It’s been widely reported in the past that Justice League was a film that faced heavy studio meddling. After two critical duds in Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. didn’t want this to be a trilogy of critical failures. As such, there were reported reshoots upon reshoots throughout the production process.
What’s more, when Zack Snyder stepped down, they brought in Avengers director Joss Whedon to take over. Considering this was the guy who helped push the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the next level, you’d assume they’d let him go nuts, right? Turns out that’s not the case.
In a report from Vanity Fair, the outlet states that Whedon’s own vision was overhauled by the studio at points to help smooth the transitions between Snyder scenes and Whedon ones. One such scene that was heavily changed was the opening action sequence where Batman takes on a burglar and a Parademon on the Gotham City rooftops. Actor Holt McCallany (who plays the burglar) told the outlet about Whedon’s original vision:
“I love Joss Whedon. My scene with Batman was originally conceived as a comedic scene. That’s how Joss wrote it, and that’s how we shot it. I thought it came out great, but the studio felt it would be a mistake to open the film with a completely comedic scene, so it was re-edited a little bit. I was disappointed. When I got home to New York I found a bottle of my favorite champagne and a note from Joss that said ‘To Battles Lost. Gratefully, Joss.’ I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that he took the time to write to me. Joss Whedon is a class act. I had the letter framed.”
Of course, this may not have been a bad thing. At the end of the day, the difference in tones between some scenes and others is something some critics have pointed to as a flaw (I honestly don’t see it), and it’s very possible that “Frankensteining” could have been all the worse without studio interference.
Regardless, as of this writing, it doesn’t sound like this experience has scared off Whedon, as he’s still reportedly working on the upcoming Batgirl film. Then again, we likely won’t hear any official statements regarding the DCEU until Justice League has had its run in theaters.
What do you think? Was it a good call on Warner Bros.’ part to change the film’s opening? Let us know down below!
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SOURCE: Vanity Fair