Film News

Rumor Analysis: Justice League Movie to Be Filmed Back-to-Back With Batman Vs. Superman?

There are 17 months standing between us and the release of the Man of Steel sequel, which we’re just calling Batman Vs. Superman until they give us an official title.  Outside of some crowd footage shot at a college football game in October, they haven’t started filming yet.  The script isn’t even done, as indicated by Warner Bros. bringing in Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio to perform re-writes on David S. Goyer’s original draft.  Basically, they’re still in the midst of pre-production, having yet to even cast a villain (or villains) for the movie.

Yet the rumor mill has been in overdrive – Dwayne Johnson as Green Lantern?  Jason Momoa as Doomsday?  Or Aquaman?  Josh Holloway as Aquaman?  Nightwing will be a character in the film?  It all paints the picture of creative overreach of Spider-Man 3 proportions.  Uh-oh.  I invoked Spider-Man 3.  You know what that means, right?  We kind of think this movie could flat out suck.

Now there’s a new rumor which kind of makes total sense:

Maybe Batman Vs. Superman really will just be about Batman Vs. Superman with very little screen time for other Justice Leaguers.

RUMOR: The reason we’re hearing so many rumors about potential actors for Justice League roles even though that film is presumably years down the road is that WB is going to film Batman Vs. Superman and Justice League back-to-back, releasing Batman Vs. Superman in 2015 and Justice League in 2016.

“A trusted source says that the unnamed DC film that Dwayne Johnson will be working on in 2014 will, indeed, be a Justice League movie. The current thought amongst some insiders is that Batman vs Superman and Justice League are going to be shot back-to-back, ala The Hobbit films, the Pirates of The Caribbeansequels, and the latter two Matrix flicks.


  • To maximize everyone’s schedules. Ben Affleck is a busy man, Henry Cavill is in-demand, and Johnson is a workaholic. Not to mention Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and the rest of the unannounced cast are no slouches either.
  • Because Batman vs Superman is going to end with an insane cliffhanger/teaser that leads right into Justice League and, like those other back-to-back productions, they want to be able to deliver the second film within a year to strike while the iron is hot. Could this very aggressive approach be how DC intends to pull the rug right out from under rival Marvel Studios? Sure could be.
  • This would also explain the abundance of characters we keep hearing linked to BvS, and should also soothe the fears of folks that think it’s going to be too loaded a film. In essence, all this talk of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Nightwing, Flash, Green Lantern, etc might all just be leading to a single gigantic group cameo before the credits roll, starting a fever pitch of anticipation for Justice League in 2016.”


ARE THEY A RELIABLE SOURCE?: Yes; you’d be surprised by how many accurate rumors about comic book movies originate at LatinoReview.

However, there is cause for pause here.  LatinoReview concludes their scoop by offering a “but we could be totally wrong” out clause:

“As usual, take this with a grain of salt. It’s an idea that’s been formulated using a combination of insider information and good old fashioned speculation from folks who’ve been in the game a long, long time. Not to mention, the logic seems to pan out.”

It’s worth noting that in the early days of Man of Steel‘s box office success there was talk of WB rushing a sequel into production for a 2014 release to set-up a Justice League movie in 2015.  That, of course, was entirely unfeasible given the amount of lead time necessary to produce a quality big-budget comic book movie.  However, doing Batman Vs. Superman and Justice League back-to-back does actually make sense for all of the reasons argued by LatinoReview.  It does, however, raise some questions LatinoReview fails to address:

Zack Snyder on the set of Man of Steel

1. Who would direct the Justice League film?  Would Zack Snyder really have the time to do both?  Wouldn’t he be buried in post-production on Batman Vs. Superman by the time they would need to start filming the Justice League?  Of course, Peter Jackson has made it work multiple times now.  So, there’s always that.

2. Wouldn’t this be a huge investment for sequels to a film, Man of Steel, which fell by 65% in its second weekend of domestic release, and was far from universally adored or even liked (it only has a 55% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes).  Sure, Man of Steel topped out at $668 million worldwide, but it cost $225 million to make.  It’s a top 5 film of 2013 domestically, top 10 worldwide.  That’s more than enough to earn a sequel, but two of them shot back-to-back?

3. Who would write the screenplay for the Justice League movie?  Is that the real reason Chris Terrio was brought in?  Or is David S. Goyer too busy writing Justice League to finish re-writes on Batman Vs. Superman?

VERDICT: This actually makes a lot of sense, despite the questions I’ve raised.  However, by LatinoReview’s own admission we should take this with a grain of salt at this point just as we should have with BatmanOnFilm’s now-dispelled rumor about Wonder Woman being Kryptonian in Batman Vs. Superman.

Batman Vs. Superman (official title pending) is currently scheduled to come out July 7, 2015.  Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, and Laurence Fishbourne are all confirmed to be returning, joined by Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman.   Zack Snyder will again direct, this time from a script by David S. Goyer and Chris Terrior.  It will be filmed predominantly in Detroit, Michigan, with an in-state budget of $130 million though its total budget incorporating out-of-state shooting and post-production is unknown.


  1. I’m torn on this rumor. While I see the fiscal and scheduling sense combo filming would make, I’m not convinced that the JL film is at that stage yet.

    1. You’re not wrong. This makes fiscal and logistical sense but not necessarily creative sense. Any reservations fans have about DC jumping so straight to a team-up JL movie without prior solo films for each character would most likely equally apply if this rumor turns out to have legs, even if some of the JL show up for last minute cameos in Batman Vs. Superman.

      1. I seem to recall hearing that there are also some scheduling conflicts in 2014 for Ben Affleck (who’d obviously need to be in a lot of the filming for JL). Some outlets have suggested that rather than strictly ‘back-to-back’ filming, perhaps it’s just a shortened schedule for the follow-up.

        I am excited that WB is finally getting serious about it, as long as they give it what it needs to be successful creatively and financially.

      2. I’ve seen the same thing. Basically, it may not make total sense to film these movies Hobbit-style but definitely makes sense to seriously shorten the gap between the two production cycles to ensure they can crank out another sequel toot sweet ala The Hunger Games.

        It reminds me of when Sony announced over the summer that there would in fact be 4 Amazing Spider-Man movies instead of 3. That suddenly made so many of the rumors about the various villains make sense. Of course, then the trailer for Amazing Spider-Man 2 threw some of those assumptions into question. So, if they are doing a Justice League movie those characters could still be a bigger part of Batman Vs. Superman than we might expect.

        Who knows, really. It’s real early days here.

        On Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 8:41 AM, We Minored In Film

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