Revisiting Joss Whedon’s Justice League: A Death Blow to the DCEU?

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Revisiting Joss Whedon’s Justice League: A Death Blow to the DCEU?

Joss Whedon’s version of Justice League proved to be a disaster for all involved but did it eventually kill the DCEU?

When it comes to controversies, comic book movies can sometimes take it to a whole new level. The case of Joss Whedon’s Justice League is no exception. Amid the usual internet uproar over casting decisions, this film brought much darker issues to the forefront. From reported verbal abuse and alleged career threats to Ben Affleck’s apparent misery, Warner’s 2017 film faced significant challenges.

Joss Whedon’s Justice League Revisited
Joss Whedon’s Justice League Revisited

Today, on DC Revisited, we delve into the mustache removal and tone changes that occurred during Joss Whedon’s involvement in Justice League. Before we explore the Whedon era, let’s take a trip back to the initial inklings of a Justice League film.

In 2007, Warner hired Michele and Kieran Mulroney to write a script for Justice League, envisioning an entirely new cast separate from the previous Superman and Batman actors. With George Miller set to direct and actors like Armie Hammer and Megan Gale onboard, it seemed like a promising project. However, the writer’s strike put a halt to pre-production, and the film ultimately fell apart.

Fast forward to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel release and the idea of a Justice League film resurfaced. David S. Goyer replaced the initial screenwriter, and Snyder signed on as the director. Warner announced the film as a two-part series, introducing the Justice League characters who hadn’t received their solo movies yet.

The cast featured Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Principal photography began in April 2016, and the film promised to be a thrilling ensemble of DC superheroes.

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However, challenges emerged during post-production. Tragically, Zack Snyder and his wife Deborah stepped down from completing the film after the loss of their daughter Autumn. Joss Whedon was brought in to direct and contributed extensive rewrites, giving the film a brighter and more saturated feel.

Reshoots followed, adding almost $25 million to the already substantial budget. The process was tough, leading to Ben Affleck’s struggles and impacting his life outside the movie. Additionally, the now-infamous moustache issue arose when Henry Cavill couldn’t shave for reshoots due to contractual obligations with Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Digital editing attempts to remove the moustache didn’t go unnoticed, making for an odd visual experience.

Amidst these production woes, allegations of Joss Whedon’s toxic behavior surfaced. Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher accused him of unprofessional conduct, adding further controversy to the already troubled production.

Ultimately, Justice League was released in November 2017 and earned a sizable box office but still disappointed, considered a flop by some due to the high costs of production and marketing. Criticisms pointed to the reshoots and rushed post-production as the main issues, leaving fans clamoring for the release of the original Snyder Cut.

Despite the film’s difficulties, its legacy persists. Now, we’re eagerly looking forward to diving underwater and exploring how the DC team managed Aquaman’s portrayal in the comics. Stay tuned for the next episode of DC Revisited!