Zack Snyder didn’t know about the alleged abuse Joss Whedon inflicted on star Ray Fisher during shooting “Justice League” while it was happening, he says in a new interview with The New York Times.
The director, whose version of the film comes out on HBO Max this Friday, said he didn’t know about the chaos that unfolded on set when Whedon was brought on to finish the DC crossover film and what transpired with Fisher. The actor, who played Cyborg in the DC Extended Universe, accused both Whedon and several DC Films executives, including president Walter Hamada, of enabling a culture of abuse and interfering with an investigation launched by WarnerMedia into his claims.
“The last thing they wanted to do was call me, complaining about them having a hard time shooting,” said Snyder, who exited the film following the death of his daughter. “But in retrospect, do I feel bad that they had to go through that? I do. These guys are my friends, and they’re amazing actors, and they’re strong people. I want them to be taken care of and in a healthy situation. I wasn’t there, so your opinion on it is probably is as good as mine.”
Snyder said he did have a bad feeling when Warner Bros. brought Whedon on to rewrite his “Justice League” script, feeling it was a sign that the studio was losing confidence in him after the critical shellacking that “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” had received in 2016. Snyder steered clear of criticizing Whedon, who is now facing accusations of abuse from other actors like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” alum Michelle Trachtenberg alongside Fisher.
“They were like, ‘We think punching up the humor and doing some more fun stuff will be great.’ I was like, ‘Hmm, I’m happy to shoot a scene if you guys have a good idea,'” he said. “We kicked around a bunch of different writers and they had come in with Joss. He’s a talented writer, no two ways about it. But I really didn’t see the point. And then when I was like, ‘I’m done, I can’t do this,’ I feel like they were volunteering Joss as the de facto finisher.”
Despite the tension he had with Warner Bros. — which has seen a change in leadership since “Justice League” was first released — Snyder says he’s grateful that his version of the film will now be available for the world to see, and he even had a funny pick for a movie to watch alongside it.
“This movie wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for HBO Max; I’m eternally grateful for them. And the viewing experience is still at a hugely high quality. It’s really up to your TV. It’s in the same aspect ratio as ‘First Cow.’ Those two movies share some common DNA, I think,” he said with a laugh. “I really did like ‘First Cow,’ actually. I would love that in a double feature, ‘First Cow’ and the Snyder cut of ‘Justice League.'”