Joss Whedon is going to end up taking a lot of flak for his version of Justice League and it isn’t totally undeserved, especially if reports of his behavior during the film’s reshoots have any truth to them. However, it looks like the rest of the DC directors are outright throwing out the theatrical version of Justice League as canon.
In an interview with CinemaBlend, Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins revealed that all the other directors working in the DC cinematic universe apparently discarded Joss Whedon’s take on Justice League. “I think that all of us DC directors tossed that out just as much as the fans did,” Jenkins said in a rare moment of bluntness. To hear that the filmmakers working on the DC films were as dismissive of the theatrical cut of Justice League as the majority of fans were is more than a little surprising. It certainly sounds like there is no love lost for that version of the movie.
And with the upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it definitely sounds like Joss Whedon’s version of the film is being tossed by the Warner Bros. brass as well. Patty Jenkins went on to explain that she felt the theatrical cut of Justice League “contradicted my first movie in many ways, and [Wonder Woman 1984]” as well. To hear a high profile director be this blatantly discouraging about another filmmaker’s movie is a touch remarkable. And it certainly seems to stress that the theatrical cut of Justice League should not be considered canon by anyone.
It is going to be fascinating to see how this appraisal plays out moving forward with the DC cinematic universe. Will none of the substantial developments in the Joss Whedon cut of Justice League be acknowledged in the continuing DC films? How much of the movie is going to be totally wiped away once Zack Snyder’s Justice League hits HBO Max? And will any other DC directors step up and echo Patty Jenkins’s feelings when their movies hit the press circuit? Most of all, will we hear Joss Whedon be completely candid about his experience with the movie once this is all said and done?
The DC cinematic universe continues to be a very different experience than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and these alternate versions and conflicts about canon continue to paint their projects in a rather unfavorable light. That is a serious bummer when really great movies like Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) are being overshadowed by discussions about Joss Whedon. Hopefully, most audiences won’t be too embroiled in all this drama and they will simply engage with the DC movies they like the most.
One day, we will have a very clear picture of everything that went down with Joss Whedon and the extremely transformative reshoots that occurred on Justice League. When we do, it is likely to go down as one of the most chaotic and monumental blockbuster decisions in all of movie history.