(Note: this post was originally published on Nov. 16, 2017)
So you’ve seen “Justice League” and watched Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, the Flash and Cyborg team up to defeat a big ole bad guy and save the world from some kind of harsh apocalyptic future.
But something about the movie is nagging you, and you can’t quite put a finger on what it is. You just know that something about the way Superman’s face looked was…off. That something seemed like it was wrong with his mouth.
Well, I have good news for you: you did not hallucinate that Henry Cavill’s mouth looked weird in “Justice League.” It definitely did look weird in a couple scenes, and there is a reason for that.
So “Justice League,” like all big-budget movies these days, underwent scheduled reshoots this summer — but for whatever reason those reshoots took longer than Warner Bros anticipated. Cavill ended up with a bit of a conflict as a result: he had grown a mustache for “Mission: Impossible 6,” but obviously he couldn’t have a mustache while playing Superman/Clark Kent.
Because shaving his mustache and then having to grow it again would have forced an alteration in the “Mission: Impossible 6” production schedule, Paramount forbade him from shaving it off while doing protracted “Justice League” reshoots. And as TheWrap reported back in July, Cavill ended up shooting a number of scenes as Superman while sporting a mustache in real life.
Warner Bros. dealt with Cavill’s mustache in post-production, attempting to use CGI to give Superman his normal clean-shaven look. And while, yes, you can’t see his mustache, Cavill’s upper lip doesn’t come through the process unscathed. In more than one scene in “Justice League” it’s very obvious that heavy CGI work was done on his mouth because he makes some unnatural expressions — his mouth moving in a way that is not the way Henry Cavill’s mouth normally moves.
And that’s there were parts where he looked like this:
So there you have it, the answer to why Superman’s appearance in “Justice League” may have left you feeling oddly disconcerted. That’s what you call movie not-quite-magic.