Update: Other DC sources claim that no reshoots have taken place yet, but some are planned, as is usual for movies on this scale.
DC Film is still on a steep learning curve. In the wake of last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. restructured the superhero side of their studio. In what was surely a smart move, they also imported visionary #GeoffJohns, a writer who'd literally just relaunched the entire DC Comics range. This year, fans are eager to give DC a second chance, while still a little wary — Justice League entered production just week after the release of Batman v Superman, so it kept essentially the same creative team.
Now, in an intriguing twist, there are rumors that Justice League's reshoots may have been pretty significant - to the extent that the film has already been remade. Twice.
What Are The Rumors?
According to The Splash Report, one of their most reliable sources has reached out to them to discuss the scale of reshoots on Justice League. They stress that this particular source has proved itself very reliable in the past, disclosing both the scale of reshoots for Rogue One and Ben Affleck's visit to rehab during production of Justice League.
According to The Splash Report, their source initially contacted them with news that the film was undergoing serious reshoots. They initially weren't interested; after all, every film goes through reshoots. It was only when they asked about the scale of it all that they began to get a sense of how important they were.
"Speaking on a condition of anonymity, [the source] said that in the 17 months between the start of principal photography and the final cut arriving in theaters in November that the film will have essentially been “remade…twice.”
They refused to offer any further details, but they said that Warner Bros. is really putting everything it has into overhauling the movie. Apparently, they didn’t like what they were seeing and so the film has had a lot of work put into trying to make it better while on its way towards its November 2017 release."
In fact, The Splash Report has since updated their article with more news; that DC Film is still planning to do more reshoots.
This Is No Reason To Panic
I'm expecting there to be three reactions to this news. Firstly, I suspect some DC fans, understandably protective of a franchise they love that has frankly seemed under heavy attack for the past year, will be furious. "Fake news," they will cry. Well, perhaps. But there's a difference between fake news and a rumor shared by a fairly reputable website claiming industry sources.
The second reaction, from some fans, will be worry. After all, DC Film doesn't have a great track-record when it comes to editing their films; the Ultimate Edition of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was infinitely superior to the theatrical release, while Suicide Squad was pretty disjointed.
But, like The Splash Report, I don't think there's any reason to worry here. Justice League began production back before the studio had any chance to learn lessons from the critical reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and given that context we'd frankly expect the film to be radically reworked. What's more, fans need to realize that reshoots can actually improve a film. The most prominent recent example is surely Rogue One; screenwriter Gary Whitta and director Gareth Edwards have revealed that the film originally ended in a completely different way, and even that tremendous Darth Vader scene at the film's close was a fairly last-minute addition!
But Rogue One isn't the only film to actually be improved by reshoots. From Back to the Future to Rocky, Hollywood history is filled with examples of movies that were transformed by reshoots and rewrites.
For now, we can only chalk this one up as a believable rumor; but it shouldn't be a worrying one. Instead, if this rumor is true, then it should tell us that Warner Bros. is trying to learn lessons from the poor critical reception of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad — just as we'd expect them to. I have every confidence in Geoff Johns's leadership, and I remain eager to see the Justice League take their stand against the armies of Apokalips!
Justice League is due for release November 17th, 2017.
(Source: The Splash Report)