By now, you know the drama behind Justice League. It was Zack Snyder's opus, interrupted by a personal tragedy. The official story is that he had to step away from the movie to take care of his family.
As a result, Warner Bros. brought in Joss Whedon to finish the movie. Whedon, fresh off two Avengers films, showed up and added more comedy to the final product. What was released was greeted lukewarmly by critics. Later, Snyder's outspoken fans demanded the release of his cut, which actually happened, and delivered a much darker and longer vision.
In the midst of all that, there was a lot of finger-pointing. The cast talked about how much they hated Whedon, he got in trouble for his behavior on and off set, and the rumor mill began churning. Now, Whedon is speaking up.
In a new interview with New York magazine, Whedon claims that Warner Bros. brought him on for the specific task to "fix" Justice League and that they lost faith in Snyder long before the tragedy.
Whedon called his own decision to take that job "one of the biggest regrets of his life."
That could possibly be because Whedon famously clashed with every member of the Justice League cast.
"Joss Whedon's on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable," star Ray Fisher tweeted in 2020.
Whedon fired back in this interview, calling him "a malevolent force. We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses."
One of the most controversial parts of Whedon's time on Justice League was how much he and the cast rubbed each other the wrong way. Affleck recently recalled how "awful" that shoot was and Gal Gadot accused Whedon of not understanding the film or her character. Well, Whedon responded in this new interview, saying that he and Gadot experienced a “misunderstanding” as “English is not her first language.”
Gadot's official comment? “I understood perfectly.”
This back-and-forth over a movie that's now been released twice seems kind of ridiculous. But in Hollywood, the question has always been, "What have you done for me lately?" So it's obvious Whedon wants a better track record than recent bias should show.
The title of the NY Mag cover story is "The Undoing of Joss Whedon," so this is obviously a recalibration. But I think this whole thing also exposes the stress and situations working for studios and with high-profile actors. In a town where everyone is trying to get the power, actors and directors are in a constant struggle. You have to find people you can work with, and studios need to find people to keep everyone happy and deliver a product worthwhile.
This is certainly a cautionary tale. Let us know what you think in the comments.