I’ve said a lot of vicious things about Zack Snyder in the past but that’s only because I despise him for taking several very loud, monochrome dumps on characters that I hold very dear. Despite my antipathy for the man and his “vision”, I would never have wished the sort of personal tragedy he is going through to have been visited upon him. Losing a child is a horror most of us cannot even fathom. All biting sarcasm and shit talking aside. Seriously, we feel for the guy.
Principal photography on Justice League wrapped way back in October of last year but Snyder has been trying to lose himself in his work, tweaking and reshooting as he went. Aside from whatever healing he might find in the process, he has also been dealing with the demands of panicking studio suits at Warner Bros. as well as pressure from Ben Affleck and a host of others. It’s no wonder he finally packed it in this week and said “Uncle”, or more likely, “Fuck this noise!”*
Rumors will follow Snyder’s departure like flies after the gut wagon. Was he forced out? Did he get bought out? Was there a golden parachute? Maybe a truckload of cash and the promise to direct future films that Warner Bros. wasn’t so desperate to see turn into mega-franchises? The internet will buzz. That’s what the internet does. Anyway, now we have Joss Whedon at the helm.
I can’t help but wonder what Whedon was offered to walk into this buzzsaw-dinosaur-clusterfuck. Obviously, a cruise liner full of cash. I also have to assume that Whedon was offered some degree of godlike autonomy. Joss has already been through the Hollywood abattoir with nearly every studio out there. He’s been money-punched in the dream-hole by Fox more times than anyone cares to remember so, I’m pretty sure he demanded that they put the reins firmly in his hands. Hell, it’s possible they begged him to take them up. I’m betting they promised Joss the chance to direct a Superman film (did I just hear Hunter pop a chubby?).
The question remains; what can we expect from a Justice League movie co-directed by Snyder and Whedon? Many fanboys think that Joss Whedon is the second coming. I don’t believe he can walk on water but can he turn water into wine? Or, in this case, shit into gold? Big budget films with multiple directors and lots of studio interference have a checkered past. Do we get a gorgeous stink bomb like Cleopatra or do we get The Wizard of Oz? Rogue One got tons of reshoots to “correct its tone”. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. Then again, the same thing happened to Suicide Squad and the critics mostly panned it. But neither of those films had multiple directors. I smell fear at Warner Bros. and if this goes tits up we’ll all be smelling blood in the water.
Can Joss Whedon reconcile his cinematic style and his tone with that of Snyder’s or will the two look jarringly incongruous side by side? Will Warner Bros. essentially have to lay out the cash to have Joss reshoot the bulk of the movie? Will the sun actually make an appearance in this flick? I’m not sure that the two styles can be blended effectively. This film may still turn out to be a turd on wheels with some really great moments but an overall “Meh” factor that drags it down. Will we have to wait for the sequel to get a cohesive story that entertains from start to finish? I get a bad feeling that the Justice League movie we are all waiting for is Justice League II: Dawn of Do-Over.
Anyway, that’s just my opinion. But I’m always right. Mostly.
*It will be interesting to see what direction Zack Snyder’s films take in the future. Will he steer them into an even darker, more hopeless place? Will he step out of the studio system for a while to make smaller, more personal films? Will he find some healing and if so, will that inform his artistic vision? Can you imagine an optimistic Zack Snyder film? That’s a little scary.
He also sings for the Supra-70s band, RIFLE.