In the past, “Oh Brother” has picked out movies we believe have a bad reputation and should be given a second look. One of those movies, Waterworld, was considered by many to be the biggest flop in box office history. In fact, if you google “biggest box office flops” Waterworld is always on the list.
With the recent release of the Waterworld 4K director’s cut along with a 3-disc blu ray special edition, the film looks better than ever. Waterworld is a perfect example of Hollywood eating its young. The movie was deemed a flop before anyone ever saw it. Why? Because it was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made and went over budget to boot. What people often fail to mention is the movie actually turned a profit. And this is before the new releases of the film came out so it’ll likely continue making money. Warner Bros’ Justice League was another movie dead on arrival.
It started out with Warner Bros attempting to find an answer to the hit making machine known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First, they turned to Zack Snyder for a reimagining of Superman. The resulting Man of Steel turned out to be a solid movie with Henry Cavill delivering an impressive performance as Superman. Man of Steel showed promise earning $670 million off a budget of $228 million. Warner hailed Snyder as the leader of the newly formed DCU. But instead of making a direct follow up to Man of Steel (we are still waiting), we got Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Despite a lackluster effort, Batman v Superman was still well received. Though the director’s cut filled in many of the holes, the film failed to make the billion dollar mark.
Next up was Justice League. A feature film spotlighting many DC fan favorites along with a few lesser known superheroes was sure to hit that Billion-dollar mark. But after multiple submissions from Snyder, Warner execs still weren’t happy. Too dark, not enough humor (like those Avenger films) and too long. Warner seemingly became desperate and impatient with Snyder. Consequently, the studio turned to Joss Whedon in hopes of getting the film just right. Whedon, after all, was the guy behind the first two Avenger blockbusters. What could go wrong?
Warner’s idea was Whedon would do rewrites and Snyder would film them. Even dealing with the death of his daughter, Snyder continued working on the project with Whedon before ultimately stepping away along with his wife who was producing.
Once again a movie studio got its film a bad review before it was even released. Although this time it was truly earned. When Justice League finally came out it looked like a mash up of two completely different visions. Unlike Batman v Superman, fans didn’t give Warner the benefit of the doubt and the movie tanked to the tune of a $60 million loss. Warner execs overlooked what most kids who’ve ever read a comic knew: There are marvel fans and there are DC fans and never the two should meet.
Then whispers began of a Snyder cut of Justice league. An internet rumor turned into members of the movie tweeting there were indeed alternative takes to almost every scene. Tweets turned to demands for the Snyder cut. Did it even exist? Not according to the higher ups at Warner Bros. That is, until those higher ups lost their jobs in a series of takeovers and licensing changes. Suddenly, the rumors of a Snyder cut were confirmed by Snyder himself. Others close to the production claimed 90% of the version of Justice League filmed by Snyder never made the original theatrical release. What? Could that be true? Who’s in charge at Warner anyhow?
Cut to a recent announcement at Comic Con that Zack Snyder was back and AT&T WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max would be debuting his cut of Justice League. Snyder made nice thanking Warner Bros for allowing him to realize his vision which boasts an additional $30 million for new effects. $30 million has since turned into $70 million (remember Warner already lost $60 million on this beast). So who’s footing the bill? Is Warner that desperate? Is HBO Max kicking in half? Anyone at Warner hear the phrase don’t throw good money after bad?
The latest nugget is Snyder has reportedly been doing reshoots including with Ben Affleck under the cowl. And the Snyder cut is clocking in with a runtime of 240 minutes. We’re not sure about you, but “Oh Brother” doesn’t have the kidneys to sit through a 4-hour movie. However, the latest word is this will be shown in four separate one-hour segments. So let’s take a movie that lost $60 million, get back the director we basically pushed out and give him $70 million more to present the movie as a TV Mini-Series? Either Snyder’s a genius and this will be the greatest superhero “movie” ever or the loss to Warner will edge closer to $130 million and continue to be their box office kryptonite.