Confusion has swirled around Justice League's development process since this past May, when Joss Whedon took over Zack Snyder's directorial duties after the latter had to step down from the project due to a family tragedy. At the time, it was stated Whedon would only board the project to help with the post-production process. Surprisingly though, as the months went on and numerous reports discussing reshoots and rewrites surfaced, it became increasingly clear that the superhero epic was undergoing a heavy restructuring process under Whedon's direction.
The constant chatter made us all scratch our heads and wonder exactly how much the film was changing under Whedon's direction. Sadly, figuring out what was happening with the project has been as challenging of an endeavor as taking a direct hit from Steppenwolf's flaming ax and walking out alive. Fortunately, good news has finally come our way, my fellow geeks. We may have finally have a more concrete idea of Whedon's contribution.
Joss Whedon Has Been Officially Credited As Justice League Co-Writer
Warner Bros recently sent out its 2017 Fall Movie Preview to the press, and it includes a new list of Justice League credits. Most of the information reflects what we already know, except for the fact that Joss Whedon is credited as the film's co-writer, alongside Batman v Superman's Chris Terrio:
Director: Zack Snyder Writers: Story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, Screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon Based on characters from DC Entertainment, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Producers: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns Executive Producers: Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio, Ben Affleck. Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller. Action Adventure. Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes — Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash— it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Now, that credit may not seem like much for some fans, but Whedon's new title could potentially have huge implications for the plot of Justice League.
How Much Was The Film Changed, Exactly?
This is our biggest sign yet of how much Justice League's changed throughout the past three months. To make sense of this situation, we need to take a look at the Writers Guild of America's Screen Credits Manual. In it, it's stated that for adapted material (a.k.a., a Comicbook movie) a person needs to make a contribution of over 33% to a script in order to be credited as a co-writer:
Any writer whose work represents a contribution of more than 33% of a screenplay shall be entitled to screenplay credit, except where the screenplay is an original screenplay. In the case of an original screenplay, any subsequent writer or writing team must contribute 50% to the final screenplay.
Long story short, Whedon needed to do his fair share of changes to the script in order to get a writing credit, meaning the plot is probably fairly different from the version that Zack Snyder started principal photography with. This information in turn could validate a majority of the rumors regarding the film's reshaping, especially the costly reshoots, which reportedly came with a $25 million price tag.
Now, you may be wondering whether these extensive changes are a bad omen for Justice League. While it's a possibility, it's not necessarily the case. Last year, Disney's Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One, went through a similar situation. Following rumors of the House of the Mouse being worried about how the movie was turning out, The Bourne Legacy's Tony Gilroy stepped in to collaborate with original director Gareth Edwards to help rewrite several scenes in the film and direct five weeks worth of reshoots that drastically changed some of the movie's most important moments.
Just like Whedon, Gilroy was eventually credited as scriptwriter. Fast forward four months, and the movie not only crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office, but it was praised by both critics and fans. With that in mind, Justice League could still turn out to be amazing. Of course, there's no way to be sure about that right now, but I'm hopeful that all the work put behind it will result in a satisfying final product.
Justice League flies into theaters on November 17, 2017.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]