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In the wake of a disappointing domestic run that may cost Warner Bros. $100 million, people are naturally trying to figure out what went wrong with Justice League. The superhero movie opened lower than originally estimated, only bringing in $94 million at the box office. While there are a number of reasons for why Justice League isn't performing well, fans are theorizing that Joss Whedon, who directed extensive reshoots for the flick, left a message in the movie distancing himself from Justice League. In the opening, a homeless man is seen with a sign reading "I Tried" and some believe this somehow relates to Whedon.
Justice League opens with a quick montage revealing the state of a post-Superman world. People have lost their hope while fear and crime are on the rise. On the dark and rainy streets, a homeless man sits with a sign that reads "I Tried." This shot happens to coincide with the opening credits in which writers Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon's (who rewrite enough of the script to receive a writer's credit) names appear on the screen. Some fans are theorizing (via ComicBook) that Whedon's name appearing right next to the words "I Tried" is a secret message from the director himself saying that he did the best he could. They believe that this theory is further credited by Whedon liking a tweet dissing the movie's villain, Steppenwolf.
Following a family tragedy, Zack Snyder bowed out of Justice League and left the responsibility of shooting the pre-planned reshoots to The Avengers director, Joss Whedon. It was said that Whedon's reshoots make up 15-20% of the total film, but it feels like it was much more than that after seeing the finished movie. We will likely never know which director shot what specifically, so the opening could very well have been done by either one. The grimness of it, however, does feel like it was out of the Snyder playbook.
There has already been some debate over Justice League and its two directors. While Justice League was said to always be lighter in tone compared to Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's clear that there was a great deal of course correction during production. The stitches in the cuts are pretty easy to see, and much of the footage from earlier trailers is nowhere to be found in the finished film. This has led to some fans organizing a petition for Warner Bros. to release a Zack Snyder-approved cut of the movie as it was originally intended -- never mind that the logistics of moviemaking means this would cost millions of dollars to do. The reception to Justice League also led some to speculate on Whedon's future in the DCEU, but his Batgirl movie is reportedly still a go.
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Things haven't turned out incredibly well for Justice League at the moment, but you can still see the movie for yourself while it's in theaters right now.