justice league concept

Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like the sky might be falling for WB, based on a report from HitFix’s Drew McWeeny that the studio was unhappy with the reactions they had received from screening Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which garnered a mixed response. McWeeny had posited that if Batman v Superman failed to make a big splash at the box office, director Zack Snyder would likely end up removed from the upcoming Justice League production and the studio would instead accelerate a standalone Ben Affleck-led Batman feature in its place.

This certainly got the internet tied up in knots, to say the least.

Whether as damage control by the studio or not, Snyder and WB revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Justice League – Part 1 will officially begin filming on April 11th:

“The idea that we could begin to boot up a Justice League concept was a cool thing,” says Snyder. “It was a little bit of an ‘about time’ moment, and I don’t blame [the studio] for feeling that way, because it’s a long time coming,” he said. “But I do feel like it’s a little bit of a creative hurdle. It seems like an easy thing to do at first glance, the idea that, ‘Oh, we just get the rest of the superheroes in there.’ But you have to [establish] a world where they can exist.”

This slots production of the first Justice League film just two weeks after the debut of Batman v Superman. It’s possible that WB could still pull the plug if BvS performs miserably with theater-goers. But the likelihood of that seems rather slim. At the very worst, the film should easily open to big numbers (WB is probably hoping for something north of $150 million), it’s more a question of can it sustain them for subsequent weeks? That, of course, depends on word of mouth.

But, at this point, Snyder is still a go and so is the first Justice League film. At least for now.

UPDATE: Zack Snyder just tweeted out the following photo with Jason Momoa, who is playing Aquaman. Get a look at the Flash suit in the background! Bright red!



  1. Batman vs. Superman will probably open at Number One, as most superhero movies do (except maybe Ant-Man). If it quickly fades — or, worse, fails to take the top box-office spot — heads will likely roll at Warners.

    With all the speculation over B vs S, little attention is being paid to Captain America: Civil Wars, which opens two months later. I haven’t seen much enthusiasm for this movie, except among the most hardcore superhero geeks. A lot of people were disappointed in the Avengers sequel (which quickly faded), and Civil Wars looks like more of the same.

  2. Marvel took a small, but real hit last year in the lessened box office for Age of Ultron (which admittedly, it’s a hard hill to climb to best the first film’s gross) and Ant-Man, which just barely was able to squeak past Captain America: The First Avenger on some relatively decent legs.

    Civil War has quite a few elements in its favor, Iron Man and the new Spider-Man namely. But weirdly, Marvel still hasn’t really played that card on the latter. That may be the final marketing push is my guess.

    For what it’s worth, the schedule benefits Batman v Superman more, as Civil War has an X-Men movie right on its heels towards the end of May.

  3. Interesting article from L.A. Review of Books arguing that comics’ “dark and gritty” era began not in the 1980s with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, but in the 1970s. That’s when Batman went back to being a grim avenger, and violent antiheroes like Wolverine and the Punisher were introduced — all of them influenced by movie characters played by Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson.

    Spider-Man failing to save his girlfriend’s life (in 1973) was also pretty dark.


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