It turns out Joss Whedon was involved with Justice League prior to the tragic events that led to director Zack Snyder’s departure. It was initially believed that Whedon had come to Warner Bros. to only write and direct the upcoming Batgirl adaptation, but producer Charles Roven has confirmed he has been aiding Snyder during the post-production phase. Despite the upcoming reshoots and Snyder’s departure, Justice League is still on track for its November 2017 release date. The film will feature Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Mamoa) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) as the titular superhero team fighting against the forces of Darkseid.
Zack Snyder has been an integral part of the DC Extended Universe since he directed 2013’s Man of Steel – the film that laid the groundwork for a shared universe that was then further explored in Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Snyder also directed Justice League, though he stepped down recently to grieve the death of his daughter, Autumn. Joss Whedon, the former Avengers director, has since stepped up to finish post-production on Justice League. The extent of Whedon’s involvement, however, has been unclear until now.
“We’re excited about the film, of course, but we were saddened by the events that caused Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder to have to leave and turn the reins over to Joss Whedon. He was already working with us on some of the scenes for that additional photography that we’re going to be doing shortly. It was fortunate that Zack convinced him, and he agreed to step in and finish the movie – to help Zack finish his vision. We’re excited about that.”
It’s been reported that Whedon was merely sanding down the rough edges and working on dialogue for the Justice League re-shoots, which he was going to direct. However, it seems that Snyder brought Whedon in well in advance of his departure to work on the script. The re-shoots are said to be minor, which is common for big-budget blockbusters like these. While Warner Bros. and Whedon himself have stated that he is only going to fulfill Zack Snyder’s vision for the film, there is still the lingering question of Justice League 2 and the DCEU’s future, which we likely see more fresh blood brought in and a greater emphasis on the role Geoff Johns has as president of DC Entertainment, to godfather the creative direction of these franchises.
Initially, Snyder was expected to direct both the first and second Justice League movies one after the other. However, last year it was reported that Snyder would instead be directing his stalled war drama The Last Photograph after Justice League, before potentially returning to helm the second Justice League installment. It has also been reported that WB is prioritizing DCEU projects like The Batman ahead of Justice League 2, so there should be all the more time now for Snyder to take a break from the DCEU before returning for Justice League 2 – should he so decide to, down the line.