Warner Bros. Pictures was looking to digitally replace Kiersey Clemons as Iris West in Justice League, following Rick Famuyiwa's departure as director on the previously-untitled The Flash solo movie (now better known as Flashpoint). Clemons' scenes in the film ultimately wound up on the cutting room floor, after director Zack Snyder's reportedly three hour long rough cut of Justice League was reduced to the two hour iteration that was released in theaters following Joss Whedon's extensive reshoots on the film. Clemons' deleted Justice League scene has since been leaked online, incomplete VFX and all.
The solo Flash movie has gone through two different directors now, after both Famuyiwa and Seth Grahame-Smith (creator of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and cowriter of The LEGO Batman Movie) stepped down from the DC Films project, citing creative differences with the studio. Clemons was recruited to play Iris West on the big screen by Famuyiwa, following their work together on the filmmaker's acclaimed 2015 high school comedy/drama Dope. While the change in both the creative direction and behind the scenes personnel on Flashpoint could mean that Clemons is out of the film too, it would appear that this isn't a done deal yet.
Justice League VFX artist and Reddit user LDN_Films has revealed several tidbits about the behind the scenes process on the film, including the scrapped plans for a Green Lantern post-credits scene and how WB offered to create a CGI mustache for Henry Cavill in Mission: Impossible 6, before Paramount rejected the offer. The unnamed artist has now confirmed that WB was originally planning to digitally replace Clemons as Iris during her Justice League scene, in order to recast the character at a later time:
I've said before, we were replacing Clemons with a digital woman in the shot - Clemons was brought on because of Famuyiwa, when he bailed, it meant WB could recast her. That's around the time the shot was cut. Now it's been leaked online with her in it, they'll probably stop all the work being done on it to replace her to stop fan backlash.
There is a silver lining to LDN_Film's comment, suggesting that Clemons may yet get to play Iris, thanks to WB's desire to avoid prompting a backlash from those fans who were excited to see her in the role and/or have already watched the leaked Justice League scene featuring her. Clemons, for her part, has never indicated that she's no longer planning on playing the character in DC's Cinematic Universe. Thus, simply keeping Clemons onboard as part of the franchise might be the best move for WB here, as the studio goes about making its big decisions regarding the future of the DC Movies property in the wake of Justice League's critical and commercial under-performance.
Flashpoint is "close" to finding a new director according to the latest reports, and whichever filmmaker signs on for the project will no doubt have some say in whether Clemons goes or stays as part of the package that also includes Ezra Miller as Barry Allen and Billy Crudup as his father, Henry. Like so much of the DC Films franchise, Iris West's casting is up in the air at the moment, and everyone is encouraged to stay tuned for the latest development concerning this matter.
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020