Last night news broke that Zack Snyder will be stepping down from Justice League in the wake of a family tragedy. Snyder is always wildly popular among cast and crew, so his absence is guaranteed to be felt on set, but reshoots and post production work still need to be done, and #DC have brought in Joss Whedon to steer the ship as work on the movie enters the final stretch.
Just in case you're still suffering PTSD after Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the idea of Whedon making the leap to DC gives you cause for concern, I thought it could be helpful to break down exactly what Whedon will and won't be doing at the helm of Justice League between now and November.
What's Left Of Justice League To Shoot?
The initial Justice League shoot wrapped in October 2016 in Iceland, and Snyder then commenced work on editing and post-production (VFX work etc.) with Weta Digital, Double Negative and various other VFX specialist studios.
All major blockbusters undergo reshoots these days, often leading to rumors in the media that the film is in trouble — but as proven by Rogue One (whose entire final act was reportedly rewritten and re-shot), reshoots often result in a better movie. So the fact that Justice League is scheduled to undergo a single round of reshoots this summer is not a bad omen, it's just part and parcel of the process.
Once those reshoots are complete, Whedon will likely oversee the process of editing trailers (sometimes outsourced, however) and working alongside the movie's editor David Brenner.
Will Joss Whedon's Influence Be Visible?
According to the report in The Hollywood Reporter, Snyder had already screened an early cut of the movie to family and friends. He used their feedback as the basis for a series of new scenes, scripted by Joss Whedon (meaning the Avengers director will also have a writing credit here), and after deciding to step down to spend time with his family, asked Whedon to direct those new scenes alongside the reshoots.
Crucially, according to Warner Bros. president Toby Emmerich, the new scenes "Have to adhere to the style and tone and the template that Zack set," so when you see Justice League in theaters, you shouldn't be able to identify the handful of scenes that were directed by Whedon — they'll look like the work of Zack Snyder visually, which usually means lots of blues, greys, stormy skies and people shrouded in darkness.
Will Zack Snyder Return To The DCEU?
Snyder is immensely well respected at Warner Bros., and to their immense credit the studio have demonstrated their own compassion by offering to put Justice League back to 2018 in order to give Snyder the time he needs. Although he elected to drop out, he chose Whedon personally to take over the reins, and WB have made it very clear that any Justice League sequel still belongs to Zack Snyder.
Essentially, then, the decision is in the hands of the director and his wife Deborah, also a producer on BvS and Justice League. It's not one they'll want to make in the immediate future, but whether the Snyders do return to the DCEU or take the time to heal with their seven children, Justice League is now in the capable hands of Joss Whedon — and yes, you should still be stoked.
Justice League hits theaters November 17, 2017.
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)