Promo poster for 2017's Justice League.

Since 1998 there have been so many superhero movies that almost all of them have someone defend them. It is not easy to make a DC movie that is not classified as radioactive.

The Justice League was released in November of last year. The film is impossible to talk about without discussing how it came to be. Things weren't in its favor when Batman v Superman was released. Warner Bros. was no longer secure in its decision to make Snyder its Guy because he was already filming League. The rewriters provided by the executive producer added fire to the troubled production. During the post-production period, Whedon took over to direct reshoots and give his own rewrites.

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Justice League feels like an act of obligation more than anything else. WB was the only studio that was doing cinematic universes that were even remotely well a decade ago. It was a low key admission that the studio wanted to copy its direct competitor's homework and just change some of the names when it hired Whedon. There was a plot important to the movie The Avenger. The justice league will have three of them. There was a tease of a bigger conflict on the way. Justice League will hype up a team of baddies. The director's cut of Justice League has enough going on to make you forget about the specific details.

Its own distinct energy and denseness of the victory lap are missing. The movie feels like it should be much more important than it is. It is similar to a balloon being inflated to full capacity and exploding with a small pop. It doesn't really work when it tries to shine like Batman or Superman kicking the League's ass. If you all agreed that the next hourlong conversation wouldn't be held against anyone involved, the DCEU films that preceded Justice League would be watchable. Unless you are playing a game of who can give it the most backhanded compliment, you don't get that kind of staying power with Justice League.

It is not meaningful to anyone that Justice League is the worst film in the franchise to date. It wasn't catching on with audiences and fans of the vision wanted nothing more than to see it fail and anything else that didn't seem like it had his stamp of approval. For a long time, those who wanted to see DC characters have some superhero fun on the silver screen were left wanting and wondering why the Arrowverse was doing what these movies couldn't. The films that spun out of League spent a lot of time ignoring it. WB spent the last six years trying to get Miller to make a solo film about Justice League. Black Adam would rather do anything else to avoid having to reference that film, instead using its closing moments to proclaim that a new era is here.

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It is not clear if anyone at WB who did not get fired or bowed out actually learned from their mistake. It used to be that WB had gotten over its megafranchise phase and was focused on putting out great films like The Batman. Over the last month, a paradigm shift has happened as WB Discovery CEO David Zaslav has openly expressed his desire for a unified universe of DC films. Both men have resume that speaks for them. Warner Bros loves to overpromise and under deliver and it feels like a running gag in a sitcom.

Superhero movies are popular because they appeal to as many people as possible. It was possible for Justice League to rise above the circumstances that turned it into one of the most controversial superhero movies. When you stretch yourself too thin, you end up pissing everyone off and disappointing them because they know you are better than this.

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