‘Justice League’ Spent $25 Million in Reshoots Partly Because of a Mustache

It costs a lot to make a movie — especially a blockbuster. There’s just no way around it. Sure, there are occasionally “low-budget” films that make it big, but they’re rare and hardly ever predictable.

For those who want to make sure they have a hit on their hands, film creators know they have to shell out the expense to make it happen. From the casting to the costumes to the special effects to the behind-the-scenes crew, every part of the film making process has a cost, and the list adds up quickly. 

That doesn’t mean that film creators are just willing to sign over a blank check without any attention to the budget. The creators of Justice League had to have been frustrated with the $25 million needed in reshoots — especially since the film didn’t go over as well as they’d hoped.

Action movies are very expensive

RELATED: ‘Justice League’ Snyder Cut: 1 of the DCEU’s Most Infamous Characters Is Probably Coming Back

Even simple, straightforward films without a lot of location changes and a small cast require some impressive budgets, but action movies are in a league all their own. Often, they include an ensemble cast, which means several leading actors are taking home a big paycheck.

Exciting action sequences often translate to shifts in setting, and all of those special effects add up, too. Then there are the costumes. When some of your characters aren’t human — or are superhuman — you’ve got to invest in making sure the look helps sell the fantasy. 

That means that superhero movies are among some of the most expensive ever made. Spider-Man 3 cost an impressive $294 million. Captain America: Civil War cost $250 million. Avengers: Endgame cost a staggering $350 million, making it the second-most expensive film to ever get created. The top spot is still held by Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, which set creators back a cool $379 million.

‘Justice League’ had a rocky finish

Zack Snyder had been working on a version of DC’s Justice League for years, and fans had been heavily anticipating its arrival. The film was nearing completion in 2017 when Snyder, who had been directing, faced a major tragedy and had to step back.

His daughter, Autumn Snyder, died, and Snyder needed time to grieve and be with his remaining family. The unfinished but promising project needed someone to step in, so Warner Brothers hired Joss Whedon — famous for his work directing Avengers — to complete the project. 

Whedon did, indeed, complete the project, and it was released in November 2017. However, it faced a lot of criticism from fans who wanted to see the original and felt like Whedon’s reshoots hadn’t done it, well, justice.

Now it looks like fans might finally get their wish as Snyder has teased a release of his version of the film coming to HBO Max. 

Joss Whedon’s reshoots were pricey

Henry Cavill
Henry Cavill | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

When Whedon took over the project, Warner Brothers was willing to put up quite a bit of money to bring his new vision into existence. Whedon’s changes included having to reshoot several scenes, and that meant bringing actors back onto the set and coordinating new filming schedules.

Henry Cavill, who played Superman, had already moved on to filming another project. His work on Mission: Impossible 6 required him to grow a mustache, and he couldn’t simply remove it to refilm the shots for Justice League

It wouldn’t make sense to have Superman occasionally mustachioed and sometimes clean-shaven, so part of the staggering $25 million that Warner Brothers approved for Whedon’s costly reshoots addressed the problem. Digital editing removed the errant facial hair, leaving viewers with the impression that nothing was amiss.

Ultimately, Warner Brothers paid about triple the typical cost of reshoots, and some of that was because of the mustache.