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Blockbuster films have become relatively long in recent years. Captain America: Civil War was two and half hours long, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was two hours and fifteen minutes, and X-Men: Days of Future Past was two hours and thirty-eight minutes long. All eyes were on Justice League to do the same with its upcoming November 17 debut, but now it looks like the latest DC film may actually be the shortest DCEU movie to date at a lean two hours and one-minute long.
If that reported runtime from Fandango's Erik Davis is correct, then it means Justice League will become the shortest DCEU by a fairly substantial margin. To date, the Ultimate Edition of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is easily the longest film in the current DC canon at three hours and three minutes in length, while Suicide Squad was previously the shortest DC film at two hours and seventeen minutes. One could naturally assume that Justice League would've been on the longer side because it is arguably the most densely populated DC movie yet, but now it appears that the folks behind the film have endeavored to keep it as lean and streamlined as possible.
Oddly enough, this report about Justice League's runtime seems quite contrary to earlier reports. About six months ago, rumors began to circulate that the film was a whopping two hours and fifty minutes in length -- which would make it one of the longer projects in the DC Extended Universe.
Although this report of Justice League's short runtime remains unconfirmed, it makes a certain degree of sense when we consider other rumors associated with the film. Specifically, much of what we have heard about Joss Whedon's work on the film's expensive reshoots has focused on punching up the story while leaving many of Zack Snyder's original action sequences intact. As a result of this creative shift, a cliffhanger ending was supposedly removed, and supporting characters like Kiersey Clemons' Iris West ended up on the cutting room floor -- two decisions that could easily help cut down a runtime.
Of course, at this point, it is worth mentioning that a potentially short runtime for Justice League does not in any way reflect a movie's quality. Deadpool proved itself as a massive critical and commercial success for the X-Men universe last year, and it was only one hour and forty-eight minutes long. The aforementioned Captain America: Civil War clocks in at two hours and twenty-eight minutes in length, and has become one of the best-reviewed films in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Quality and length do not go hand-in-hand, so we will have to wait and see what happens when the League finally unites.