Ready to watch Joss Whedon’s hijacked version of the Justice League? Want a hodgepodge of Whedon humor and Zack Snyder darkness? Because it’s on its way.
In the wake of a rather tragic situation for Zack Snyder and his family, the director of Justice League stepped back from the project due for release this November. To replace him, Warner Bros. brought in Joss Whedon, who was already in talks with the studio to direct a Batgirl film.
According to the original reports, Whedon was just going to “complete” the film for Snyder. After all, Justice League is supposed to hit theaters sooner rather than later. We’ve only gotten like one trailer so far and it wasn’t a particularly good one, but trust, this isn’t about whether Zack Snyder should’ve been in charge of Justice League to begin with.
The pre-existing Whedon problem
Instead, we’re going to talk about the sticky situation Joss Whedon finds himself in yet again. Yes, he did Firefly, Buffy, and yes, he gave the world both The Avengers films. But following Whedon’s awkward split from Marvel, he seems to put a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.
For example, just consider the Black Widow debacle of 2015. While Marvel mishandled that character from the start, Whedon didn’t do her any favors in Age of Ultron. And if that’s not enough, Whedon returned to Twitter in time for one of the craziest political campaigns of late and continues to be very vocal about his disdain for Donald Trump. Is this unusual for Twitter? No. But if you’re watching to see how Whedon handles a good crisis, nothing he’s done lately boosts your confidence.
The new Whedon problem
So how does that factor into Justice League? Whedon’s recent behavior combined with the fact that Justice League went into reshoots almost immediately after he took over means he may not respect what Snyder already put in place. To make the film “lighter” a la The Avengers, it appears that Whedon will be inserting a lot of his own tone into a film, whether we like it or not.
Plus, reports broke that Joss Whedon replaced composers on the film. He brought in Danny Elfman to replace Junkie XL. Mr. XL (real name Antonius Tom Holkenborg) worked on Batman v Superman with Hans Zimmer and gifted the world with arresting arrangements like “The Red Capes Are Coming” and “Is She With You?” Now, name a memorable song by Danny Elfman that you heard in The Avengers? Oh, that’s right. You can’t, because there aren’t any.
I’m not saying that Zack Snyder is an ingenious storyteller or defending Batman v Superman in any way, but I take issue with what Whedon’s doing, especially because he’s pouncing on an opportunity that sprang from really unfortunate circumstances. It’s just not cool.
The only reasonable adjustment Whedon should be making is how he plans to set the stage up for Batgirl (if that’s still happening). Or perhaps, he saw how well Wonder Woman‘s doing in theaters and decided to give her more screentime. Otherwise, butt out.
(To be clear: I’m not saying he can’t or won’t make good contributions, I just don’t like how he’s going about it. The marketing narrative looks bad.)
Justice League opens in theaters on Nov. 17, 2017.