Despite earning $658 million worldwide, Warner Bros.’ DC superhero ensemble Justice League proved to be a major bust for the studio – one that led to a major shake-up and DC Films and a rethinking of the entire DC movie strategy.
Now, you may be asking yourself how a movie with box office receipts of $658 million can be described as a “major bust”, but – if some comments from former DC comic book artist Ethan Van Sciver are accurate – it may have something to do with Warner Bros. having pumped $650 million into the production.
“The Justice League movie was a catastrophic disaster for Warner Bros and for DC, for the DCEU,” claims Van Sciver (via CBM). “What happened was, it was underway with a $350 million budget under Zack Snyder…Decisions were made to have Joss Whedon come in and finish the movie. Joss Whedon didn’t like what he saw, apparently, and asked for close to $300 million from what I’ve heard. If you have better information about this, let me known, but he basically asked for an enormous, almost equal to the original production budget to reshoot and to finish Justice League.”
Van Sciver then went on to discuss the fallout following Justice League’s release, adding: “You have to imagine what spending close to $700 million on a movie and losing hundreds of millions of dollars on a movie can do to people, can do to their jobs. Shortly after, Diane Nelson took a break. Diane never came back. She announced she was staying gone. Geoff Johns, I think, also took some of the blame for the Justice League movie, and he lost his position there. Others at DC have who were involved with the Justice League movie also lost their jobs, lost their positions. The effects are still rippling.”
Now, $650 million might sound like a ridiculous figure, and it may very well be completely wide of the mark. Officially, the biggest-budgeted movie of all time is Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides on $379 million, although it was rumoured on several occasions last year that Marvel Studios was pumping $500 million apiece into Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, while we heard rumblings from one of our sources in the build up to the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice that WB had actually spent around $500 million on that movie, despite a reported budget of $263 million.
Now, we weren’t able to verify that number on the budget for Batman v Superman and so never reported it at the time, but the other info we received from the same source did prove accurate. So, considering the fact that Justice League underwent a lot more in the way of reshoots than BvS, perhaps a figure of $650 million isn’t too unbelievable after all.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League reunites Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta and Robin Wright as General Antiope alongside J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) as Commissioner Gordon, Amber Heard (The Danish Girl) as Mera and Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones) as Steppenwolf.