– by David Kozlowski

When Joss Whedon came aboard Justice League a few months ago, a lot of speculation swirled around how much or how little he would be involved. Whedon was initially engaged to conduct a few weeks of previously scheduled additional photography and some minor script doctoring (this seemed a bit suspect at the time). You’ll recall that the original director, Zack Snyder, stepped away from the project late into production to deal with a serious family matter. It was unclear, however, whether or not Snyder would return during post-production to help craft the final cut.

According to Wired, who interviewed Snyder about a short film project he created using only his iPhone, the former Justice League director won’t be coming back to the project AT ALL.

Related – Justice League: Ben Afflecks Says Batman Will Have To Adjust To Being On A Team

Apparently, Justice League was in such a poor state that Whedon had to conduct extensive reshoots, and he also revised the script to such an extent that he eventually earned a writing credit — that’s not trivial, Whedon’s changes could materially alter Snyder’s vision. Given the degree of these changes, it’s hard to imagine Snyder’s continued involvement at any level.

Snyder told Wired that it would be “unfair” of him to return to the film after stepping away:

“I’m at a place where I feel excited about it and I’m happy for my guys and I love these people that are working on it, and they’re my family and I think they’re doing an amazing job. But I’ve kind of just let them do their thing.”

The impact of Snyder’s complete divorce from Justice League is that the film is really Whedon’s show now. Snyder won’t be present at all during the critical editing and post-production phase, so the music, pacing, tone, and ending will all be driven by Whedon (with help from Geoff Johns, presumably). The remarkable subplot here is that Whedon is poised to own two of the most-anticipated superhero films of all-time: The Avengers (2012) and Justice League. What a career this guy’s having, right?

Given that Snyder’s strength’s are action and visuals, while Whedon’s are character and humor, it always felt like this could be a really effective marriage. Unfortunately, the Justice League is now the product of a broken home, and one of the parents has abandoned their visitation rights altogether — breakups are always awkward. I still have a lot of hope for Justice League, but damn, does the DCEU ever catch a break?

The other question we have is whether Snyder will be involved in the DCEU going forward. The Wired article indicates that Snyder is developing two other projects while also planning to teach filmmaking classes at his alma matter. Sure seems like Snyder’s superhero run has come to a sudden and final end.

Are you surprised that Zack Snyder has bailed on Justice League entirely? Let us know in the comments down below!

Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.

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  • Rez

    Best thing that could have happened to this franchise!

    • I’m not a Zack Snyder fan, though I contend that he does have strong visual skills… but he’s not a storyteller in the same league as Whedon. I just wish that Whedon understood how to shoot action, truly the weakest parts of both Avengers films.

  • Duck O’Death

    Give Joss 20M to save film. Prob increases box office by 100M. Worth it.

    • Agreed. Snyder probably filmed all the action, and then Whedon came in and made the characters more rounded and interesting. The combination should result in something awesome (or it could be a huge, clunky mess). I remain optimistic, however.

      • axebox

        Maybe. The action we’ve seen in the trailers has been really bad.


    “The remarkable subplot here is that Whedon is poised to own two of the most-anticipated superhero films of all-time: The Avengers (2012) and Justice League.”

    Not sure how many people are waiting for JL with baited breath. “Most-anticipated”? I disagree,Dave.

    • Curious Cat


    • Justice League is almost certainly going to make a billion dollars when the final box office receipts are tallied. In my book, that qualifies as “highly-anticipated.” I don’t know many “unanticipated” films hitting those numbers.

      • Mthombe

        i agree…..completely highly anticipated

      • Mad Barchetta

        I think you labeled it correctly. Many people may have serious doubts about JL, but it is still something very highly-anticipated, nonetheless. It’s frickin’ Justice League!

      • TAPIT DRIvER

        Dave, are you saying that because its the JL,or is it because Whedon took over? Would you feel as confident if Snyder were still at the helm? Given his track record, a billion is unlikely. Do you agree?

        • Batman v Superman collected $873 million worldwide — and that movie was poorly reviewed and kind of a mess. The Justice League brand is strong enough to earn $1 billion, all by itself. Whedon will improve the relationships and humor in the film, but he’s terrible at action (Snyder’s strength). So, even if Snyder were still at the helm I would still expect JL to hit $1 billion, but Whedon’s name carries extra weight (because of Avengers and Buffy), so it’s reasonable that JL will do better because of Whedon. Either way, JL is going to be huge.

          • Kindofabigdeal

            I thought the action was awesome in Avengers. Even Age of Ultron had some fun tidbits of action. I would not say that Whedon is terrible at action. Save that language for Uwe Boll.

          • TAPIT DRIvER

            As a “make mine marvel” fan from the 70’s, I have no ill will toward any DC property. I just dont think the billion is there. But, I hope I’m wrong. This way we all win.

            Even if it does make a billion that does not necessitate a good movie (Transformers). I want a good movie regardless of the numbers.

  • Weresmurf

    “Unfortunately, the Justice League is now the product of a broken home, and one of the parents has abandoned their visitation rights altogether — breakups are always awkward. I still have a lot of hope for Justice League, but damn, does the DCEU ever catch a break?”

    I see it more as Zacks like the drunken, abusive Dad who swaggers in, pissed as a fart, having had a few half arsed days at work, threatened with being fired, not having the best intentions in mind, thinking throwing his two year old (JL) in the air while in the middle of passing out is the best idea. While Whedon is the mother, sitting in the corner, waiting for the asshole to pass out, so she can pick up the kid (JL), patch its wounds, correct the mistakes and leave the asshole out on the footpath, with his suitcase, and get ready to move on with her life and the house (dceu).

  • Mad Barchetta

    I would argue that losing Snyder IS catching a break. He’s never really been all that good for the DCEU and the decision to put him in charge, however brief, was nearly disastrous.

  • TheOct8pus

    This is a bit off-topic, but the costumes bug me a bit….there seems to be so much superfluous texture to them. It’s like someone went crazy with some iron-on patches…

  • allengp

    Snyder as a human being and grieving parent gets all the passes, if he doesn’t want to come back to the project now, that’s his business.

  • singsingjohnny

    DCEU drama garners clicks and clicks garners money from advertisers. I guess no one will really know how this movie is until it comes out, right? I miss the days when we saw one trailer for a film…then we saw the film. These days there seem to be daily reports about what the director had for breakfast and how much money the studio is spending and about how so-and-so is unhappy and blah blah blah. Why should we as fans really care how much a studio spends or makes on a film? Is that the measure of success? Because money made does not a good movie make. Right Transformers?

    • Ugh, don’t get me started on Transformers, Fast and Furious, The Mummy, King Arthur, etc. You’re absolutely right that pumping money into a film doesn’t guarantee anything. The problem is that Hollywood would rather risk $200 million on a juvenile summer movie w/ McDonald’s and Wal-Mart tie-ins, then invest $80 million on a great script. These days, 8 out of 10 movies at my theater are huge, blockbusters that all look, sound, and smell the same. That said, it’s all cyclical, and I think we’re going to see more Deadpools and Logans going forward (I hope).

  • Kindofabigdeal

    There is no Justice for the League.

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.