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Warner Execs Thought Joss Whedon’s ‘Justice League’ Was a ‘Piece of S**t’

FameFlynet / Joss Whedon

Joss Whedon’s bad behavior on the set of Justice League and his other projects seemingly stems from his incredibly massive, Kanye Westian ego. It wasn’t entirely unearned, either, Whedon didn’t become geek royalty by accident; Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a classic and Firefly made a huge impact with just a few episodes. Joss even did a great job with the first Avengers movie, I’ve probably watched that movie ten times.

And then there’s Justice League.

Joss Whedon was at the height of his egotism and did not come close to showing enough talent to back it up.  Now, he didn’t have an enviable task of coming into a movie that was already in production, but he rewrote and reshot a huge amount of the movie, trying to give it the same tone that had served the Marvel movies so well.

Here’s how far Whedon missed the mark: even Warner Brothers hated the movie, but at that point, they had spent a ton of money and had to put something in theaters. Hell, it had Batman in it, people are going to go see it.

Zack Snyder talked to Vanity Fair about just what the reaction to Whedon’s version of the film was.

First, there was Christopher Nolan, EP of the project and director of the Dark Knight trilogy, who had a private screening with Snyder’s wife Deborah.

“They came and they just said, ‘You can never see that movie,’” Zack Snyder says during lunch at his Pasadena office, a modernist series of cubes jutting from a hillside that overlooks the Rose Bowl.

“Because I knew it would break his heart,” his wife adds.

Keep in mind that the Snyder’s had just lost their daughter.

They weren’t the only ones who hated the movie.

Worst of all, for Warner Bros., Whedon didn’t exactly save the movie. “When we got to see what Joss actually did, it was stupefying,” says a studio executive, who requested anonymity. “The robber on the rooftop—so goofy and awful. The Russian family—so useless and pointless. Everyone knew it. It was so awkward because nobody wanted to admit what a piece of s**t it was.”

And even then, they didn’t actually want to pay to finish Snyder’s version of the film.

Initially, says Snyder, Warner Bros. just wanted to release the raw footage on his laptop. “I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no,’” he says. “And they’re like, ‘But why? You can just put up the rough cut.’” Snyder didn’t trust their motivations. “I go, ‘Here’s why. Three reasons: One, you get the internet off your back, which is probably your main reason for wanting to do this. Two, you get to feel vindicated for making things right, I guess, on some level. And then three, you get a shitty version of the movie that you can point at and go, ‘See? It’s not that good anyway. So maybe I was right.’ I was like, No chance. I would rather just have the Snyder cut be a mythical unicorn for all time.”

Eventually, the studio shelled out the $70 million to finish Snyder’s version of the film and it’ll be on HBO Max in March. It’s not like it could actually be worse, right?

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