Justice League, the Zack-Snyder-started, Joss-Whedon-finished 2017 DCEU film, is infamous in the pantheon of superhero comic book adaptations. While Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe took a decade to build it’s Infinity-Gauntlet-inspired storyline, Justice League, essentially, worked in reverse — Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) got their first, real introductions in the big team-up movie, with individual films set to follow.
That game plan didn’t work out for Warner Bros. Justice League, which cost $300 million to make (not including marketing budget), barely raised over $650 million worldwide. Many fans blame Joss Whedon for the failure, with hopes that Zack Snyder would eventually be able to return to Justice League and make his own edit of the film that would live up to the stories he’d been telling in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Warner Bros., it would seem, agrees with that fan assessment, as a four-hour HBO Max Snyder Cut of Justice League is due in 2021. Not only will Snyder have his own cut of the film, but there will even be reshoots now, three years after the fact.
With many of the cast returning and expanded roles for Joe Manganiello’s Slade Wilson and Jared Leto’s Joker, it’s fair to ask just how much this thing is really going to cost. We don’t know the exact number, but with a little help from experts, we can get close to an honest estimate for just how much Warner Bros. is sinking into this very unusual endeavor.
Justice League may be the most expensive movie ever
For the record, 2020 is not your typical year at the box office, and 2021 is looking to, similarly, be a year in which filming is reduced and the viability of theaters is limited. Therefore, we can immediately infer that a Snyder Cut of Justice League makes sense in that it’s an oddity, its social media presence is huge, most of it is already filmed, and Zack Snyder said he’d work for free!
Early estimates clocked the bill for this new Justice League at around $20-30 million, but more recently, that number has ballooned up to around $70 million as a result of reshoots and loads of new visual effects.
Senior Box Office Analyst Jeff Bock seems to think, however, that the price tag could go even higher. “While Justice League wasn’t The Avengers DC was hoping for at the box office, there is no denying superheroes and their machinations are still the champions of social media,” says Bock.
“Considering content is at a premium right now, and we’re in the middle of an all-out war for eyeballs, HBO Max investing upwards of $100 million for an extended comic book caper seems like a solid play for subscribers.”
The reigning highest budget for a film is Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which cost $378.5 million to make back in 2011. If you consider Justice League and the new Snyder cut of the film all one movie, however, then that record is potentially about to be broken.
Will $400 million spent on one superhero story be worth it? Only time will tell. The Snyder Cut of Justice League is set for release in 2021 on HBO Max.