Whatever your thoughts are on the final cut of Justice League released in 2017, it was clearly not the movie anyone onboard wanted, especially Ray Fisher. Indeed, the actor who played Cyborg in the film has gone on social media several times in the past two months to criticize the film and his disappointing experience in making it. He added to that story Thursday by tweeting a claim that DC Films executive Geoff Johns threatened his career in 2017.
The alleged incident occurred during the lengthy reshoots of the film spearheaded by filmmaker Joss Whedon after director Zack Snyder stepped away from the project to deal with a family tragedy. Fisher’s role in the film was substantially reduced during Whedon’s reshoots, and as he’s previously expressed, he was also unhappy with the way he was professionally treated during the filming of these sequences. According to Fisher’s latest tweet, Johns threatened Fisher’s career after Fisher made his unhappiness with the situation clear through official studio channels.
“During the LA reshoots for Justice League, Geoff Johns summoned me to his office to belittle and admonish my (and my agent’s) attempts to take grievances up the proper chain of command,” Fisher wrote. “He then made a thinly veiled threat to my career. This behavior cannot continue.”
Fisher’s accusation aimed at Johns follows on the heels of several other sharply worded tweets regarding the Justice League reshoots. On June 29, the actor shared on Twitter a clip of himself from San Diego Comic-Con circa 2017 where he spoke glowingly about the movie, his experience on it, and Whedon as a person, calling him “a great guy.” In the tweet, Fisher said, “I’d like to take a moment to forcefully retract every bit of this statement.” When confusion followed if that included calling Whedon a great guy, Fisher clarified his remarks in another tweet dated July 1.
“Joss Wheadon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable,” Fisher said. “He was enabled, in many ways, by Geoff Johns and Jon Berg. Accountability>Entertainment.”
It is not clear in Fisher’s allegations who or what the proper chain of command was to air his grievances with the Justice League reshoots, nor is it clear if this unhappiness stemmed from the way his character was reduced in reshoots or how he was personally treated on the set. But clearly this makes just one more tortured episode in Justice League’s unhappy afterlife since arriving to tepid reviews and massively disappointing box office nearly three years ago.
Originally expected to be the crowning achievement reached by DC Entertainment and Snyder’s vision for the future of superhero movies following Man of Steel, Justice League arrived with a whimper and clearly much behind-the-scenes tinkering. As originally conceived in 2013 as part one of a two-part saga, Justice League was radically reworked by Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio before even a frame was shot after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s infamously bad reception. While that earlier 2016 film grossed over $800 million worldwide and has its fans, it was expected to gross more than $1 billion and fell short likely due to largely unhappy word-of-mouth, which began when critics roasted the movie’s ponderous pretensions and bloat. Johns was an executive producer on that film and producer on Justice League. He’s also executive produced Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam!
After Snyder was encouraged to step away from the project, large portions of the movie were reshot by The Avengers director Joss Whedon, who reworked enough of the film to earn himself a screenplay credit. But while Snyder’s name remained on the finished film as director, a growing chorus of fans are adamant that Snyder’s original vision for the movie before the reshoots is unquestionably superior. In truth, the “Snyder Cut” didn’t actually exist in full, but it soon will with WarnerMedia’s HBO Max set to debut Zack Snyder’s Justice League as it was previously intended before 2017 reshoots sometime next year.