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Anyone who followed the making of 2017’s Justice League closely knows that while Zack Snyder directed the superhero blockbuster during its principal photography period, Joss Whedon was brought in to oversee the reshoots, during which time the movie was drastically changed. It’s been over three years since Justice League’s theatrical cut arrived in theaters, but that version of the movie has drawn renewed attention over Cyborg Ray Fisher’s efforts to shed light on Whedon’s “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” treatment of the cast and crew. Fisher most recently described the reshoots has a period full of “resentment” on the filmmaker’s part.
The Justice League reshoots wasn’t Joss Whedon’s first superhero movie outing, as he’d previously helmed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While both movies were huge commercial successes, Age of Ultron didn’t earn quite the critical fanfare that its predecessor did, and according to Fisher, that factored into Whedon’s behavior on the Justice League set. As Fisher recounted during his appearance on Poindexter Lounge:
One of the things that I will say so far is, our experience in the creation of this is Joss brought a lot of his personal and professional, for lack of a better term, resentment into the Justice League process. One of the things that he had said in our first conversation was that people didn't ‘get’ Age of Ultron. There were certain things that were being said in that conversation where I was like, 'Oh, this is less about the work being presented and more sort of like an ego stroke.' To say, 'If you like it in this movie, you should have liked it in that one. Ha ha, joke's on you.' Right? And that's just creatively, that has nothing to do with any of the really egregious stuff, that's just on a creative level. It shows, you know?
Joss Whedon certainly played a role with propelling the MCU to new heights of popularity with the first two Avengers movies, but it’s no secret that he had a harder time making Age of Ultron than The Avengers. This included Whedon clashing with Marvel executives about certain scenes in Age of Ultron, and it ultimately marked his final contribution to the MCU. Joe and Anthony Russo succeeded him for Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
The Justice League reshoots unfolded a little over two years after Avengers: Age of Ultron was released, and as Ray Fisher sees it, Joss Whedon used the reshoots as a way to prop up his ego after the second Avengers movie wasn’t received as well as he wanted it to be. While Fisher had expressed support for Whedon taking over Justice League at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, at the beginning of this past July, he retracted his kind words, which kicked off the actor’s crusade to both inform the public how Whedon behaved during this time, and how others, like producers Jon Berg and Geoff Johns, enabled this behavior.
By late August, an independent third-party investigation was launched by WarnerMedia to investigate Ray Fisher’s claims, which officially ended a little over a week ago. Warner stated that “remedial action has been taken,” while Ray Fisher said that some of this “action” had already happened and there was “more to come.” Whedon also stepped away from his HBO series The Nevers last month, although at the time, he attributed this exit to being “genuinely exhausted” and wanting to “martial” his energy into his own life, which was on “the brink of exciting change.”
Should more revelations surface about Joss Whedon’s time on Justice League, whether they come from Ray Fisher or someone else, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know. Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which will unfold as a four-hour miniseries on HBO Max, is set to arrive sometime in the first half of 2021 (possibly March); use the following link to sign up for the streaming service. Learn what DC movies are heading to theaters in the near future with our detailed guide.