When Zack Snyder stepped down from Justice League due to bereavement and Joss Whedon was brought on to finish the film, most people assumed he’d merely be putting the finishing touches on an essentially completed project. A new story from The Hollywood Reporter claims quite the opposite, however, saying that Whedon is currently engaged in “extensive reshoots.”
This news has got to leave fans wondering precisely what kind of Justice League we’re going to see later this year. Like or loathe him, Snyder is a director with a strong visual style and what I’ll charitably describe as a bold storytelling style. Whatever your take on Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, nobody can deny that the film went to some pretty weird places for a mainstream superhero flick.
By contrast, Whedon has a reputation for turning in uninspired but effective cinema, peppered with witty and on point quips. Put simply, The Avengers was a film that got the job of combining the various Phase 1 MCU flicks done. Age of Ultron was a step back in quality, yet for all its crowded storytelling and dodgy editing, it just about worked.
Fans could be forgiven for worrying that Justice League could represent the worst excesses of both directors, with Zack Snyder’s apocalyptic full-frame compositions contrasting strangely with Whedon’s TV-tinged ensemble comedy. On top of that, extensive reshoots are rarely a positive sign in a production. They’re a little more commonplace than before (and Rogue One turned out okay), but too much studio tinkering generally leads to bland and unadventurous cinema with the edges filed off.
With this and the rumours that Affleck is toast as Batman, is Justice League really turning into a production nightmare for DC and Warner Bros.? If so, it’d be the last thing they need right now. Wonder Woman finally gave them a bona fide hit, and for once they’re in a strong position. Hopefully things are still on track, but right now, it’s hard to say.
Regardless, we’ll find out for sure whether Justice League is a hit or a hash in just a couple of months, as it opens November 17th.