SDCC ’18: ‘STARGIRL’ Coming to DC Universe

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San Diego Comic-Con 2018

This Thursday’s DC Focus on Geoff Johns panel had Dan Didio questioning his friend Geoff Johns about his current projects.  After showing the teaser for the upcoming Titans television show, Johns revealed its newest spin-off show, Stargirl.  This will be the third spin-off from Titans, after Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing.

Geoff Johns is the former President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.  Recently, he stepped down to open Mad Ghost Productions and focus on writing and producing film and television.  Dan Didio, co-publisher of DC Comics, tried to draw out as much information as he could about John’s new show.

THE FOURTH SHOW

Johns began by saying, “One of the things I’m going to announce is the fourth show.  Right now.  It’s a show I’m writing and producing.  It’s the first thing I’m doing, I guess, completely with my company, Mad Ghost, and it’s a character very dear to me. It’s a doorway to a superhero team that’s very dear to me.  It’s the first character I ever created.  And it’s the superhero team I wrote for nine years.”

CREATING STARGIRL

Then the screen behind Johns showed promotional art for the new Stargirl series that will be on DC’s digital service.  After the audience’s applause, he continued with, “I’m super excited about this. You know, I got into comics– 1996, my sister passed away in a plane crash. And I met some people who are editors at DC comics in 1998. And they asked me to pitch them something. The first thing I did was pitch them Stargirl, which is based on my sister.”

“The character is very positive, fun and optimistic, just like the show. The show is about Courtney Whitmore, who’s his mom gets remarried to a guy named Pat Dugan and move to the small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska. And she discovers that her new stepfather used to be a sidekick to a superhero who’s a member of the Justice Society.  She decides to take his partner’s old stuff and go for a joyride. And she becomes a Stargirl.”

“It’s all about her bringing back the legacy of the Justice Society. So, it would be all of the Justice Society characters too. So, I’m really super excited about it.  The tone is very different than the other shows. […] It’s the Flash to Titans’ Arrow, I guess.”

STARGIRL’S TONE

Didio jumped on the mention of tone, comparing it to the other shows on DC’s digital service.  Asking him to elaborate, Johns said, “This is PG-13.  There will be some language, but they’re kids. I’m doing it with– executive producing with me are Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter who I’ve worked with on tons of other stuff. Flash. Titans. And I’m excited to work with again.”

PRODUCING VS WRITING COMICS

Next, Dan Didio asked how Johns’ work has changed.  From creating a comic book to producing a show and being involved in every aspect of the production.  Johns replied, “It’s more involved.  It’s much more involved and detail oriented.  You know my comfort, how I get crazy on Doomsday Clock or whatever, because it’s me and the artist. It’ll be the same thing now that I’m fully writing and producing. Stargirl is a great example.  We talk about it.  We’ve already talked about how she’s going to fight, what the Cosmic Staff does. The other JC members, and costume designers and everything else. So, it’s a pretty big undertaking because they’re creating a whole brand-new world.  I love doing that with artists I’ve worked with, and now we’re doing it with a lot of other people involved. Other creative people. Brilliant creative people that we work with.”

Then Didio asked Johns if there is a difference in how he approaches writing comic versus television.  Johns said, “Well, totally. It’s kind of the same. DNA is the same. But with the time there’s many more layers to dive into the story and there’s more time to be had with characters. And you get deeper into all the characters. So, there are similarities and then there’s a lot of differences.”

“Sometimes comics are actually more difficult to write because you have a page count and you can’t do everything you want.  Every month, I’m fighting on Doomsday Clock, the page count.  But there’s no budget, right? Thankfully on these, on the DC Universe, they’ve given us great budgets to work with.  Really, really happy to make these shows and great people to work with.  Warner Bros television has been awesome. And the whole DC Universe crew, I’ve known for years.”

JOHNS CHANGES JOBS

Talking about moving from a writer to a producer Johns said, “I love spending my time telling stories. You know how much I love these characters. We’ve talked about this a lot. And I really loved my time at DC at a desk. So, I say, at a desk. That I was often not at.  But, with an opportunity like this with Stargirl, it’s so personal to me. And to be able to create, run my own show and work with the people I’ve already worked with and love working with. This is the kind of opportunity that I couldn’t have had if I’d stayed in that role.”

“Thankfully, Jim Lee’s stepped in and I think he’s amazing. I get to work with Jim on this now, and I get to pitch to him [laughs].  Which is fun. It’s weird because it’s– I think it’s less different for me than– like I said, it’s like fifty percent of my days are the same.” Brian Elliott Womens Jersey

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