Last year wasn’t a great one for director Zack Snyder. After years of anticipation, and two big superheroes at the forefront of his film, Batman v Superman, it was expected that this would be the comic book movie to crack $1 billion for Warner Bros., for the first time since The Dark Knight Rises.
Of course, the film came out, the critics piled on, and while the movie was profitable, it didn’t make nearly as much as the studio originally wanted. So why didn’t they fire Snyder then and there? A new report from TheWrap gives the inside scoop on the goings-on behind the scenes.
In the report, it was stated that many execs actually did go to (then) Warner Bros. head Greg Silverman to suggest that they let him go from Justice League. So why didn’t they let him go?
Well, there are a couple of layers to it. The first is the obvious one, as stated by an insider.
“They were already in deep prep on Justice League and it would have cost a fortune. There’s stickiness to a director because there’s so much cost to unstick him. Warners is a studio that almost to a fault always wants to project strength.”
So Kevin Tsujihara (not Greg Silverman) opted to keep him on for Justice League. Okay, we can see that, but we pretty much already expected that. Since Justice League was starting production only a few weeks after Batman v Superman, it would have been a red flag if they pushed it back. But what about months into production?
Here’s when another factor comes in. In October of 2016, it was announced that Warner Bros. and AT&T were planning to merge, and at that time, “the companies began sizing up each other’s assets and liabilities.”
Again, Warner Bros. saw the moving back of the film as a weakness, and they didn’t want to project weakness (noticing a pattern?).
All in all, it sounds like the main culprit here is Warner Bros.’ desire to appear invulnerable to the public eye, right? But that’s not all. Here’s the real kicker.
According to the outlet’s source Tsujihara and Toby Emmerich “wanted to preserve their bonuses they would be paid before the merger, [and were worried that] if they pushed the movie, then their bonuses would have been pushed to the following year and they might not still be at the studio.”
So there you have it. A good ol’ fashioned mix of the need to project strength, and the desire for more money.
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