With the premiere of ‘Justice League’ mere weeks away, there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the film. One of the biggest, of course, is the question of just how much influence Joss Whedon will have on the finished film. For those who may not have been following the production, Whedon took the helm when original director Zack Snyder stepped down following a family tragedy. While Snyder had reportedly shot most of the film prior to his departure, Whedon has nonetheless been involved with a number of reshoots and rewrites.
As we’ve reported, Affleck has previously spoken about the change in directors, referencing the fine line that Whedon managed to walk in terms of the tone, sensibility, and direction that Snyder had established for the film prior to his departure. He has also described ‘Justice League’ as “a really fun and inspiring synthesis of their two forms of storytelling.” Speaking during the film’s London press junket, the actor and director elaborated on these remarks, offering a filmmaker’s perspective on the production:
“This movie is Zack’s DNA. He cast the movie, designed the movie. There’s something I think people don’t understand who don’t actually work on movies, which is how much work is done in prep. How much, you know, the casting, the sets get built, the story was written, the ship is, in essence, sailing. I’ve found as a director you can maybe ten percent, fifteen percent or something on the day, so you really have Zack’s ship set sail with us and we were fortunate that when Zack was not able to continue we got really lucky in that we got a guy who’s very accomplished in his own right, and particularly in this genre, and he kind of sprinkled some of his fairy dust on our movie and finished it. I don’t think there’s any way to go back to look and say “That’s a Joss scene,” or “That’s a Zack scene.” It was more they were working together toward a common goal even better than I would certainly, but I get a sense that Joss was working from what he had discussed with Zack before he stepped in.”
Based on Affleck’s remarks, it seems that Whedon has hewed fairly closely to Snyder’s intent, if not necessarily to his approach. Reportedly, Snyder will retain sole directing credit, which under Director’s Guild rules means that Whedon’s reshoots cannot make up more than half of the film. And as Affleck points out, much of what gives a film its identity is in place (or at the very least in progress) before a single frame is shot. In any case, we’ll know for sure soon enough.
Directed by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon, ‘Justice League’ will serve as the flagship entry in DC’s burgeoning cinematic universe. The film will feature returning stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, and Jesse Eisenberg alongside a slate of newcomers that includes Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Amber Heard, Ciaran Hinds, and J.K. Simmons. The film will arrive in theaters on November 17, 2017.