'Batman v Superman's Long Running Time Indicates a Real Effort at Mythology

More movie means more time devoted to DC's cinematic future.

Warner Bros.

When you see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, try not to make any other plans for the night. According to AMC Theaters, the superhero showdown from Warner Bros. will clock in at a lengthy 2 hours and 31 minutes, just several minutes longer than 2013’s Man of Steel which felt like a week. Though it might suck for your precious weekend, the long running time might be worth it for Warner Bros. and its hopes for the DC cinematic universe.

More time means more movie to explore DC’s mythology and characters who will anchor their own movies post-Dawn of Justice. Besides the obvious Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, other DC heroes like Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) and the Flash (Ezra Miller) are rumored to appear while Jena Malone will have a significant role despite her absence in the trailers. Dawn of Justice will also foreshadow Darkseid, who will be the obvious villain of the two Justice League movies.

Warner Bros. is taking the opposite approach to Marvel’s proven strategy, and it’s a gamble few studios are willing to take in this era of Hollywood. For that reason alone, Dawn of Justice will be an utterly fascinating experiment in blockbuster franchise moviemaking.

The studio is putting a lot of pressure on Zack Snyder’s Dawn of Justice to springboard the spin-offs planned for the Justice League series. Early rumors regarding Dawn of Justice indicated Warner execs were very happy until Deadpool allegedly made them blink twice about dark superhero movies when audiences may prefer fun and dick jokes. A bloated running time doesn’t conjure up confidence either (for comparison, Deadpool ran at a breezy hour and 41 minutes).

But Deadpool isn’t trying to kickstart an entire saga. Dawn of Justice will, or at least it hopes to. Here’s hoping it’s just not boring in its effort.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice releases March 25.