Would you be terribly surprised if I told you Justice League might be in trouble? No? Me neither. The latest warning sign comes in the form of reshoots—lots and lots of reshoots. Like, multiple rounds of reshoots, enough to be “remade…twice”. Oh boy. I bet Ben Affleck is super excited.
Of course, everyone is pointing to Rogue One as proof that extensive reshoots don’t spell doom, but Rogue One still has visible story/character problems resulting from those reshoots. It’s not a terrible movie, but there’s no doubt that reshoots left scars on the final product. And yes, reshoots are normal, especially for blockbusters, but not this much. Can we all stop pretending like reshooting half the movie is normal? It’s not. Reshooting a couple scenes, maybe an action sequence where something didn’t quite work on the day—that’s normal. Reshooting an entire act? Or reshooting half your movie then going back to reshoot EVEN MORE? No. Not normal. A problem, in fact.
Sure, you can pull out something decent, like Rogue One. But Warner Bros/DC went through this already and the result was Suicide Squad, which is a f*cking nightmare. Do we really think the same people are going to save Justice League? This is the whole issue—no one trusts the people in charge. They promoted Ben Affleck and added an oversight committee to monitor Zack Snyder, but that seems to have resulted in chaos, and it sounds like no one knows what the f*ck movie they’re even making.
And we’re not even talking costs here. No one is ever honest about their budgets, but Warners is especially bad about that, and with both Superhero Face Punch and Suicide Squad they spent so much they made it impossible to actually make money. (They only made money on paper if you accept their reported budgets are honest.) So how much will all this cost? Well, back in 2007 Spider-Man 3 cost over $300 million, and it hasn’t gotten any cheaper in the decade since. And this kind of thing, reshooting so much of the movie, just digs the hole deeper.
Can Justice League still be good? Maybe. There’s always hope. But between Zack Snyder’s wildly off-base take on the characters and now chaos behind the scenes, optimism is harder to muster. But you know what the real killer is? Thor: Ragnarok opens two weeks before Justice League in November. Undoubtedly, Warners thought that would be a softie spot, and would come with the added bonus of getting to beat Marvel at the box office that month. It almost doesn’t matter what the actual quality of the movie is—if f*cking THOR outperforms the Justice League… I don’t think anyone is actually prepared for that. But maybe they need to be.