Justice League is already crying out for an extended cut.
We are less than a month away from Justice League hitting theaters and a clear view of what’s in store is starting to take shape. After months of speculation regarding Justice League’s bloated running time (some reports listed it as long as three-hours), we’ve finally received confirmation of the film’s length and it’s not what anyone had expected.
The team at JoBlo have pointed out that two major theater chains, AMC and Regal Cinemas, are both listing that Justice League’s runtime is a svelte two-hours and one-minute. Most notably, Justice League’s brisk 121-minute cut makes it the shortest film in Warner Bros. DC movie oeuvre.
To provide some context, here’s a list of runtimes for each of Warner Bros.’ recent DC movies.
- Man of Steel (2013): 2h 23min
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016): 2h 31 min/ Alternate cut 3h 1min
- Suicide Squad (2016): 2h 3min/ Alternate cut 2h 14min
- Wonder Woman (2017): 2h 21min
- Justice League (2017): 2h 1min
The Justice League runtime is surprising for a number of reasons. First off, this is a team-up movie featuring a half-dozen characters that have headlined or are set to headline their own films. Considering that Cyborg, Flash, and Aquaman weren’t significantly featured in any prior Synder-verse movies, one would think that Justice League would provide each hero some time in the spotlight. It’s a safe bet that Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are the picture’s real headliners, so will the plot just shift the new characters onto the back burner to simmer until their individual movies drop?
Even if you don’t factor in the Super Friends, Justice League’s cast is stacked. Check out the talent listed on IMDb: Robin Wright, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, J.K. Simmons, Billy Crudup, and Jeremy Irons, just to name a few. With the film’s combination of superhero headliners and talented supporting actors, you would think Justice League’s runtime would at least clock in at around Batman v Superman’s 151-minutes.
Whispers about Justice League’s runtime have been circling around the film since before Zack Snyder stepped away from the production for personal reasons. Back in March, Snyder even came out and addressed rumors regarding the film’s three-hour runtime. Since then, Warner Bros. swapped out Snyder for geek messiah, Joss Whedon, who came aboard to help finish the production. Between Whedon taking the reins, costly summer reshoots, and Wonder Woman’s uplifting tone resonating with audiences, it felt safe to reason that the film’s retooling involved lightening things up, a greater role for Wonder Woman, and additional plot elements, which all would add up to a longer than average film. Evidently, that was not the case.
Based on the rumors surrounding Suicide Squad, the root of the film’s tonal issues was that the theatrical release was a mish-mash of two competing cuts (a lighter one and a darker one). Now that Justice League is the work of two directors with drastically different styles, it will be fascinating to see if Snyder and Whedon’s contributions coalesce into a cohesive film. Is anyone besides me hoping Justice League’s Blu-ray arrives packing an alternate cut?
Here is Justice League’s synopsis:
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash — it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.