Joss Whedon has spoken about his time on Justice League. The theatrical version of the superhero movie was co-directed by Whedon, who took over from Zack Snyder after the latter filmmaker dropped out following a personal tragedy.
In a new interview with New York magazine (opens in new tab), Whedon claims that Warner Bros. asked him to "fix" Justice League after losing faith in Snyder's vision. The studio, however, contests Whedon's version of events and points out that Snyder had publically stated that he left the project to spend time with his family.
The magazine's report details how the set of Justice League was tense under Whedon's watch. Where Snyder encouraged actors to ad-lib lines, Whedon wanted everyone to stick to the script. One crew member claims that Gal Gadot told Whedon that he didn't understand how superhero movies worked, despite Whedon having previously directed two Avengers movies. Whedon allegedly told the actors he had never worked with "a ruder group of people." The actors, conversely, felt Whedon was being rude.
One of the major points of contention was Cyborg's role in the movie. Snyder's version of Justice League was set to be centered on Fisher's Cyborg, while Whedon significantly cut down his role. Whedon has now explained his reasoning, saying that the Cyborg story "logically made no sense" and that he felt the acting was bad. He also claims that he spent hours discussing changes with Fisher, who has publically criticized his treatment on the Justice League set by Whedon. He claimed on Twitter (opens in new tab) in January 2021 that "Joss Whedon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable."
Gadot has also claimed that Whedon threatened her career, which Whedon said he did not do, instead saying there must have been a misunderstanding. "English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech," he told the magazine. Gadot responded in an email saying: "I understood perfectly."
When Snyder's four-hour cut of Justice League was released on HBO Max, reviews were much more positive than Whedon's version. Fisher's extended role was praised by many critics. Meanwhile, the New York magazine's report claims that Whedon regards taking over directing Justice League "as one of the biggest regrets of his life".
Whedon has been at the center of multiple controversies over the past couple of decades, including claims of affairs on his sets and abuse of power. A full timeline of the controversies is available to read here on Vulture.
Fisher and Gadot are not the only Justice League actors to decry their experience making the movie. Batman actor Ben Affleck recently said it was "awful" and "the worst experience". Meanwhile, Jeremy Irons said he had not seen the Snyder Cut of Justice League, adding "it couldn't have been worse" than the theatrical version.