Warner Bros. has hired Michael De Luca as a producer on their upcoming DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad 2. He joins Charles Roven, who remains the project’s lead producer.
All this comes as Warner Bros. has executive shake-ups, largely where the faltering DCEU is concerned. Recently Walter Hamada has become head of all DC Comics output at the studio, while Toby Emmerich is now the chairman. The CEO remains Kevin Tsujihara.
De Luca has previously worked on The Social Network, Moneyball and Fifty Shades of Grey. In terms of superhero films and comic book adaptations he can boast a role in Blade II, both Ghost Rider films and the 2011 adaptation of the Korean manhwa Priest.
While that list certainly includes successes, Warner Bros. arguably needs more than that to save its superhero franchise. The DCEU has proven divisive at best with both critics and audiences, often for its dour tone and convoluted plots. and while each film has made money, several—and especially its most recent entry, Justice League—performed far below studio hopes.
Suicide Squad was something of an exception on that front—despite starring relatively unknown characters and its very jumbled filmmaking, the film made $746.8 million against a $175 million budget. The hope with the sequel would be to replicate that success, but with the critical and audience affection of the franchise’s one unqualified success, Wonder Woman.