Warner Bros. CEO Reportedly Insisted on Sub-2 Hour Runtime For ‘Justice League’ | Film News
It was recently revealed that Justice League will have a runtime of 1 hour 59 minutes. Some fans got upset, but maybe they were upset for the wrong reasons. While some bemoaned not getting a three hour behemoth to devour like the ultimate edition of Batman v Superman, what they should have been upset by is the report that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara insisted upon a runtime below two hours.
After a difficult production that saw director Zack Snyder step away after a family tragedy with Joss Whedon taking over, Tsujihara reportedly mandated that the runtime be sub-two hours so not to have another bloated film like previous superhero films in the DC canon, though most would argue the problems with some of the previous films went far beyond the runtime.
In addition, Warner Bros. has explicitly wanted a lighter film compared to Snyder’s previously darker films for the franchise. Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio were overseen by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg to try and give the film a more optimistic tone, and while an early cut delivered by Snyder had reportedly made progress, Warner Bros. still felt the film could use more work.
Whedon was then brought in to write scenes for the reshoots, and when Snyder was forced to step away, Whedon was asked to direct the reshoots, which eventually pushed the budget up past $300 million.
The reshoots have been described as “significant”, and it’s led to reports of most of the post-production work revolving around attempting to mould together the tones of Snyder and Whedon’s work. Earlier cuts didn’t necessarily work according to very secret test screenings, but some later cuts gaining audience scores closer to what Wonder Woman got, for what it’s worth.
With Snyder still away, and with Whedon not receiving a director credit on the film, there’s actually no director who’s been working on the film, which opens up the dangerous possibility of studio executives having their hands all over the film, and when that happens it’s usually a recipe for disaster.
DC has seemed very conscious of the fact that their introductory films to the DCEU fell flat for most viewers, and seem desperate to deliver a crowd-pleasing favourite. Hopefully that desperation hasn’t led to too many cooks in the kitchen, or an aggressively mediocre film.
We can find out when Justice League hits cinemas Friday, November 17.