Speculation about studio interference and changes brought on by Joss Whedon have been running rampant ever since Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice released to a middling critical reception. But a new report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that Justice League is primed for success due to the changes made.
The report states that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara made the mandate that the film be under two hours in runtime, making it the shortest DC Films movie to date, mentioning Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy having a similar length.
Justice League's lighter tone was also discussed in the report, saying that it was present in Snyder's assembly cut of the film and was made more consistent with Whedon's reshoots added to the finished version.
With those reshoots, the gross budget for Justice League went up to around $300 million, which is more than the $250 million for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but under the $316 million for Avengers: Age of Ultron.
We've already seen reports that DC Films' future plans are in flux based on the success and reception of Justice League. While there are many plans in place for movies based on various characters in the DC Universe, the narrative arc for the Justice League characters won't be taking the Marvel Studios route as originally planned.
So while movies like Suicide Squad 2 and Wonder Woman 2 will continue to exist in the same universe, their creative direction will be driven by the filmmakers. And then they'll also expand in creative directions unshackled by the shared cinematic universe, such as their plans for an 'Elseworlds'-style label for the Joker origin movie.
All in all, where as early rumors indicated that Warner Bros. execs were all 'doom and gloom' with regards to Justice League, the film's early response and the changes made during production indicate the studio is confident the movie will be successful.
Justice League premieres in theaters November 17.
(h/t Heroic Hollywood)