A new report suggests that Warner Bros. knew Justice League was a dud long before it hit theaters, and they released it anyway. The studio officially launched their DC Comics-based universe with Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. And although they've expanded the shared universe with David Ayer's Suicide Squad and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, the goal was always getting the world's finest heroes on the big screen, together.
Justice League - which starred Ben Affleck (Batman), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) as the titular heroes - was a critical failure and a commercial disappointment. Warner Bros. made multiple attempts to adapt the DC superhero team into live-action, and they failed virtually every time. The one time they succeeded in bringing the Justice League onto the silver screen resulted in an unmitigated disaster. At the moment, Justice League is the lowest-grossing DCEU film at the worldwide box office. That's something that fans feared would result in the studio canceling the DCEU, but that couldn't be further from the truth. They are still pushing full-steam ahead... because they already knew Justice League would fail.
According to a new report from Revenge of the Fans, Warner Bros. top brass knew Justice League - in whichever condition it came packaged in; Snyder Cut, Whedon Cut, etc. - would ultimately fail, and they released it anyway so they could move onto their next project (hence half-baked CGI, a 2-hour theatrical cut, etc.). What's interesting is that they didn't know it would tank as bad as it did. That's partly because the movie wasn't what people expected (or wanted), and partly because it was a sequel to BvS - a controversial film that left a bad taste in moviegoers' mouths.
Since the studio knew what they had on their hands, they already got the ball rolling on behind-the-scenes changes, such as how DC Films operates under Warner Bros. Pictures, prior to Justice Leauge hitting screens in November. (Remember, DC Films co-chief Geoff Johns and DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson said as much in September). And that's precisely why DC Films' official slate hasn't changed since its announcement at SDCC last summer. They knew where they wanted to go post-Justice League, and they're sticking with that schedule - one that involves less interconnected films.
Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman 2 are currently the only DC movies with confirmed release dates, though the studio has plenty more DC films in active development. While each movie will exist within the DCEU, Warners won't prioritize interconnectivity anymore. Each film will be allowed to exist independently (as Wonder Woman did) and will be at the charge of their respective creative teams (i.e. filmmaker-driven); quality above all. We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out from here, but at least they have a gameplan.
Source: Revenge of the Fans
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019