Warner Bros is the flag ship to DC Comics and the DC Cinematic Universe as many of you know. The field has been split in terms of people’s reactions and feelings on EVERY DC property that has been released since Man of Steel.

With the past films coming out and getting the love hate they have been getting it is no surpise that some are getting truly upset. The following is an open letter to Warner Brothers Exec. from a former employee hoping that Warner Bros. will one day return to the great company it once was.

An Open Letter To Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara About Layoffs, Zack Snyder, and Donuts

When I left my screening of Suicide Squad last week, I was angry. I was annoyed and let down and frustrated as well, but mostly I was just angry.

Look, I’m a big dork. So of course I thought this trainwreck of a movie did a major disservice to the characters, concept, cast, and crew, but that wasn’t why I was mad. Yes, it is unfathomable to me that Warner Bros could mess up a movie starring Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and The Joker so completely. But that just had me flummoxed.

I was angry because I couldn’t stop thinking about you, Kevin Tsujihara.

A lot of fans might be angry (and rightfully so) because you keep completely whiffing at properties that they are desperate to love and enjoy, but this is a little more personal for me. See, I am a former Warner Bros employee. I have so much respect for your studio. I love every square inch of that magical backlot, from Stars Hollow to the fitness center I always meant to use. The people I worked with during my time with your company are now close friends. On my last day, I hugged them and I told them I loved them.

I was also there in 2014, when you made the decision to lay off 10 percent of your workforce. It was a terrible year. Let me catch you up: Every morning I woke up with a pit in my stomach, because I assumed that would be the day I lost my job. Every day I saw someone packing up their desk, or carrying a box to their car. I can not describe to you the relief I felt when my department was told we were safe, or the guilt I felt afterwards walking through the halls of my office with that relief.

But out of all that, the thing that really sticks with me is the memo you sent to all of us. Let me refresh you on my favorite part:

I wanted you to hear directly from me about our plans for the studio. In recent days, we have started to hear rumors here at the company and to read misinformation in the press, so I’d like to set the record straight. I know that the hard work and dedication of every employee around the world is the key to Warner Bros.’ success, and I am sorry for the distraction this situation brings to the workplace.

At Warner Bros., we work with the world’s most extraordinary storytellers, and our focus has always been to provide the creative environment and financial resources they need to realize their vision. Our commitment to that won’t change. In fact, we’re investing more than ever in our film and television productions.

This is how you opened a memo about layoffs. “Hey guys, we work hard for the people telling stories here and we want to make sure those visions are realized.” The balls on you.

That year we pursued the storytelling vision of Adam Sandler’s Blended and Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys. Failures. We pursued a potentially great summer movie like Edge of Tomorrow and completely botched its release. Same with Man From UNCLE. We dug in our heels and hoped The Hobbit Trilogy would somehow stop being a mediocre case of diminishing returns. Talented, loyal people packed their boxes and went home while your story tellers dropped the ball.

One could argue that this was not your fault. That you inherited former CEO Barry Meyer’s agenda and were merely trying to correct the course of an ocean liner heading for an iceberg.

I would not make this argument. And here’s why: I wrote this letter last year. I actually started forming it in my head after Man of Steel was a box office failure instead of the modern classic tentpole you were expecting.

I kept holding off on doing anything with it because of one title: Suicide Squad. Zack Snyder’s Dawn of Justice was a fiasco, but here comes this plucky little dark adventure about antiheroes. I love David Ayer. I love Harley Quinn. I love Will Smith. Put the letter in a drawer. The ship isn’t sinking anymore. Everything is fine. There’s no way this movie is bad.

And here we are. I got back from my screening and dusted this sucker off. You, your executive team, and the vision of your ‘extraordinary storytellers’ that resulted in the loss of around one thousand jobs seem intent on crashing the ship into as much shit as you can find in the ocean by making inane decisions over and over again.

Zack Snyder is not delivering. Is he being punished? Assistants who were doing fantastic work certainly were. People in finance and in marketing and in IT. They had no say in a movie calledBatman V Superman only having 8 minutes of Batman fighting Superman in it, that ends because their moms have the same name. Snyder is a producer on every DC movie. He is still directing Justice League. He is being rewarded with more opportunity to get more people laid off. I’m assuming you yourself haven’t been financially affected in any real way. You and your studio are the biggest lesson about life one can learn: The top screws up and the bottom suffers. Peter Jackson phones it in and a marketing supervisor has to figure out a plan B for house payments.

Your uneven Hall H presentation at Comic Con this year was a ridiculous mess that ranged from rushed to boring. When Marvel announced their full slate of films with a fun fan event several years ago, you announced yours on a shareholder conference call.

You just don’t get it. And it’s not just DC movies, it’s your whole slate. Jupiter Ascending. Get Hard. Hot Pursuit. Max. Vacation. Pan. Point Break. Fucking PAN, you jerk. People lost their jobs and you decided Pan was a good idea. You think another Jungle Book is a good idea.

What are you even doing? I wish to God you were forced to live out of a car until you made a #1 movie of the year. Maybe Wonder Woman wouldn’t be such a mess. Don’t try to hide behind the great trailer. People inside are already confirming it’s another mess. It is almost impressive how you keep rewarding the same producers and executives for making the same mistakes, over and over.

If I worked at a donut stand, and I kept fucking up donuts, I’d be fired. Even if I made a tiny decent one every now and then, it doesn’t matter. I’m gonna get fired.

I love that studio, and you’re allowing it to sink. It’s not about making movies for ‘the fans’ and not ‘the critics.’ It’s not even about ‘ruining childhoods.’ It’s about protecting livelihoods.

It’s time to wake up and make the fucking donuts, Kevin.

ABOUT >> Rich Cassidy
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  • BIO >> Rich Cassidy is the CEO and Co-Owner of Aggressive Comix. Aggressive was originally created back in 1997 with his best friend and co-owner Dom Davis (Vice President) between the two of them their levels of geek knowledge is unparalleled. When others were worrying about getting laid Rich was worried about how he would escape the locker he was stuffed into.
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65 thoughts on “Open Letter to Warner Bros Executives Hits Hard

  1. As a DC Fanboy, I, with all my heart, approve of this letter. The DCCU is quickly sinking and it’ll be years before someone else comes along to reboot it and MAYBE give us a good movie. However, I’m still remaining optimistic about Affleck’s solo Batman flick. Son of a bitch knows how to make a movie.

  2. The directors have also been getting the short end of the stick from the studios. Jackson was pissed as hell he was forced to extend a 2 part movie into 3. Snyder had demands forced in halfway thru BvS to shoehorn the JL in. Ayer was made to do reshoots.

    The problem is murky because we don’t know if these directors f-ed it, or if they too were f-ed by the studios.

    1. I agree 100% with you. I have seen the BvS ultimate edition and it was so much better and it still was not Snyder’s preferred 4 hour version. This makes me believe he got screwed by the studio and their horrible editing. It’s obvious that the same thing happened with Suicide Squad. 30 mins of joker scenes alone were cut at the last minute. It was supposed to be dark and scary not cheesy.

  3. The anger of the fans from the whole world are with you, hope this letter gets the asses that deserve to be kicked

  4. Thanks for doing this hopefully things get turned around so the new DC universe does not meet a demise like it has in the past

  5. I liked both Superman movies Zack Snyder made, and Watchmen, haven’t seen Suicide Squad yet. But you made better movies? Rarely does a movie based on a novel or comic book please all its audience. I liked them, you didn’t. And that’s somehow abnormal? Go write a better comic book and get it made into a movie and we’ll see how many people like it.

  6. Disagree about BVS. Snyder had a creative vision that worked and it is fully realized in the Ultimate Edition. How bad could the movie or Snyder be when everyone agrees they loved Batman and Wonder Woman in it, two major roles cast and appearances created by scratch from Snyder? Suicide Squad is a mess though, based seemingly on valuing audience testing, who didn’t like the Joker being “mean” to Harley, over the director’s vision. If that rule had been applied to BVS, the movie would’ve surely been very bad.

  7. I wish a letter like this addressed to Kevin Tsujihara is taken to heart and not given a “meh..” response.
    CEO’s/suits all have their “golden parachutes” and surrounded by yes men/woman and truly don’t give a flying f#%k what the minions do or say. Truly sad situation…

  8. The JL trailer looked kinda good, but did anyone else feel like the Flash is the result of seeing how Spidey was handled in Civil War? “Hey, let’s do a hero worshipping teenager too!”

  9. Unfortunately I’m a bit older and am not as into these types of films as most who care about DC films. But I live in metro detroit and do some extra and back ground work on the films being made here. I was a reporter for Gotham City in the BvS film. I never bothered to even see the film because every person I asked who’d seen it said “don’t waste your time”. Then they would inevitably start telling me how DC is fucking up everything they touch. To make a long response less long, I love when a fucking duche bag at the top gets called out. As you said, I’m sure his bank account hasn’t suffered one bit. All we can hope is that as many people as possible are made aware of your article and that he will be shunned in public like Buttercup in her dream sequence in The Princess Bride.

  10. WB had a huge headstart with the DC Animated Universe, Smallville, hell, the CW should just rebrand again to just become the DCNetwork with Arrow, Flash and now Supergirl going there in the fall. But they saw what Marvel was doing and gave us Jonah Hex, Green Lantern and Superman Returns. They bit off more than they could chew by announcing their own Cinematic Universe. Didn’t they learn from Catwoman, Constantine, or Steel? Why would they? From the get go of the modern blockbuster in the 70’s they gave us Superman, but kept seeing dollar signs and didn’t care what to put out and gave Superman 2; Tim Burton brought Batman to the new standard, but then gave us Batman & Robin. I admit, I did enjoy Man of Steel, Watchmen and Vista for Vendetta, but Batman Vs. Superman could have been so much better. And Suicide Squad was, for me, very uneven to enjoy fully.

  11. Get your act together DC. The people who dress as the CW’s Green Arrow, or Black Canary or The Flash at cons are your audience! They love the CW shows and MCU for the same reason, well told stories that captive and inspire, not flashy, expensive GGI or movie star power. Make films with good stories, with talented actors, and things will change.

  12. Totally agree with you! In addition, not only is the Wonder Woman movie gonna suck, she needs to also be re-cast. Who wants someone that looks more like Olive Oyl prancing around and making poses in a WW costume? We all want a strong feminine Wonder Woman with intensity, strength, presence and amazing acting chops! Cast the real Wonder Woman as the present one is s%#t.

  13. Love the passion in this letter. DC is iconic of a franchise to produce movie as lazy as it has someone needed to speak up. Demote or FIRE ZACK SYNDER

  14. Rich – great stuff. Words from the bottom of your heart…. But WHY are these movies such a mess? What is / isn’t being done behind the scenes to make these multi-million pound failures? Story-tellers just not good enough? Poor scripts…what? I only ask because I’m (trying) to bring my own film to the big screen. Your comments REALLY would help me achieve this please. Many thanks in advance, Dave ROGERS, England.

  15. Bravo. Well put. I’ve had better ideas sat on the toilet thinking about the concepts upon hearing news of the releases than they ended up doing. Seriously. We need more new stories and storytellers to breathe life and substance back in to ensure those jobs are secure instead of “splaying it safe” with reboots and weak movies. I’m writing a comic I hoped would hit the big screen one day and it seems that screen may not even exist by that time smh.

  16. Sad, and all true. I’ve been a DC fan all my life, but between the horrible comics they now produce, to these terrible films, I’ve learned to stop supporting DC/Warner Brothers with my time or money. I’m really sad about that, but they have to wake up and make changes at the top.

  17. FINALLY someone with some gusto who has the balls to speak up. I salute you for writing this, I only wish I’d done the same thing when I voluntarily climbed into a lifeboat getting off the MGM Titanic in 2007. I salute you for your honestly, your guts and for simply telling it like it is.

  18. As a person who has been directed by Ayer, (and having his scene cut…not here or there really), I can only shake my head at this film. Everything was there. Ayer is fun, excitable and infectious when he is directing. I know he genuinely cares for the content he is working on, so I can only assume he was railroaded in this venture. I worked for him onot Sabotage, which was an armpit of a movie, but a movie that when shooting it, was looking to be awesome.

    I can only think that Suicide Squad was reset on demand from the studio and then given over to the ridiculous editing team and chopped up in to the mess we have now. Somewhere in that mess…is an awesome film. 30 more minutes and an R rating might have done that film good. I don’t know.

    This letter though, is great. Sadly it isn’t always the director making the bad play. It might just be the running back who jokes left, instead of right, and the ball end up on the cutting room floor.

  19. As a young filmmaker and as a filmgoer I totally agree with this letter. Making movies (any type of movie) is about connecting with it’s audience, it’s about the great story and now a days this type of films are only concentrated on substance and not it’s essence. I’m pissed that good movies are hard to find at theaters anymore. The bad movies earn bug bucks and good movies struggle to reach the public because of maniacs like this CEO’s… And why? Because they are just businessmen… They don’t care about the story… Just the big bucks… They don’t care about their studio family, about their products quality on the inside, it has to look pretty, a la michael bay… Empty and rotten on the inside.

    If I know something is that I rather die before making a shitty film, “it’s not about money… It’s about sending a message”… Get it?

  20. I’m sorry to be the voice of opposition noting that I am not a necessarily a marvel movie fan…but from the comic book era DC certainly has much better stories. It just seems like everyone is on the band wagon. In my mind Marvel have made fun family good feel movies. Why should DC be the same?..they have always been about adult type material – darker characters both heroes an villains. Does no one think this is just a little to convenient for Marvel…is it not plausible they maybe been influencing individuals to write stories against their competitor.

    Don’t forget that it wasn’t too long a go that DC were the only ones that had any decent comic heroes and Marvel were struggling (X-men, minus 1st Class, and Toby Maguire’s Spiderman leave a lot to be desired yet they appear to have been received well).

    By the way I think Ayer is a mediocre director – as most screenwriters end up being – with the exception of a few (Oliver Stone being one)

  21. I thought the movie as well done, listen all movies is considered a forum of interpreted art. With that being said the movie was well done. Well all know sometime Warner bro come with a bad comic movie, but hey that part of that world. I still feel that William smith is horrible actor but in movie he’s a star.

  22. So well written and true. SS left me wondering if the creative minds were going for an Ozzie and Harriet feel? WB is a super studio, but of late I’m feeling like your creative gears need more oiling, and I know you can do it.

  23. You know what? Batman vs superman was a good film if you get your head out of your butt about “canon” and judge it on its own merits. So it doesn’t match your comic book idea. Boo hoo. That what movies have to do: tell us a story. Get over it.

  24. I liked Man of Steel, Dawn of Justice, and the Hobbit trilogy. I’ve been a fan of all of these properties since I was a kid in elementary school back in the eighties. I watched all four of Christopher Reeves movies religiously and enjoyed Superman Returns. I didn’t know if I would like Man of Steel when it first came out, but my opinion quickly changed from it being a decent Superman movie to just a great movie period. It’s one of my all time favorites now. The same with Dawn of Justice. I thought it was faithful to its source material which happened to be dark and dramatic itself. The Hobbit was a good series of films. Were they the book exactly? No, but they didn’t have to be. I agree that the studio execs need to start taking their heads out of their hind ends, but dumping all of it on Zach Snyder isn’t fair. I haven’t seen Suicide Squad, though I’ve heard it didn’t deliver on the promises of its trailer because of Studio exec decisions. From what I have seen over the last thirty plus years of movie watching, the best movies and adaptations are those the Studio execs keep their hands off of and those which the authors or creators of the original material are directly involved in. I think what is really going on has a lot more to do with the American critics and the weight fans give their “opinions”. A case in point was Warcraft, a movie that was largely made as a huge love letter to the fans of the games and books. The critics in the US pounded it and it tanked in its own home country, but it made more money in China than Star Wars VII. The difference? They released it in China first before the US critics had a chance to rip it apart. The problem is that US critics are often not fans of video game or comic book source material. Those that understand the source material gave Warcraft decent reviews and ratings, but the more influential ones did not because they tend to look down on such things. Fans didn’t want to be disappointed so they didn’t take the risk of seeing something they loved done badly. Warcraft was an amazing movie in my opinion, and those fans that took the time to see it agreed. This kind of source material has the potential to shoot itself in the foot if those that treasure it get even the whiff of a bad report of its big screen translation. I thought Dawn of Justice was oscar worthy in its acting and storytelling. The problem is that those that make those kinds of decisions just don’t get the material, and those that do pay too much attention to them.

  25. I actually think Snyder does great movies. The bad things I can point out is how critics are influencing the DCU to become similar to Marvel movies, with more jokes and siliness (I’m looking at you, Justice League trailer) where it doesn’t belong.

    Suicide Squad sucked big time, by the way. Shitty plot, cliché deepless villains, poor executtion and even the artistic efforts were bad, except for the shots inspired from comics. Seriously, what the actual fuck was wrong with the concept art directors and the director himself?

  26. While I think Batman V Superman got some unneeded hate, I believe there is no excuse for writing bad stories, plot, and dialogue that doesn’t exist within the world of the story. There are many skilled storytellers that aren’t in the industry who would kill for s chance to direct for any studio, let alone Warner Bros. Give some new storytellers a chance, please.

  27. Geez, Rich, you don’t sound like much of a DC Fanboy. You sound more like a keyboard cowboy who probably didn’t even see any of the film’s you bash.

  28. This is the part of story telling which we movie goers never hear about! A brave and bold attempt. Fortunately you are not on their payroll anymore pal! Go crazy! Loved the article…. Wish this has the desired attention it deserves.

  29. This is bang on, as much as I enjoyed Man of steel, BvS and SS. They could of been WAY better, and not punishing those who are making the bad movies is a little like digging your own grave. I hope to hell WB actually does something after reading this letter. And if not, then they deserve to sink.

  30. I think WB should look what Pixar makes different in their work. Pixar could take a phonebook and makea great filmplot out of it. I’m sure there are great storytellers at WB but like so often they aren’t be allowed to do their work properly when the money guys are speaking.

  31. WOOOOO.. BRA-FUCKING-VO. So im not just an asshole nerdrage filled fan. Having the vindication of this opinion from a man inside feels pretty good. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  32. You cannot wait to complain about layoffs until it hits your industry. You should have been out there w/ the high tech workers, building trades and all others who have lost their jobs to the “Bottom Line”

  33. You cannot wait until layoffs hit your industry to complain. You should have been supporting the high tech and building trades who have lost jobs to the “Bottom Line”

  34. This is such a great but of writing. BIf you want to properly cite the origin of this open letter (which you should), it was originally written and posted on pajiba.com by Gracie Law. I’ve been following that site for more than a decade since I was in college

  35. Except. Except except except. These movies — Man of Steel, BvS, SS — apparently, they make their money. Domestic, international, streaming, merchandising, co-op… they make their money. OR THEY WOULDN’T KEEP MAKING THEM. It’s a shame that they’re not better films, but that is not necessarily a deciding factor when it comes to franchise exploitation.

  36. Those guys are like Hillary Clinton suoporters. They either don’t believe how bad the shit was or they just don’t care.

  37. I’m sharing this because I paid to see this movie I love twice in the theater a man named Jared Leto gave his everything to have the pleasure of entertaining us fans as the Mr. j or the Joker and even he will live in a world wondering why we never got to see more then 10% of what he gave.

  38. The Warner Bros. open letter,
    first off I do love Warner Bros. for what that they can bring to the audience. Coming out from Warner Bros. last year Mad Max Fury Road, Creed, Black Mass. Great films! Yes 2015 had a rough year for movies, not just Warner brothers but for all studios. And I really do think this year set all the studios on what they didn’t have last year. Paramont and bad robot 10 Cloverfield lane, 20th Century Fox Deadpool, marvel studios Captain America Civil war. Disney Studios jungle book, and to be honest I really do think that Warner Bros. is having a really good year so far, we’ve got conjuring two, The nice guys, lights out, midnight special. And more promising films that are coming out for the Oscar season, fantastic beasts the word to find them?(Harry potter spinoff), Clint Eastwood “sully”, The accountant, and more to come. Just to be honest, I know how people feel when I get laid off and especially from an angry rant letter from a guy that just got laid off and I don’t blame them for that. Economically I do believe that Warner brothers is in trouble, and the CEO doesn’t give a fuck. For what’s making good profits for Warner Bros. from the box office was and is Batman V. Superman and suicide squad, for a fact both films have problems … in a way, but I did enjoyed them. For Zack Snyder directors cut of Batman V. Superman, really good. David Ayers’ Suicide squad is a fun summer blockbuster film, I don’t have that come to me A LOT! And for David Ayer saying that this is my vision, I’m happy with my Product. That to me takes a lot of balls. It would’ve gotten great reviews if he would of kept his mouth shut by saying “Fuck Marvel”. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of DC comics, but cinematic universes, I like both. To be fare, it’s not just Warner brothers, its all of Hollywood in general.

    How you like them donuts!!

    1. we have a glitch in our Website. It is showing all the comments coming from the Author of the article. We are working to correct this bug.

  39. Wow… Great points….. Heck, I’d love to write a few movies for the DCU they need something fresh…. No…. They need order to their chaos something to pull it together.

  40. I agree with this letter watching some great movies sink into an abyss due to lousy writing and lack some cohesiveness from the original story lines

  41. Best article I have read about what’s going on in the comic book world being adapted for the big screen. I have been saying this forever but never could fathom what someone on the inside saw. Kudos to you on letting it out because honestly something has to change. Thank you because this was amazing and hopefully more people feel the same way. If I ever had a chance to tell the stories it would be true to the we as comic lovers wanted to hear a story. One day… One day…

  42. O yeah. (Y)

    If only those “extraordinary storytellers” would learn to read and dream again, they would find a phelora of stories and ideas again, instead making bland remakes.

    See, if I would feed people only buttered bread, then those people only would know buttered bread as food.
    Of course they would want buttered bread when they are hungry, and statistics would point out that the people surely buy and enjoy buttered bread.

    The case – I feel – is the same with those uninspired film, for uninspired (I really mean bland and stupid) people.
    They hasn’t got the chance to taste chicken beef or rice. They hasn’t got the chance to even get a chance to see an original story.

    See the free film-makers on youtube for example.
    They haven’t got so much resources, equipment, and logistics – but they begin to make better films as good as we not-so-bland people not only ignore the advertisemebt-infested television, but begin to ignore movies too.
    Little moviemaker groups have just only one great advantage – they do not have a big dinosaur of gray management persons who wants to be _sure_ that a dream is a financial success.
    A story which do not offends anyone, and enjoyable for everyone is bland.

    A little youtube flick is the most we are interested what happens when Batman is versus Superman, but not a full-length movie.

    Just today we talked about that we should get all the producers to a basement, and they only get food when they read a book. 😉