Movie theaters are out of business due to the pandemic, prompting moviemakers, directors, and studios to release their titles via streaming services. Zack Snyder’s Justice League premiered on March 18, 2021, and it was more than a hit – it was a full-blown explosion on the HBO Max streaming service. Thanks to the film’s massive success, Warner Bros. is now considering having Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2 as a theatrical release.
Mikey Sutton of Geekosity reports that the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League has the folks at Warner Bros. seriously contemplating greenlighting Justice League 2 and giving it a theatrical release. 2017’s Justice League received mixed reviews, becoming a box-office flop, failing to meet its break-even point of $750 million, losing Warner Bros. Pictures an estimated $60 million. The movie was criticized for its murky aesthetics, thin characters, and bland plot, which were somewhat attributed to Joss Whedon’s replacement of the movie’s original director, Zack Snyder. For those unfamiliar with the details, Snyder left the superhero epic after a devastating personal tragedy.
Warner Bros. didn’t want to delay the movie’s release date, so they brought in Joss Whedon to complete what Snyder started, in a rush to quickly make billions of dollars as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Avengers did. Unfortunately, the resulting Justice League left a bland aftertaste on the audience’s palate. Some loved the movie, while most thought the movie was “okay-ish” at best, earning the movie its aforementioned reviews. And it killed the idea of Justice League 2.
With Warner Bros. being what it is, a reactionary company, its executives weren’t impressed with the idea of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, given the first movie’s poor performance. But Snyder was a relentless one-man publicity machine that pushed the concept of his cut of the film on numerous YouTube channels he appeared on, earning enough publicity and positive social-media response, which eventually greenlit the entire project and could now lead to Justice League 2.
The project took $70 million and countless more hours of work, retaining the story’s basic framework, but introducing dozen more scenes, backstories, mythos, and teases packed into an additional 122 minutes of runtime. Yes, Zack Snyder’s Justice League has a runtime of 424 minutes (4 hours and two minutes). The response it generated is massive but still unquantified.
The original movie is no longer considered canon, and the massive success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League turned Warner Bros.’ skepticism into immense optimism regarding the franchise, yet again playing into the role of a reactionary company. The question of Zack Snyder’s Justice League‘s performance is no longer prompted. Instead, the executives of Warner Bros. are now wondering, “How big will this new cut be?” That could be leaning them towards inviting Snyder back for more DC movies.
Money talks in Hollywood, and given the massive success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Warner Bros. is looking to make Justice League 2 into a theatrical release. However, in light of that same success, HBO Max wants Snyder to make his own “pocket DC universe” on the streaming service. Any future theatrical releases might be tossed in the bin with the world’s current pandemic situation, leaving streaming services as the only option.
Whatever the case may be, Zack Snyder’s Justice League made a massive boom on HBO Max and other streaming services around the world, warranting the presence of its director on other Justice League titles, and accompanying franchises. But will we watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League 2 as a theatrical release or on small screens? Well, time will tell.