With Wonder Woman firmly situated in theaters and blowing the collective roofs off, it's time to begin shifting our focus to the DCEU's next and biggest entry: Justice League. While anticipation for the big team-up film has been slowly building, the film was recently dealt a blow in the loss of its director, Zack Snyder. Snyder had to leave the film due to a family tragedy and passed the reigns over to Joss Whedon, director of Marvel's The Avengers. The principal photography was already done by the time Snyder left, which begs the question: how much influence does Joss Whedon now have over Justice League?
Zack Snyder obviously left for the right reasons (family first), but now we are genuinely curious about what happens to the creative process from here. This isn't quite an Edgar Wright/Peyton Reed on Ant-Man situation. All of the principal photography for Justice League is finished and the movie is now far into the process of post-production (although rumors recently dropped, courtesy of Batman-On-Film, that significant reshoots are happening as we speak). With Snyder gone, Whedon has now been placed in charge of the post-production process in order to make the film's November 17 release date. What isn't clear, though, is what exactly that means and the amount of power Whedon possesses.
For their part, Warner Bros. and Justice League producers have made it clear that Justice League is still Zack Snyder's movie -- as it should be. He did direct the film after all, and Warner Bros. Pictures President Toby Emmerich said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that Joss Whedon will be adhering to the style established by Snyder.
So, don't expect all the colors to suddenly pop in Justice League or Batman to become quip master general. Justice League's style is what it is, and it won't be changing just because Zack Snyder has left. On top of it all, Snyder was apparently the one who decided on the reshoots after watching a rough cut of the film. From there, Whedon was asked by Snyder to help with the additional photography, which isn't supposed to be major and only includes small characters, which sounds just fine to us; the small stuff is Whedon's bread and butter.
Whedon didn't decide on these reshoots -- though maybe he consulted on what they should entail -- so these are all Snyder-approved, according to early reports. Both directors have incredibly different styles, but if Whedon does his job right, we shouldn't be able to tell which of the scenes are his and which are Snyder's.
However, Whedon is also supervising the rest of the post-production process. While the movie may have a rough cut assembled, they've still got a loooong way to go before they get to the final theatrical version. Editing is really where a film comes together, as the filmmakers are finally able to put the puzzle pieces together to produce a clear picture. Whedon's involvement in this stage is crucial, and this is where most of our questions come into play.
We're assuming that the Avengers director has seen a cut of the film -- otherwise his job is a pretty much impossible. Let's say that Whedon sees a problem with the movie. Maybe a scene or two needs to be moved, dialogue needs to be cut, or a character arc needs to be tweaked. Does he have the power to fix it? Is it up to one of the producers? If anyone feels, for whatever reason, that any of these changes would impact Snyder's vision, do they still make the change? Is the end goal to deliver Snyder's vision or improve it as need be? Perhaps Snyder gave everyone the go ahead to do what they need to, but it's a bit of a tightrope walk. No one wants to feel like their trampling on someone else's hard work or compromising a director's vision.
It's important to remember that there's a reason that Warner Bros. and DC Films chose Joss Whedon, out of all the directors in Hollywood, to see Justice League to the finish line. Whedon is the de facto expert (he might be the only expert) on making big-budget superhero team-up films, having written the book with The Avengers and then learning some important lessons in Avengers: Age of Ultron. If anyone can have the right insight into Justice League, it's him. With that in mind, his advice must carry some amount of weight in the editing room. If he says there's an issue, then there's probably an issue, and one would imagine that the necessary steps would be taken. If they aren't going to listen to his advice, then why have him on board in the first place? He's not going to re-cut the entire movie to his liking, but very few movies are ever assembled as how they were originally envisioned.
Maybe Justice League is far enough along that it doesn't need any extra input, but at the end of the day, Joss Whedon was asked to take over in order to help deliver a great movie. Zack Snyder set up all the pieces and now it's the job of the rest of the team to make sure they go where they belong. We likely won't have an answer to some of our bigger questions until we get closer to November. They have a tricky road ahead of them, but it's sure going to be an interesting journey to follow. As if we needed any more reason to pay attention to Justice League.
What do you think about Joss Whedon guiding Justice League for Zack Snyder, dear CinemaBlend readers. Will Whedon stick to the Snyder playbook or will he make adjustments as he see's fit? Or is the movie pretty much done already and it doesn't matter? Let us know in the poll!
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Matt has lived in New Jersey his entire life, but commutes every day to New York City. He graduated from Rowan University and loves Marvel, Nintendo, and going on long hikes and then greatly wishing he was back indoors. Matt has been covering the entertainment industry for over two years and will fight to his dying breath that Hulk and Black Widow make a good couple.