Is there such a thing as overreaching in superhero films to ensure box office success? Warner Bros. and DC Comics are testing that theory.
With November around the corner and SDCC behind us, reshoots for the upcoming Justice League are underway under the direction of Marvel’s The Avengers filmmaker Joss Whedon. Already overschedule by two months in Los Angeles and London, the studio is reportedly spending $25 million on these reshoots. It is possible to assume that Warner wants to match the critical acclaim of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman given the disappointment of both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.
Although Ben Affleck (Batman) and Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) currently have no other movie projects, that does not apply to other cast members’ workloads, such as the picture’s own Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) and its Scarlet Speedster (Ezra Miller). Cavill and Miller have had to perform juggling acts to keep on track with their other commitments. Cavill is attached to the next Mission: Impossible installment, as well as Nomis with actress Alexandra Doddario. Miller, meanwhile, has the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the continuation of his adventures as The Flash in Flashpoint (inspired by the infamous Geoff Johns miniseries that showcases alternate versions of DC heroes and villains).
Although he is overseeing these reshoots, Whedon’s work will not receive a co-directing credit but may receive a screenplay or producing credit. Whedon stepped in to handle the reshoots when original director Zack Snyder withdrew from directorial duties to mourn the tragic suicide of his daughter. As to the quality of the reshoots themselves, there may be an increase in the types of one-liners and snappy dialogue that Whedon is renowned for. These are not replacements for some of Snyder’s shots, but rather described as “connective tissue.”
Although these reshoots are at a budget for one movie alone, such attention to detail has become a norm in Hollywood. Expensive examples include the successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and World War Z, as well as Suicide Squad. The latter, regardless, was met with mixed reviews and harsh criticisms. As the result, Warner Bros. new greenlighting process from this point will reportedly involve factoring in millions for additional photography for their comic adaptations.
Reshoots for the fans, however, are not always welcome news and leave open the possibility for rumor and gossip. At San Diego Comic Con, for example, Ben Affleck had to shoot down the rumor that he is dissatisfied with his role as Batman and that DC may be recasting.
“Let me be very clear,” Affleck explains to an already-hyped audience at SDCC’s Justice League Panel, “I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part of any universe – DC, Marvel, it’s incredible. [I] know there is a misconception that because I didn’t direct that I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. [But] it’s f***king amazing. And I can’t believe I’ve done two films and have this great studio.”
Justice League hits theater on November 17, 2017.