Justice League Run Time — Doomsday or Hope?

Film critics, moviegoers, and long time fans of the D.C. comic universe revel in mixed emotions as the running time for the anticipated Justice League film is revealed.

After a week of rumors ranging from around to two hours all the way to three hours of screen time, the official running time of the new Justice League film, formerly directed by Zack Snyder, now by Joss Whendon as of Spring 2017, was confirmed to be two hours and one minute. This means that there is likely to be only about 110 to 115 minutes of screen time before the end credits roll. Not only is this shorter than many major blockbuster films in the current day, but is is shorter than each of its predecessors within the fairly new DC Extended Universe, or DCEU.

Initially, I was rather concerned when I found this out. Just a week before I had found a rumor claiming the film to run for two hours and fifty minutes, which somewhat eased my concern of how each new character would be able to fit into the film with ample time for backstory, development, and action, among other aspects of what makes a film. After some thought and looking at other opinions, however, my fears seem to have been alleviated.

The length of a movie may have some sway in the amount of attention and focus a writer puts into the script, and a director puts into directing. With longer running times, writers are able to include more scenes and directors are able to add more “flare” and exaggeration to scenes. This may ultimately pull from the central plot and main focus of the story which the writer set out to tell. On the contrary, being constrained to a shorter running time may force writers and directors to focus primarily on the more important aspects of the film, leaving out some more or less irrelevant details, scenes, etc.

Being forced to focus on the more important aspects of the film would allow the backstories of each of the debuting characters and other subplots to be fleshed out in greater detail. This would provide viewers with an overall greater understanding and appreciation for each of the film’s various stories. By extension. a greater understanding of characters could create fans, potentially helping future films centered around the aforementioned newcomers.

I feel confident in the director’s decision to assign the film such a short run time. Greater focus on the central plot and subplots may greatly help the film in terms of reviews and reception. Zack Snyder, the film’s initial director, has not fared very well in the eyes of critics; perhaps Whendon’s influence will help to reshape this Snyder’s image.