Ever since the two-time Avengers director agreed to shepherd JL over the finish line, there have been rumblings of extensive reshoots and “significant” changes being made to the film’s story, which Whedon helped “fine-tune” with co-writer and all-around DC mainstay Chris Terrio.
Now, we’re learning a little more about what Joss Whedon tinkered with. This report, which ought to be filed directly in the rumor cabinet alongside those allegations of Zack Snyder returning to the fray, comes to us by way of Reddit (!). Citing an undisclosed source close to Justice League, the 4chan rumor mill is now claiming that Whedon has removed Deathstroke entirely, and that largely comes down to Matt Reeves siding with a different villain for The Batman. Chalk that up as conjecture, for now, but here’s that report in full:
Deathstroke has been cut other than a mention by Alfred to Bruce, as Reeves doesn’t want to use Deathstroke in his first Batman, so a set up this early would be useless. The movie had plenty of references to Darkseid by name, but this has been changed to things like “my master” from Steppenwolf as they want to use less of him to make the final part of the film have a bigger payoff, Darkseid killing Steppenwolf on his return to Apokolips.
For what it’s worth, the report goes one step further to claim that Joss Whedon’s first port of call was reworking the dialogue of Justice League, particularly those scenes in which all members of the League interacted with one another. Think of the first scene of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.
He’s been hired to basically rework dialogue, most scenes where the characters are standing around and talking, like Batcave scenes have been reworked. Terrio had used dialogue that had a lot of metaphors, but when watching a cut they found it felt too formal and didn’t work with a group that were meant to become friends, it also didn’t test too well with very early test audiences, so they decided to change it.
Between talk of Whedon’s alterations and the purported Lex Luthor cameo, which will seemingly leave the door open for Man of Steel 2, it’s clear that the Justice League rumor mill continues to operate at full tilt. And it’ll likely do so right up until the film’s release on November 17th.