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Justice League was meant to start with a "comedic" Batman scene but Warner Bros changed it

Justice League might have been a lot lighter than Batman v Superman, but that doesn’t mean it was a laugh a minute. Even with Joss Whedon parachuting in to oversee (allegedly) 20% of reshoots, his style of witty banter didn’t come across as heavily as many would have liked. That even extends to the opening scene, as an actor involved mentions. If you haven’t seen Justice League yet, turn away now because there’s spoilers for the opening scene to follow. 

In the opening scene, Batman chases a low-level criminal (played by Mindhunter’s Holt McCallany) across Gotham’s rooftops to be used as bait to attract one of Steppenwolf’s Parademons – before leading into the most on-the-nose link into Superman’s ‘death’ ever.

As McCallany points out to Men’s Fitness, though, the scene was firstly shot and presented as a much lighter, funnier scene. Think something similar to Batman: The Animated Series’ gallery of petty crooks tripping over themselves whilst trying to escape The Dark Knight: “My scene with Batman was originally conceived as a comedic scene. That’s how Joss wrote it, and that’s how we shot it. I thought it came out great, but the studio felt it would be a mistake to open the film with a completely comedic scene, so it was re-edited a little bit.”

That’s… disappointing. It reads to me like Warner Bros. doubled down on the dreariness which, if this was 2005, would be fine. Unfortunately, you’re hot on the heels of Thor: Ragnarok and a bit of light-hearted fare wouldn’t go amiss, especially if the rest of the movie is blanketed in various shades of grimly-tinted yellow and greys.

While we’re on the topic of what did/didn’t make it into Justice League: there’s a petition to release Zack Snyder’s cut of the movie – and it’s got over 80,000 signees. Will you add your name to the list? There's also 9 questions we had after watching Justice League.

Image: DC/Warner Bros.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.