Over half a year has gone by since Justice League hit theaters, but DC fans are still debating which parts of the movie belong to original director Zack Snyder’s initial, now legendary cut of the film and which bits come from Joss Whedon’s studio-mandated reshoots. And while we’d previously guessed as much, now we have confirmation that one particular subplot has nothing to do with Snyder’s work.
As he often does, the director recently replied to a fan on social media site Vero when the topic of the Russian family that features intermittently in the movie came up. He responded with a short but hilarious message, simply saying: “What Russian family?” – which all but confirms that he wasn’t responsible for their inclusion in the film.
In case you’ve tried to blot it from your memories, the anonymous Russian family lived in the vicinity of the area that Steppenwolf chose as his base of operations when he attempted to transform the Earth into a copy of his homeworld, thanks to the power of the Mother Boxes. Fans didn’t quite take to the subplot though and felt it was a waste of screentime that would be better spent focusing on the titular six heroes, and we’d have to agree.
It’s long been assumed that the family subplot was Whedon’s creation, too, as he did something very similar in The Avengers, and to a lesser extent in Age of Ultron as well. In those Marvel movies, he likewise introduced some random pedestrians so that the heroes would have someone to save. You can see why he’d employ this as a narrative device, as it helps ground the apocalyptic action, but you could say the director relies on it too much.
As for Snyder’s reply, it sounds like he’s dropping a brilliant burn at Whedon’s expense, but he may also be genuinely asking what the fan’s talking about. Strange as it may seem, he’s previously admitted that he’s never watched the theatrical cut of Justice League, heavily suggesting there’s bad blood between himself and the studio that reportedly booted him off the production.