This month, Justice League made its way into theaters, and fans of the DC Extended Universe were dismayed to see the film get mixed reviews. The long-awaited movie was meant to be an undeniable success for Warner Bros. but die-hards fans have done little else but question what went down behind-the-scenes with the project. Now, a new report from The Wrap is breaking down what sources have said about Justice League and its "Frankenstein" debut.
Not long ago, Umberto Gonzalez and Tim Molloy posted an in-depth exposé about Justice League. The film, which had the lowest opening of DC Entertainment’s most recent movies, can apparently pinpoint its lackluster reception to a few key factors.
According to The Wrap, members of Warner Bros. did approach the studio’s president Greg Silverman about removing director Zack Snyder from Justice League. The call came after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was met with critical backlash and a fierce box office drop after its promising opening. The site’s source says DC President Jon Berg was ultimately sent to oversee Justice League for almost a year after budget concerns made higher-ups antsy.
The report goes on to say Silverman was “quite harsh” to Snyder about Batman v Superman’s flop, but he was given another go at Justice League.
“They were already in deep prep on ‘Justice League’ and it would have cost a fortune. There’s stickiness to a director because there’s so much cost to unstick him,” the insider explained. “Warners is a studio that almost to a fault always wants to project strength.”
As work continued on Justice League, Warner Bros. is said to have stood by its original premiere date once reports went live about the company merging with AT&T. To move the release of such a film would have been viewed as a weakness, and Justice League had a lot to prove to audiences and business insiders. Joss Whedon was then brought in to give the movie more levity under Snyder’s blessing, but things took a turn when tragedy struck the director. Snyder’s daughter died following a suicide attempt, and he ultimately chose to leave the project to focus on his loved ones as in-studio pressure continued to mount on Justice League.
"It stopped being a good situation on any level,” The Wrap's source described.
With Justice League now in the hands of Whedon, post-production and re-shoots on the film were quickly scheduled to get things in order. The Wrap’s source went so far as to say Warner Bros. executives Toby Emmerich and Kevin Tsujihara didn’t wish to push the movie’s release date as it might have risked their annual bonuses. The time-crunch ultimately forced the film together loosely, and its re-shoots even forced Superman's Henry Cavill to have his mustache digitally removed in post.0comments
So far, it seems Warner Bros. has declined to comment on The Wrap’s piece nor were statements given by any executives.
The sting of Justice League is still one fans feel keenly, and they continue hurting over its messy construction for years to come. Films like Wonder Woman have shown audiences what it looks like when Warner Bros. does its DC movies justice, and the DCEU will strive to follow after director Patty Jenkin’s example. Matt Reeves is currently signed on to oversee The Batman while James Wan finished Aquaman this year. Jenkins herself will return for Wonder Woman’s sequel, and Shazam entered pre-production with David F. Sandberg on its side. Fans are putting their faith in these directors to steer the DCEU in the right direction and not stumble over the pitfalls which derailed Justice League.