Jim Lee Becomes CCO of DC Comics as Geoff Johns Quits, Starts Mad Ghost Productions

The Hollywood Reporter has scooped the news that DC President and chief creative officer Geoff Johns is quitting those positions for a writer-producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC.

He is launching Mad Ghost Productions to work on films, television, and comic books, and have his hand in current DC properties as well as new and reimagined creations.

Jim Lee will become chief creative officer position, alongside co-publisher with Dan DiDio.

This follows Diane Nelson's official resignation as DC President after taking a leave of absence. Johns had been restricted in the amount of comic book titles he was allowed to write by Nelson, eventually restricting himself to the bi-monthly Doomsday Clock and the irregular Earth One Batman series, both with Gary Frank.

Johns was one of the principal figures behind the DC Rebirth project but had stepped away of late. Looks like it's time to write some more comic books… including the DC Comics label The Killing Zone focusing on lesser-known DC character, a new Shazam comic, and The Three Jokers with Jason Fabok.

He will be working on a new Green Lantern Corps movie as writer and producer, as well as writing and producing Wonder Woman 2 and co-writing and executive producing Aquaman.

And for TV, Johns co-developed and is executive producing and writing Titans for the upcoming DC Universe streaming service.

Jim Lee Becomes CCO of DC Comics as Geoff Johns Quits, Starts Mad Ghost Productions

Here's the full release:

Geoff Johns is launching Mad Ghost Productions and is entering into an exclusive writer/producer deal with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment to create content across multiple divisions of the Studio, including films, television and comic books, based on current DC properties as well as new and reimagined IP.  As part of this deal, he will segue from his executive post as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment to focus on creative matters full-time.  DC Entertainment Publisher Jim Lee will expand his role to include the Chief Creative Officer title and responsibilities, and will continue to act as Publisher together with Dan DiDio as they have since 2010.  These announcements were made today by Thomas Gewecke, Chief Digital Officer and Executive Vice President, Strategy and Business Development, who is serving as DC's interim head.

Under this new deal, one of Johns' first film projects will be Warner Bros. Pictures' "Green Lantern Corps," based on his New York Times bestselling series that saw an impressive nine-year run, spawning additional spin-off titles and comic book events.  Johns will write and be a producer on the film.  Additionally, he co-wrote and executive produced "Aquaman," which releases worldwide December 21, and is writing and executive producing the second installment of the "Wonder Woman" franchise with director Patty Jenkins, releasing in November 2019.  New Line's "Shazam!," slated for an April 2019 release, is based on his original graphic novel.

On the television side, Johns co-developed and is executive producer and writer on the first original series for the upcoming DC Universe digital service, "Titans," with Akiva Goldsman and Greg Berlanti.  Johns also wrote the "Titans" episode "Doom Patrol" that is spinning off into its own 13-episode original series for the digital service.  He is executive producing alongside Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jeremy Carver.  He has also been crucial in helping build the DC television empire and co-developed The CW's most successful superhero show, "The Flash."  Alongside Peter Roth and WBTV, he has helped launch over a dozen additional hit television series such as "Arrow," "Gotham," "iZombie," "Supergirl" and "Black Lightning," among others.

His publishing projects will include a new pop-up slate of comic books under the banner of "The Killing Zone" focusing on new and lesser known DC characters and titles. Johns will also be writing a Shazam! comic book series scheduled to be out in the fall.  In addition, he will continue to write the commercial and critical hit "Doomsday Clock," a comic book series illustrated by Gary Frank that collides the DC universe with the Watchmen universe, as well as the upcoming "Three Jokers," illustrated by Jason Fabok.

"Geoff is a super talented writer and truly embedded in the DC Universe and its characters," said Toby Emmerich, Chairman, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.  "We're thrilled that he's returning to his passion and his roots as a writer and producer.  And, it's even better that he's staying in our Warner Bros. family.  We look forward to working with him on 'Green Lantern' and other projects going forward."

"Geoff is one of DC Comics' most prolific writers, and we can't wait to see what he does next now that he will be dedicating 100 percent of his time to telling the best DC stories possible across all media," said DiDio and Lee.  "The new publishing projects we are working on together will be instant fan-favorites."

"I took on a role at DCE because I love the characters and this universe more than anything. But, I want to spend my days writing and on set.  I'm thrilled to get back to a more hands-on creative role.  It's a dream job on dream projects, reaching even deeper into DC's vast pantheon of characters," said Johns.  "I'm also excited to continue to work with the amazing team at DCE and my colleagues at Warner Bros."

As one of the most successful comic book writers of his time, Johns has built his career on re-inventing dormant characters to commercial and critical successes as seen with "Green Lantern," "Aquaman," "Teen Titans," "The Flash" and "Shazam!", among others. His gravitation toward lower-level characters with unexplored and untapped potential has led to Johns currently holding the No. 3 spot on the 100 most prolific DC comics writers list next to comic book legends Robert Kanigher and Gardner Fox.

Johns' impressive career history dates back to his beginning as an assistant to filmmaker Richard Donner. He established himself as a successful writer and rode the ranks to become President and CCO of DC Entertainment while simultaneously creating some of today's most popular film, television and comic series.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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