In the comic book world, the Justice League may be the single greatest symbol of hope that exists. At the moment, the Justice League movie happens to be that symbol of hope for the DC Extended Universe. There are certainly fans of what Warner Bros. has done with their current run of DC Comics movies, but there are a great many others who are less than happy with the results so far.
Warner Bros. is totally committed to making the DCEU work. Rotten Tomatoes be damned. But they can't keep making movies that get trashed by critics and are met with a divisive response from fans. That being the case, Justice League really needs to deliver in order to help keep the DCEU train on the tracks and the responsibility is once again falling in Zack Snyder's lap, with his vision to remain intact as Joss Whedon has officially taken over rewrites and reshoots moving into the final lap of post-production..
No matter how you feel about the DCEU so far, much of the blame and/or praise belongs to Zack Snyder. He directed Man of Steel, the first movie in this DC Comics movie universe, as well as Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. That movie was the true launching point of the DCEU, but it didn't go as smoothly as Warner Bros. was hoping it would. While it will surely be a very different movie, Justice League will shoulder a lot of the same responsibilities that The Avengers did for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It has to prove this grand idea can work and that these heroes can unite in an effective movie. And that is one of the reasons Whedon was chosen to take the baton from Snyder. He directed Avengers and made it a success. He knows how to handle the weight of this, and will help shape something wonderful while keeping Snyder's visual flare from falling to the wayside.
Despite very poor critical reception to the movies that have been released so far in the DCEU, with both Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad both hovering around a 26 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, there is massive desire for these movies. Combined they made more than $1.6 billion at the box office in 2016, so the general public really wants to see these movies and there is no reason to think they won't also want to see Justice League. But at some point, mixed reception will hurt more than it currently is. Justice League has to work.
We are still about a year away from Justice League landing in theaters, but anticipation is very high. Ever since the first footage debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, cautious optimism has been abundant and there is reason to believe Justice League could nail it. So just to help satiate your desire to see the movie, here is what we know about Justice League at this point in time.
Joss Whedon is Taking over for Zack Snyder as Director
There remain a great many defenders of the DCEU despite the fact that none of the movies have been critically well received so far. At this point, equal parts blame and praise belong to Zack Snyder. He started Warner. Bros down this path with Man of Steel and forged the road for these movies moving forward with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And he was the one set to unite the Justice League for the very first time ever on screen.
Nobody will argue against Zack Snyder's ability as a director to make things look visually stunning (see the warehouse seen in BvS), but most complaints that have been lobbed in his direction have to do with character and story. In the case of the DCEU, his treatment of Superman in general and showing Batman killing people willingly on screen are decisions that have divided fans. Also, even the biggest defenders of Batman V. Superman can acknowledge that it was a bloated story with some plot issues. It is unclear exactly how the fallout from the negative reception to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice has effected his approach, but Zack Snyder was the man behind the camera for Justice League during principle photography. And that was a huge responsibility.
The movie is now undergoing reshoots and script changes under the direction of Joss Whedon. Zack Snyder officially stepped down from his directorial duties as summer 2017 approached, just six months from the release of the movie. Snyder and his family faced personal heartbreak when the director's 20-year-old daughter committed suicide. DC Films and Warner Bros. offered to push the release date back, but Snyder's original plan was to keep moving forward as planned without a break. He soon found it hard to continue work, and made his grief public. He didn't want to, but he also didn't want a barrage of rumors swirling around why he left. So he recruited Avengers director Joss Whedon to step in and take over.
Zack Snyder's vision for the movie will remain intact. Synder and Whedon will share co-directing credit on the movie, with Whedon doing minimal reshoots after having tweaked the script. Joss Whedon, who is set to write and director Batgirl for DC and Warner Bros., had already been recruited to help out with the planned reshoots. The movie is still scheduled to hit theaters this holiday season as planned.
Chris Terrio Returned to Write the Script
Even if you loved Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice, you can probably acknowledge that there were some serious story problems. It is really unclear where those story problems came from, but hopefully they weren't from Chris Terrio, because he is the one responsible for the Justice League script. In the case of Batman V. Superman, David S. Goyer also was credited, so it is unclear who was responsible for exactly what.
Either way, Chris Terrio is the man who shaped Justice League, at least on paper. He is also reportedly already signed on for the Justice League sequel, so it seems like Warner Bros. liked what he did. It is also worth noting that he wrote Argo, which Ben Affleck directed. That movie went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture, so it is clear the man has some talent. Fans can just hope he brought his A game for Justice League.
When it was first announced that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman in the DCEU, many thought, or at least hoped, it was a joke. It was not. But for all of the criticism made of the casting choice, Batfleck wound up being one of the best parts of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. And with Superman currently dead after his fight with Doomsday, it is up to Ben Affleck to bring the Justice League together in order to fight whatever threats await them in Justice League. It is unclear if Batman will be a little less willing to kill this time around, but outside of that, Ben Affleck doesn't need to do a whole lot differently in this movie. It was a tough task to be the first man to play Batman after Christian Bale in The Dark Knight trilogy, and I think most would argue that he did an admirable job. It is just a matter of Justice League being able to deliver on the promise, and Batman will be a very large part of that.