New York Magazine

The people behind the biggest superheroes wanted to build a universe. First, they had to relearn how to tell a simple story.

IT’S NOT CHAOS,” DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson assures me with a smile. “It’s intentional.” She sits in the restaurant of San Diego’s Marriott on the first morning of Comic-Con, clad in a faux-ratty, very expensive French T-shirt bearing the Batman logo. Her capos surround her at a lengthy table. The topic is one of the most discussed in contemporary Hollywood: what, exactly, DC’s movie strategy is.

DC Entertainment, the entity over which Nelson presides, was formed in 2009 as part of Warner Bros. with an eye toward expanding the DC comics brand, which includes such iconic long-underwear types as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. DC Entertainment’s story has been, in many ways, a successful one. In the comics field, it’s garnering critical acclaim and earning rising sales. DC’s video games are regarded as some of the best the medium has produced. On TV, DC shows like Arrow and The Flash have won impressive ratings and outpace similar fare from Marvel in audience enthusiasm.

But there’s a wrinkle, and it’s not a tiny one: the persistent perception that DC’s heroes can’t get it together at the multiplex. The company has had a string of big-screen stumbles. First came 2013’s Man of

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