According to a video report published Thursday from HitFix film reporter Drew McWeeny. This reaction has led McWeeny to the conclusion that if "Batman v Superman" isn't a major hit, it'll mean dramatic shifts in the DC Films master plan.
"This movie is starting to scare [Warner Bros.]," McWeeny said, citing unnamed sources. "Response has not been exactly what I think they wanted."
In the report, McWeeny shares that Warner Bros. is confident in its other upcoming DC-based film "Suicide Squad," scheduled for release on Aug. 5, and that he believes the currently-in-production "Wonder Woman" will proceed as planned. However, if "Batman v Superman" does not meet expectations, he predicted "seismic shifts" at Warner Bros., stating that the movie will have to "make a billion dollars for people to keep their jobs."
One specific implication named in the report: A Batman solo movie starring Ben Affleck could take the place of "Justice League: Part One," currently scheduled for Nov. 2017.
"I would be surprised if 'Justice League' starts shooting when they say it's going to," McWeeny said. "I would be equally surprised if Zack Snyder directs it."
According to McWeeny, Affleck's Batman is one of the most well-received parts of "Batman v Superman," which may explain the heavy focus on the character in the film's latest trailer, released last week. The other bright spot in early "Batman v Superman" reaction, Hitfix reports, is Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor.
With "Batman v Superman" still more than a month away from theaters, it'll likely be a while before the first critic and fan reactions start to surface online. It's been clear from the start, though, that Warner Bros. has placed a very high degree of importance in the film, which is slated to launch both the "Justice League" franchise and various solo films including "Wonder Woman," "Aquaman," "Cyborg" and "The Flash."