Who the hell was Joss Whedon’s Justice League for?

2017 Justice League promotional poster.

Image: Warner Bros./DC Comics

there have been so many superhero movies that have come to light since 1998 that almost all of them have someone to defend them. Think about what is considered the worst MCU movie, or the worst movie in the X Men either Spiderman franchises, and you can probably name someone to tell you that those entries are better than most would have you believe. It’s a bit of a tougher question with the DC movies, and one in particular, given that their entire existence could be scientifically classified as radioactive.

League of Justice released on November 17, 2017, and it’s… a bit tricky. Directed by Joss Whedon according to the original director zack snyder walked out of the movie after the death of his daughter, it’s impossible to talk about the movie without talking about how it came into the world. Things were not in her favor when her direct predecessor, the one from 2016 batman Vs Superman, it was raked over the coals for weeks after its release. At that time, Snyder was already filming. League (initially planned as a two-part film), while Warner Bros. was no longer sure in its decision to cast Snyder as Guy to headline what it hoped would be a full decade of movies for the DC Extended Universe. Executive producer Geoff Johns, who rewrote the original script by Chris Terrio, much to the latter’s irritation, only served to add fire to a troubled production. Once Snyder stepped back during post-production and Whedon took over directing the retakes and providing their own rewrites…well, you know the rest of the story from there.

Image for article titled Who the Hell Was Whedon's Justice League For?

Image: Warner Bros./DC Comics

the thing about justice league 2017 it is that his root problem stems from the fact that his existence feels like an act of obligation more than anything else. A decade ago, Marvel was the only franchise doing cinematic universes even remotely well, and other studios were eager to follow suit, none more so than WB. Hiring whedon back then it felt like a move that was, at its most cynical, a low-key admission that the studio wanted to copy its direct competitor’s homework and only change some of the names. the Avengers had a Rubik’s cube important to the plot? justice league 2017 will have three of them. avengers ended with a tease of a greater cosmic conflict on the horizon? justice league 2017 I will Y promoting a team of ground level baddies, that sort of thing. While those specific details may have already been integrated into the plot, Snyder’s version of League of Justice somehow, your 2021 Director’s Cut It has enough to make you forget that.

By contrast, his 2017 counterpart lacks the density of Snyder’s victory lap, or even his own distinctive energy to get people to hang on to. The end result is a movie that feels like it should be considerably more important and grander than it actually is. It’s the movie equivalent of a balloon inflated to its maximum capacity and bursting with minimal pop. Even in moments when he’s trying to shine, like Batman (Ben Affleck) briefly giving Flash (Ezra Miller) hero tip or superman kicking league butt, it doesn’t actually work. The DCEU movies that preceded justice league 2017 they weren’t perfect by any means, but at least, they were watchable and worth talking about with friends, as long as everyone agreed that the next hour-long conversation wouldn’t be held against anyone involved. You don’t really get the same kind of conversational staying power with justice League 2017, unless it’s a game of who can give you the most backhanded compliments.

Back then and especially now, Justice League 2017 occupies the worst position for a film in any franchise to be, and that’s to not be meaningful to anyone. At a $657.9 million box office, it wasn’t catching on with audiences; fans of Snyder’s vision wanted nothing more than to see it fail, and similarly anything else that didn’t seem like it had his stamp of approval. Those who wanted to see DC characters have some superhero fun on the silver screen were left wanting and wondering for years why the Arrowverse was doing on a weekly basis what these movies could not. Movies that semi-yarn of League for the next several years he spent that time largely ignoring its existence at every opportunity. And WB finally decided to stick with the show: he spent the last six years waiting for miller’s solo Flash film to erase League of Justice (and by extension, miller himself) of cinematographic memory. Likewise, through the sheer force of Dwayne Johnson’s will, it seems that black adam I’d rather do literally anything else to avoid having to reference that movie, rather than use its final moments to declare that a new era of Henry Cavill’s Superman it’s here.

Image for article titled Who the Hell Was Whedon's Justice League For?

Image: Warner Bros./DC Comics

Five years later, it’s unclear if anyone at WB who wasn’t fired or retired actually learned their lesson. Until recently, it seemed like the WB had outgrown its mega-franchise phase and focused on putting out big independent movies like the batman But over the past month, a paradigm shift has occurred when WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav has openly expressed his desire for a unified universe of DC movies in the future, and recently hired James Gunn and Peter Safran Be the architects of your vision. Both men have resumes that speak for themselves, for sure. But the problem, as was said several months ago, lies largely in Warner Bros: He loves to over-promise and under-deliver to the point where it feels like a running gag on a sitcom.

Superhero movies are blockbusters by default, and as a result, they need to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. justice league 2017 it had the potential to do so, or at least overcome the circumstances that made it one of the most controversial superhero movies of the modern era. Instead, it stands as an example of what happens when you stretch yourself too far: You just end up pissing everyone off and letting them down because they know you’re better than this.


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