If you count Justice League as one incredibly lengthy, complicated, convoluted and troubled production that began when Zack Snyder first called action in April 2016 and ends on the day that the latest version of the movie arrives on HBO Max, then the DCEU’s all-star blockbuster will comfortably rank as the single most expensive feature film project in history.
The current record holder is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which set Disney back an eye-watering $379 million, but the fourth entry in the swashbuckling franchise at least managed to earn over $1 billion at the box office. Meanwhile, Justice League‘s first batch of extensive reshoots under the watchful eye of Warner Bros. drove the budget up to $300 million, and various reports have claimed that the Snyder Cut could add at least another $70 million onto that figure.
When you also factor in the massive marketing costs, which tallied $150 million in the buildup to Justice League‘s theatrical release and the heavy promotional push for the Snyder Cut that will aim to drive up HBO Max subscribers in a big way, then the studio have comfortably shelled out over half a billion dollars on something that has yet to earn a single penny of profit.
However, WarnerMedia and AT&T have such high hopes for the project that the media conglomerate are reportedly already planning a further two installments to turn Justice League into a trilogy. Tipster Mikey Sutton claims that should the HBO Max exclusive live up to expectations and bring in the sort of revenue the suits are expecting, further adventures will be ordered up that will adopt the same episodic format, allowing Snyder almost complete creative freedom to tell whatever stories he wants in the rapidly expanding DCEU sandbox.
Although I’m placing numbers on the Justice League follow-ups, they won’t be movies,” says Sutton. “They will have cinematic budgets, but they are going to give Snyder the hours to let the stories fully unfold. What HBO Max is looking for are superheroic Game of Thrones. Live-action graphic novels. When Snyder does continue Justice League, it will be in that format. It will give him space to develop Darkseid, bring Green Lantern into the team, allow him creative freedom. He can also push the edges without fearing a PG-13 will become an R, a no-no for mega superhero movies in theaters.
This certainly sounds like something the fans would go wild for, but only once the Snyder Cut of Justice League hits HBO Max and we see how it performs will we know if more adventures are in store.