After directing ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman V Superman’, Zack Snyder went to work on ‘Justice League’, Warner Brothers’ most ambitious DC Extended Universe movie yet.  Sadly, a personal tragedy forced Snyder to step away from the project with Joss Whedon taking over.  Whedon had previously scored big time with Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ so juggling a bunch of heroes is nothing new to him and he had just signed aboard with WB to direct a ‘Batgirl’ movie.

In true spin control manner, everyone insists that Whedon was simply handling a few reshoots and overseeing the final editing.  But we just learned that things are a bit more complex than that.  For one thing, Whedon is further fleshing out the character Cyborg (Ray Fisher), perhaps the least familiar character among the general public.

Now comes word that he is also beefing up the movie’s villain Steppenwolf in order to– get this– completely change the movie’s original ending.

When ‘Justice League’ was first announced, it was as TWO movies, ‘Justice League Part 1’ and ‘Justice League Part 2’.  Part 1 would have ended in a cliffhanger.  (Marvel had previously announced a similar plan for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and likewise cut it down to one movie with a fourth unattached ‘Avengers’ to follow.)

/Film‘s Peter Sciretta is reporting:

“Originally this movie is all about the Mother Boxes Ya know. The bad guys are trying to get the Mother Boxes. Steppenwolf is trying to get the mother boxes and he’s trying to get the earth ready for the coming of Darkseid.  The original ending of the movie, from what I understand, [Steppenwolf] was kind of playing the Silver Surfer role and Darkseid playing kind of the Galactus role, and the ending of the movie was a cliffhanger, and Justice League 2 was going to be Justice League vs. Darkseid. Darkseid arrives at Earth. This kind of down, dirty ending, and from what I understand, that has been completely removed. The ending ends the movie like a movie, it doesn’t leave a huge cliffhanger now.

As seen in the trailers, Steppenwolf appears before the Amazons.  This sequence will apparently be expanded as Robin Wright (General Antiope) popped up for reshoots.

They did a reshoot with Robin Wright from Wonder Woman, and that’s gonna be to set up a flashback explaining who Steppenwolf is, and Steppenwolf is now the big bad of this movie. Whereas Darkseid was this looming threat, that won’t now come, I don’t think.

Joss Whedon has famously expressed dissatisfaction with ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, many people’s favorite ‘Star Wars’ movie, because it isn’t really a whole movie unto itself, but a setup for the next movie ‘Return of the Jedi’ and the same holds true for many other film series.  It seems Whedon wants ‘Justice League’ to simply stand on its own as a complete film experience and not just an hors d’oeuvre for a main course that may not arrive for two years.

Photo credit: Helga Esteb /

Of course, there are some more negative rumors swirling too.  Snyder was attached to essentially oversee the DCEU even though he wouldn’t necessarily direct each film.  But his first entry, ‘Batman V Superman’ was trashed.  After that film opened, the studio invested millions to reshoot parts of ‘Suicide Squad’ in order to lighten the tone (although those involved denied that this was the reason).  It was announced that Snyder would no longer be overseeing the DCEU and Patty Jenkins was pretty much left alone to make the ‘Wonder Woman’ movie she wanted to make and it paid off in droves.  But with Snyder helming ‘Justice League’ many feared that the DCEU would backslide into the bleak mire that ‘BvS’ had established.

Some reports are that the film that Snyder had crafted was “unwatchable” and even a “dark, confusing mess.”  Sound familiar?  While that could be hyperbole or even false, sadly it’s also completely believable.

But Whedon can’t be making TOO many changes as the film is due to be released on November 17.

‘Justice League’ directed by Zack Snyder with Joss Whedon starring Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Ray Fisher, Ciarán Hinds and Henry Cavill, with Amy Adams, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, Billy Crudup, Diane Lane, Willem Dafoe, Kiersey Clemons and J.K. Simmons will unite audiences on November 17, 2017.