'Justice League' Reshoots are Growing Expensive and Creating Scheduling Conflicts

Monday, 24 July 2017 - 9:05PM
DC Comics
Justice League
Monday, 24 July 2017 - 9:05PM
'Justice League' Reshoots are Growing Expensive and Creating Scheduling Conflicts
Warner Bros.
Recently, at San Diego Comic Con, when asked about the extensive reshoots that have been taking place on Justice League, Cyborg actor Ray Fisher claimed that "they're brief if anything" before stating that by this point the reshoots are pretty much all done.

Fisher may be understating the extent of the work that's left to do - by quite a margin. According to a new report from Variety, the reshoots, which have been going on for most of this year so far, have wound up being one of Hollywood's most extensive post-production nightmares in recent history. If the report can be trusted, Justice League's reshoots have cost around $25 million thus far - phenomenally more than the $6-10 million that most movies cost to finish up.

This is hardly surprising, considering the extent of the reshoots, and the amount of time and effort that's gone into the process, to say nothing of the challenge of Joss Whedon coming in to take over the project from former director Zack Snyder, and the natural shift in focus or story that will occur as a result.

It gets worse, though - because of the completely unprecedented length of time that the Justice League actors have been needed, DC is beginning to run into scheduling clashes with other, similar franchises - some of which are even part of the same big Warner Bros family.

Henry Cavill's availability has dropped significantly as his time on the set of the next Mission Impossible movie draws nearer, while Ezra Miller (the new Flash) will soon need to be back working on the next Fantastic Beasts movie (although in fairness, the script could swap him out for an angry cloud, and nobody would really mind).



All of this spells bad news for Justice League as a whole. New director Joss Whedon was conspicuously absent from Comic-Con because he's still hard at work on piecing the movie together - despite the fact that it's expected in theaters for a November release date.

Movies with extensive reshoots generally struggle with coherence, as so much material is mashed up together, and the final cut can easily lose key plot moments that are crucial to the story actually making sense. Extensive reshoots aren't necessarily a death knell for a big budget movie - Rogue One was reworked a lot in post-production, and it didn't turn out to be an utterly irredeemable pile of garbage - but it is certainly true that the longer reshoots tend to drag on, the less likely it is that the result will be favorably received by fans.

Perhaps it can be best summarized by remembering that Wonder Woman reshoots moved relatively quickly, while Fantastic Four was heavily reshot. 'Nuff said. At the same time, there's something strangely satisfying about learning that the Justice League movie is evolving into a bigger and bigger headache for Warner Bros. The studio has been hit by a big wave of karma, as unscrupulous business practices have come back to haunt them.

Both of last year's DCEU movies, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, are incomplete in their theatrical cut, with a lot of key details being saved for an Extended Cut that forces fans to shell out twice for the same film. It seems that the studio's strategy has been to shoot first and ask questions later, collecting a huge mess of footage and then only worrying about how it all fits together afterwards.



This makes for a bad movie experience, and it's a big part of the reason why audiences were so turned off by Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad - but it didn't stop the movies from making money. It seems, then, that in their eagerness to crank out a big budget blockbuster, DC Entertainment jumped the gun and started filming Justice League long before a solid plan (or even possibly a full script)was put into place.

The result has been a full calendar year of filming, editing, and reshoots, and the movie still isn't finished. While this may mean that Justice League turns out to be a bit awful, with any luck Warner Bros will learn the important lesson that if you try to rush art, you just end up trapped in a horrible, sticky mess from which there is no escape. Even calling on Superman won't help you now - he's busy hanging out with Tom Cruise.

Justice League is currently scheduled to hit theaters November 17, 2017.
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