Posted by Trevor Norkey @trevornorkey
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

When Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters back in March, it was met with box office success, but not critical success. As entertaining as the film was, fans and critics alike were open to admitting that it did have its problems. These problems have made many people afraid of how good the sequel, Justice League, will be.

The people at Warner Bros. may have seen a few mistakes made with Batman v Superman, but they are no idiots. Believe it or not, they have already identified the problem and fixed it. And no, the problem was not Zack Snyder.

The One Major Problem With 'Batman v Superman'

Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman) on set. (Image:Warner Bros./DC)
Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman) on set. (Image:Warner Bros./DC)

The biggest problem with the film was, without a doubt, its length. When Warner Bros. started the project, they didn't want a film longer than two and a half hours. After production, however, they had a four hour film turned into them - an hour and a half longer than their maximum length!

This led to cutting - lots of cutting. This, as we know, made the film extremely choppy. Many fans blamed Warner Bros. for this issue, which is fair as they did the cutting, but at the same time it was a smart decision on their part. They wanted a two and a half hour maximum movie and were given a four hour movie, which is absolutely ridiculous. They did the right thing and cut down the movie significantly because a four hour movie would not be successful in theaters at all.

Who's At Fault?

Director Zack Snyder and Cavill watch a scene they just shot (Image: Warner Bros./DC)
Director Zack Snyder and Cavill watch a scene they just shot (Image: Warner Bros./DC)

So who is to blame for the length of the film? Some people blamed the writers of the movie, as they created the script. With them writing so many scenes, how could it not be their fault?

Well, when it comes down to it, in film, writers don't have too much creative input. In the TV industry, they control the entire series, but in film, they pretty much just put the auteur's plan to words. In essence, Zack Snyder told the writers exactly what he wanted and needed, and the writers made it so. It was Snyder's orders that made this project so long.

Snyder directs Affleck (Image: Warner Bros./DC)
Snyder directs Affleck (Image: Warner Bros./DC)

Does this mean Zack Snyder is to blame for the problems with the movie? Essentially, no. Snyder, as the director, was hired to create an incredible story, and Snyder used his impressive cinematography and story-telling skills to create what we can only imagine to be a masterpiece.

The Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman received a lot more positive feedback than the original version, and the Ultimate Edition was only three hours long, a half hour longer than the theatrical cut. We can only imagine what the full four-hour cut was like.

Why A Great Producer is Key to 'Justice League' & The Future of the DCEU

Zack Snyder behind the scenes (Image: Warner Bros./DC)
Zack Snyder behind the scenes (Image: Warner Bros./DC)

A great director like Snyder can be brilliant, but they can also be compared to Play-Doh. Play-Doh is neat, but it is at its best when it has molds and other tools to shape it into something - otherwise, it is a big, colorful mess.

In this case, the molds for the directors would be a good producer. In the film process, the producers work closely with the director to help develop their dream, but to also make sure that the project is given to the studio on par. This includes giving it to them at their expected length. The responsibility of length is not the job of the director - it is the job of the produce

Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) on set with Cavill and Affleck (Image: Warner Bros./DC)
Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) on set with Cavill and Affleck (Image: Warner Bros./DC)

DC and Warner Bros. have already acknowledged that this was the problem with Batman v. Superman, so they reacted accordingly. They did not do what the Internet demanded by firing Zack Snyder, because they knew what we did not know at the time - Snyder did his job perfectly.

Instead, DC put Geoff Johns as the President of DC Entertainment, automatically making him the head producer for Justice League. With a man who is fully committed to the movie at the helm of Justice League, we can trust that he will be able to work closely enough with Snyder to develop yet another masterpiece. This time, however, the masterpiece will be able to be shown theatrically without facing major cuts.

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I have high hopes for Justice League, especially after hearing about Johns getting his promotion and seeing the Ultimate Edition of Batman v. Superman. The DC Extended Universe has a lot going for it right now, and truly has the potential to be great. I am looking forward to see what Snyder and Johns create together when Justice League hits theaters in November of next year.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!

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