Whatever you think of Justice League as a film, it seems clear that a lot was going on with it and that resulted in a rushed project. The film probably could have benefited by being delayed, but apparently, that wasn't an option. Some fans and critics have noted the story feels a bit jumbled due to the two different directors and it's clear that the CGI could have used more time, but apparently, Warner Bros. decided not to push back the film's release, because, unsurprisingly, there was money on the line.
In this case, the money was reportedly in the form of bonuses that were potentially going to be paid to Warner Bros. executives as part of the pending merger between the studio and AT&T. According to an unnamed executive who spoke to The Wrap, WB President Toby Emmerich and CEO Kevin Tsujihara may have been afraid that if they delayed Justice League, these bonuses would have also been delayed. There was seemingly also a fear that by the time the bonuses would have paid out the pair might not be at the company any longer, meaning they wouldn't see the bonuses at all.
The plot thickens when another "knowledgeable insider" states that the bonuses here were actually contingent on making good decisions. While it's not made clear exactly what that means, it's argued that if delaying Justice League could have been viewed as a good decision, everybody would still get their money.
A lot has been made of the fact that when Henry Cavill came back to reshoot scenes for Justice League he had to have his face digitally altered to remove a mustache that he was contractually obligated to keep as part of filming the new Mission: Impossible movie. This ends up making it obvious which scenes were part of Joss Whedon's reshoots, because Superman's face looks odd a lot of the time. This, combined with a seemingly endless debate about how dark the movie should be and the two different directors involved in making the movie, with clearly different styles, it seems the movie simply ran out of time when it came to the November 17 release date.
If all this is true it's certainly unsurprising, movie-making is a business after all. Still, it's also about making great movies and that makes it disappointing when the business side gets in the way of all that. While opinions on Justice League certainly vary, few would argue that a delay would not have helped the movie overall. More time to work on the CGI and the time needed for an editor to go into the project with a scalpel instead of a machete could have only benefitted the film.
And in the end, the business side of the industry does suffer, as Justice League 's box office has clearly not been what the studio was expecting. Still, for many, it was a step in the right direction and we'll have to wait and see what happens with the DC film universe next.
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