Rumors out of New York Comic Con this year had Marvel gearing up to spend a full $1 billion (with a B) on the production of "Avengers: Infinity War" parts one and two. Reportedly, the above-the-line costs to actors, screenwriters and the Russo Brothers' directing would total $400 million alone, with the lion's share going to Robert Downey Jr to return as Iron Man. It wasn't mentioned if the $1 billion estimate would include postproduction and marketing, but it is a huge number for two films either way.
We've been hearing that Marvel Studios isn't the only superhero house that's been having issues with ballooning budgets. We've also heard that Warner Bros is willing to drop a lot of money on Zack Snyder's vision for a Marvel-competitive DC cinematic universe.
Right now, "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice"s budget has ballooned to $410 million dollars. That means it is in the running for being the most expensive movie ever shot. The current record holder is "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," according to financial statements obtained by Forbes.
How costs got so high for what was once "Man of Steel 2" is something we probably won't know until well after the movie opens, but the addition of big name cast members, practical sets, and an extended production schedule could have all contributed.
But just because WB was willing to pump money into kickstarting a bunch of superhero movies doesn't mean that Zack Snyder now has free budgetary reign over the next installments he's directing. My sources are now telling me that the two-part "Justice League" movie--which is set to be released in 2017 and 2019, respectively--is going to be relatively reasonably budgeted at $500 million for the production of both films.
"Justice League" is prepping now in London for a 16-month production run, including pre-production and physical production.
Needless to say that WB is really betting the bank on "Batman v Superman" successfully kicking off this shared universe. Will it be worth all the extra money? We'll have to wait and see.