more to this than just the traditional superhero," she says. "Vertigo is an area of great interest to me. It's even less well tapped than other parts of DC, and could potentially offer amazing stories for our future television, video game, digital and consumer products businesses."

Vertigo was set up in 1993 as an outlet for more 'mature' content than yer tuppeny hapeny superhero stories. Its big hitters include Alan Moore's Swamp Thing (talked up just last week by Joel Silver), Neil Gaiman's Sandman and its various spin-offs (Death, The Dreaming, The Dead Boy Detectives, Mike Carey's superb Lucifer), Garth Ennis' Preacher (recently mooted for Sam Mendes with John August on the script), Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets, Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan, Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, Bill Willingham's Fables, and the multi-authored Hellblazer, which already made it to the screen (more or less) as Constantine.

We're not necessarily looking at movies for all these though: TV is equally likely, and would be preferable in many cases. The idea of Sandman crammed into two hours is an alarming one, but the breathing space a series would give it might make it a viable proposition. 

 "There's no question that the feature film slate is an engine that drives our business, and that it's unique and incredibly powerful," says Nelson. "But I don't think that this is a question of [just] making big, tentpole feature films and spinning all of the ancillary business off of that.

"This is about looking at all the different faces of the prism at the same time. It will be about working with the television group and the digital group and the video game and the home video group, etc. If we do our job well, the feature slate will be a key piece of it but it won't be the only piece of it by far."

So, Spider Jerusalem on HBO, while Jesse Custer tears up the big screen? Which "properties" would fit which format best? And which do you not want to see touched at all? 


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Your Comments

Superman Movie PLEASE !!!!
Ok enough already with the corporate stuff. Whether it's the restructuring or the court battles. Now can we finally have the first Superman movie of the rebooted franchise out already !!? I hope Diane Nelson treats the new Superman movies like the Harry Potter series. Make 7 or 8 sequels with each one having consequences from the previous movies with a great backstory originating on Krypton. Let's see Krypton like we've never seen it before and have that history intertwined with the history of More

Posted by ASonic77 at 03:46 on 15 September 2009 | Report This Post

As a British based television series, Hellblazer would seriously rock, and with Diane Nelson proving through her handling of the Harry Potter series that she is willing to utilise British locations and casting, this might not be as far fetched a dream as it once was, provided they're willing to formally kill off a Keanu starring Constantine 2. More

Posted by Arkane_Tripwire at 17:50 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Torn
Bugger, yes I meant Tulip not Daisy. Or was it Rose? More

Posted by David Somerset at 16:54 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

The Idea of seeing this demented work of graphic awsomeness on screen has litterally given me an irrection! Gone to Texas would make an outstanding movie in it's own right (if they go the movie route) as long as they don't try and cram in too much in a single movie they have the legs to spin the franchise out as long as they want to (well up to a 9 film limit). Jonny Depp as preacher and Clint Eastwood as the Saint of Killers would ideal... or if you where making the cast a little younger I'd More

Posted by bronco3114 at 16:39 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

It's the age-old problem. If they do these things well, correctly casted, well scripted etc, then they could be the best things ever to hit our screens; if they do it wrong, then it will be sacrilege of the highest order. Sandman should, in no way, shape or form, be adapted for anything. I absolutely balk at the idea. Preacher, however, with an 18 cert and someone in love with the source material, could be prefect for film. Obviously a simplified story arc would have to be used, focusing specifi More

Posted by Youshouldberunning at 11:00 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

All I have to say is that Preacher has to be an HBO job, If it were on the big screen you'd probably have to have a film for each book, or maybe for two of them. Then you're looking at between 4 and 9 films! I think it would work a lot better as a TV series. More

Posted by satanbob at 10:35 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

I just want them to get on and make SOMETHING!!! I have always preferred the DC (& Vertigo) roster and it their storytelling, at least compared to the factory line at Marvel. Why have WB stalled the Whedon Wonder Woman? DICKS! Where is the Superman follow-up? NUMPTIES! Why have WB lost its bottle over Justice League? COWAAAARDS! The Bat is holding up their entire superhero presence at the moment, sand thankfully Nolan is ensuring it's greater in its own right than all marvel output put toget More

Posted by Hanroro at 10:16 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

I love Preacher, 100 Bullets and Transmetropolitan but they just wouldnt fit into a single movie. I personally think TV series are the best way to go but i look forward to hearing where this news will lead More

Posted by AstroZombie at 10:09 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

Vertigo rocks!!!

Posted by AstroZombie at 10:06 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Y: The Last Man
I would like to see some of the more obscure comic to film adaptaions: Bone or Sixteen Miles to Merricks. Not published by Vertigo of course but would make much more interesting films I think. More

Posted by i stole your car at 09:47 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

Y: The Last Man
I'm pretty sure Y would be best on film, although not quite sure of the trilogy idea, maybe 4 films? And Alicia Keys is a laugh for Agent 355, I was thinking Halle Berry at least, as someone with better acting exprience would do. A good move from DC though, as I would like to see more adult films, not just Batman and Supes dancing around all the time. Roll on Jonah Hex! : ) More

Posted by cliff126 at 09:38 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Preacher
God 100 Bullets needs to be an HBO deal.  I can not see a movie working it needs to be handled ala The Wire.  What a shame it would be to see a great series, full of superb character development, awesome side tracking stories and some great action fall foul of a 90 minute hack in slash. More

Posted by morg1138 at 09:26 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

I love the Preacher books, but I'm torn as to whether I want to see 'em on the big screen or not. There's something about the surprised and confused looks on people's faces as their headguts are sprayed all over the shop that just won't be recreated on film, and that would be a shame. Still, if Scarlett Johanssen wanted to play Daisy and be willing to, y'know, do all that stuff, well, I might just fork out for a ticket ;-) More

Posted by David Somerset at 08:34 on 14 September 2009 | Report This Post

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