Justice League Movie Is "Zack Snyder's DNA" Despite Being Finished By Joss Whedon

Why Justice League's release is "bittersweet" for the cast and producers


The questions around DC's long-awaited Justice League movie intensified when, earlier this year, longtime DC director Zack Snyder stepped down from the film. He was replaced by Joss Whedon, who had served as the driving force for much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Justice League's cast and producers addressed some of those questions, including how much influence Whedon ultimately had over the film, during a press conference in London.

"The movie is Zack's DNA," said Ben Affleck, who stars as Batman in Justice League. "The cast of the movie, the design of the movie--there's something that people who don't actually work on movies don't understand, which is how much of the work is done in prep--the casting, the sets get built, the story is written. The ship is, in essence, sailing. I found as a director you can maybe change 10%, 15% or something, on the day. Zack's ship set sail with us, and we were fortunate that when Zack was not able to continue, we got really lucky in that we got a guy who is very accomplished in his own right, and particularly in this genre, and he kind of sprinkled some of his fairy dust on our movie and finished it."

Many fans of DC's and Marvel's movies are familiar with both Snyder's and Whedon's work, and it will be natural to watch Justice League with both directors in mind. But Affleck said it will be impossible to pick out exactly who is responsible for individual scenes.

"I don't think there's any way to go back, to me, and look at those scenes and go, 'That's a Joss scene, that's a Zack scene,'" Affleck said. "It was more that they were both working together toward a common goal. Debbie [Snyder] would know better than I would, certainly, but I got the sense that Joss was working from what he had discussed with Zack before he stepped in."

Deborah Snyder, Zack's wife and frequent producing partner, spoke candidly about Justice League's production and Zack Snyder's feelings.

"I think for us, this whole thing is so bittersweet, because we have been working on this franchise for the past, you know, almost eight years, when we started developing the script for Man of Steel, and then we moved on to BVS, and also Zack developed the story for Wonder Woman, which was leading up to the point of Justice League, where these characters were finally going to come together," she said. "Not being able to complete his vision was extremely difficult. So that makes it hard."

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She reiterated that Whedon and Zack had already been collaborating when Whedon took over directing. "We were lucky that we had Joss already working on script pages," she said. "And our feeling is that we're hoping people don't think about how the movie was made when they [go] to see it, because these characters are bigger than any director. They're bigger than any of us. And we love and adore these characters and we love and adore all these people here."

"It's been just a great privilege and fun to work with Zack and Debbie and all of the actors in the various films," added Justice League producer Charles Rover. "It was sad not to have Zack there, but as we've been saying, to have Joss come in, and he had already been working with Zack--and now we're just really happy with the movie and really happy with the dynamics of what we're doing."

Justice League hits theaters Nov. 17. Check out our impressions in our Justice League review.

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