By the time the Snyder Cut of Justice League finally arrives on HBO Max next year, it could very well be the single most expensive movie ever made, which admittedly doesn’t come as a surprise when you’re talking about two completely different versions of the same mega-budget comic book blockbuster.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the current record holder, with the fourth installment of the swashbuckling franchise costing an insane $410.6 million to produce, although some fortunate tax breaks brought that figure down to a still-insane $378.5 million. After Joss Whedon replaced Snyder at the helm of Justice League and re-shot almost the entire movie under strict orders from the studio though, the DCEU’s all-star outing ended up seeing the budget balloon to at least $300 million.
Only six movies have ever run up budgets of at least $300 million, and three of those starred the Avengers, which puts Justice League in some rare company. And while the Snyder Cut was initially said to come armed with a $30 million budget, recent reports have indicated that it could turn out to be at least twice as much.
Warner Bros. are spending an awful lot of money on two cuts of a movie that still hasn’t turned a single penny in profit, but it turns out that the studio will be saving a fair chunk of change on Snyder’s directorial fee, with the filmmaker revealing that he isn’t getting paid a single penny for finally getting the chance to put the finishing touches to his original vision for Justice League.
“It’s exciting to get this chance and I wouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and I love working on it and I’d do it for free. And I am.”
While the more cynical among us would think that one of the conditions of making the Snyder Cut a reality is that Warner Bros. wouldn’t be topping up the fee he received the first time around, this only goes to show how much of a passion project Justice League has always been for the director, and he’s more than happy to forego a salary just to give both himself and the fans peace of mind by getting the movie out there to be seen as it was originally intended.