The subject of reshoots, especially when it comes to the DCEU, is one of much contention. Most films undergo reshoots as a final stage of the production process, but occasionally this can be a sign of dissatisfaction with the movie on the part of the studio or the director. Famously, Suicide Squad's reshoots were an effort to tidy up a messy film (with little success), and many people are wondering whether the same is true for Justice League.
So far, everyone involved in the production has brushed off these concerns, praising Zack Snyder's work on #JusticeLeague before he tragically had to step down, leaving the movie in the hands of Joss Whedon. We don't yet know exactly what Whedon's impact on the production will be, but ever since the Buffy director's involvement was revealed, many people have had a sneaking suspicion that maybe, just maybe, his reshoots will give the movie a lighter tone than Snyder's characteristic, cyan-hued sense of mororseness. And now it seems our theories have been confirmed.
Warner Bros. Wanted A Lighter Touch
In a new interview with IGN, actor Joe Morton — who plays Cyborg's father — has given an explanation for some of Justice League's reshoots.
Speaking particularly of how the character of Cyborg was altered to make him more upbeat, Morton also commented on the overall tone of the film, saying that the order came from Warner Bro. to lighten it up a bit:
"I think what I heard was that there was a need from the studio to lighten up the film in a way, that the film felt too dark. I don’t know what that meant in terms of how it actually got translated in terms of the reshoots but that’s what I heard. That’s what I thought some of the reshoots were about."
According to Morton, this didn't just affect Cyborg's reshoots, but the entire film. He claims that the studio were concerned about Justice League's dark tone, and ordered reshoots to alter this. This makes sense: after Batman v Superman's critical backlash, many fans are hoping that the #DCEU will have a spirit of fun and vitality, just as much as the alternative take on the superhero epic that it has become known for. Wonder Woman certainly achieved this, and the trailers for Justice League have so far represented the movie as grandiose, yes, but not without a sense of humor.
However, trailers can be misleading. It's possible that Zack Snyder — as fantastic a filmmaker as he can be — envisioned Justice League as a serious continuation of Batman v Superman, with all the ponderous angst that entails. If that's true, then it makes sense that the studio would want Joss Whedon to inject a sense of fun into the mix, which can only bode well for the movie.
Or so we hope. Trying to force two different directorial styles together could result yet another tonal mess, just like what happened with Suicide Squad. It's also worth noting that Morton only says he "thinks" that this is the reason Warner Bros. ordered reshoots. While it could be that he, as a production insider, was told by the directors that this was the studio's reasoning, he could also be referring to hearsay — or he could have just got the wrong impression.
Rather than fixing one tone problem in the whole movie, it's likely that the reshoots are targeting many different aspects of the production. A return to Gotham seems to have been added in one scene, with others potentially taking Diana back to Themiscyra. In the case of Cyborg, lightening up the character by giving him more dynamic dialogue is a smart move on the part of the studio, as his character didn't really stand out in the trailers.
Whatever's happening with the Justice League reshoots, right now all signs seem to be pointing towards this movie being the fun, stylistic team-up epic that the DCEU needs, and the fans deserve. And there's nothing morose about that.
Tell us in the comments: Do you think Justice League will be a fun action flick, or a dark, ponderous epic?