For better or worse, Justice League‘s prolonged spell in development will be talked about for years to come.
And with November 17th inching closer, The Wall Street Journal (via Collider) has comprised a new report that highlights all of those production woes – the director changeover, the “significant” reshoots – and how they caused the film’s budget to balloon past $300 million.
Initially, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were brought on board to course-correct the DC Extended Universe, and their first port of call was to work closely with both Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio (Star Wars: Episode IX) to lighten Justice League‘s tone. According to TWSJ, the Powers That Be “felt he had made progress with the lighter elements,” but decided that there was still room for improvement. Enter Joss Whedon.
Soon after Zack Snyder vacated the director’s chair in order to tend to a personal tragedy, Whedon was placed in control of the DC mega-movie, and began shooting “significant” reshoots that caused the gross budget to soar past $300 million. That’s a lot higher than Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ($250 million), and just shy of Avengers: Age of Ultron ($316 million, give or take). Gross budgets are slightly different than net budgets in that Warner Bros. likely sought tax incentives to mitigate Justice League‘s overheads, but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.
However, perhaps the most fascinating revelation here is the executive decision made by Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who reportedly pushed to keep the movie under the two-hour mark. That would certainly explain why Justice League‘s final runtime clocked in at 1 hour and 59 minutes, as this mandate of sorts would have forced Whedon and Snyder to considerably trim the fat from their DC tentpole. It also raises the question: will we see an extended cut of Justice League release at some point in the future? Time will tell.