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Justice League Movie Punched Out By Studio

Illustration for article titled Justice League Movie Punched Out By Studio

The hammer came down yesterday for the Justice League movie, and Warner Bros. has now officially put the project on "indefinite hold." That sound you may have heard was a billion JLA fans around the globe sighing in relief. But what, aside from the writers' strike, made studio execs decide to activate the lasers and eradicate this project?

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  • The budget: According to several different sources, the budget on the film was spiraling out of control. Although we wonder what "out of control" really means, because the effects powerhouse Weta was onboard to do the costumes, and "maybe" some digital effects... if they had time. If a studio waves a $25 million dollar check at you, we have a feeling you'd make the time.
  • The rumblings from the Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman camps: Christian Bale was not happy that they were making a movie that would feature another Batman in it, saying it'd screw up what they'd been working on as part of the whole Batman Begins / The Dark Knight series. Plus with the constant rumors that Warners wants to return to basics with a new Superman movie (sans Bryan Singer and Brandon Routh), and a Wonder Woman flick, then it doesn't make any sense to populate a big budget film with other actors playing the parts of the Big Three members of the JLA.
  • The cast: Director George Miller wanted this film to be huge, which could account for the budget being pushed up, but his cast was cast with a slew of B-list actors, at best, and didn't feature a name that would draw masses of people to the theaters. Did you want to shell out $12 bucks to go see some unknown amateur magician play Batman, or would you rather wait for Christian Bale? That's what we thought.
  • The script: Apparently everyone and their mom thought the script needed work, and this will probably be the ultimate reason for the movie coming to a dead stop. Due to the strike, no rewrites can happen no matter how hard anyone begs. It's the kryptonite to this project, and maybe that means we'll get a quality JLA movie sometime down the road. Probably after Marvel releases The Avengers and it rakes in a boatload of cash.

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DISCUSSION

@braak: I think it comes down to a more complex equation than most filmmakers (or at least the film decision-makers) want to accept.

If Actor A is fantastic in a certain type of film (oh, let's say RomCom) then I am very likely to see any RomCom starring her. That doesn't mean I'll go see *anything* with Actor A — other variables come into play when a popular actor branches out. Then considerations of genre preferences and what other actors are also in the film, director reputation, etc., are weighed against fan-feelings toward Actor A.

For instance: I am a big fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar. I've seen several films she's made mostly on the strength of her participation; however, I do not enjoy horror films. I will not see any horror film on the basis of her participation regardless of how much I like her.

The wider variety of good (or watchable at least) films an actor makes, the more likely fans are to take changes (Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts) but there's still an alchemy to the process.