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Ray Fisher Is Mad As Hell At Joss Whedon And He's Not Going To Take It Anymore

By Brian Richards | Social Media | July 2, 2020 |

By Brian Richards | Social Media | July 2, 2020 |


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In the four years that I’ve written for Pajiba, I’ve mentioned and made reference to the film Justice League at least three times. Each time I’ve mentioned that film (here, here, and here), I wrote this: “The less said about Justice League and about ALL of the behind-the-scenes bullshit that led to the film being released and turning out the way it did, the better.” And this post you’re about to read is going to shine just a little bit of light on why I keep saying that.

So here’s some backstory …

After Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice opened in theaters back in March of 2016 to largely negative reviews but reasonably successful box-office returns, director Zack Snyder soon went into production on its sequel, Justice League, which underwent a few changes in writer Chris Terrio’s script in response to the critical and audience response to Batman v. Superman. During post-production for Justice League, Snyder walked away from the film and relinquished his duties as director when his daughter, Autumn, died by suicide. Shortly after the exit of both Zack and his wife, producer Deborah Snyder, Warner Bros. approached Joss Whedon to take over as director and complete production of the film. Due to the studio’s desire to move away from the darker tone of Batman v. Superman and to basically have their own version of The Avengers, Whedon added about eighty pages to the script for extensive reshoots that not only added approximately $25 million or more to the film’s budget (which was between $250 - $300 million), but used only about 10 to 20 percent of what Snyder had originally shot before his exit in order to meet the studio’s mandate of Justice League having a runtime no longer than two hours, including end credits.

Once reshoots were finally complete and Justice League went back into post-production, the film’s cast members — Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), and Ray Fisher (Cyborg) appeared at San Diego Comic-Con to not only promote the film and let fans know that it was a lot different than what they got with Batman v. Superman, but to also let them know that despite Zack needing to step away from the film and not see it through to its completion, Joss did a terrific job in finishing what he started and maintaining the original tone of his work without any drastic changes.

Or so we were all led to believe.

On November 17, 2017, Justice League opened in theaters to mixed reviews and disappointing box-office returns. And after the film’s release, many people who saw the film couldn’t help but notice a lot of differences between scenes that appeared in the film and scenes that appeared in the first trailer and in sneak peeks provided to Comic-Con (which you can watch here, here, and here). Some scenes were left out altogether, whereas other scenes were drastically altered and re-edited almost beyond recognition. This resulted in fans believing that, much like how Batman v. Superman had a half-hour of footage removed from the theatrical version of the film and restored to the Ultimate Edition on Blu-ray, that there was also a director’s cut of Justice League as well, and that it could possibly see the light of day and show audiences the film that Zack Snyder had originally intended for them to see. And after two years of DCEU fans using the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag to show their support and to petition for Warner Bros. to let Zack Snyder show his original version of the film (some of them doing so passionately but respectfully, others doing so in a way that makes you wish you could punch people through the Internet right before permanently revoking their Internet access), Snyder announced at the conclusion of an online watch party for Man Of Steel last month, that the director’s cut of Justice League would finally be released and that it would appear on HBO Max sometime in 2021.

And here is where we get to the reason why you’re reading this post.

As I had said before, when the cast of Justice League appeared at San Diego Comic-Con to promote the film, part of that promotion also involved the cast (particularly Ray Fisher when answering a question from someone in the crowd at Hall H) praising and complimenting Joss Whedon in how he handled taking over the film after Zack Snyder’s exit.

Well, this past Monday, Ray had something to say about that on Twitter.

And that tweet grabbed the attention of a whole lot of people on Twitter.

For further clarification, the characters referred to in the above tweets are Cyborg’s parents, Dr. Victor Stone and Dr. Elinore Stone (played by Joe Morton and Karen Bryson), Ryan Choi a.k.a. The Atom (played by Zheng Kai), Iris West (played by Kiersey Clemons, and who is expected to reprise her role in The Flash opposite Ezra Miller), and U.S. Secretary of Defense Calvin Swanwick a.k.a. The Martian Manhunter (played by Harry Lennix).

The responses to Ray Fisher’s tweet were very strong (so strong that when he posted it on Instagram, he got supportive responses from Karen Bryson, and also from the stand-ins/stuntpersons for Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot), and they only got stronger as some people on Twitter found it qwhite interesting as they noticed how others felt the need to not only defend Joss, but judge Ray for what he said and how he said it, and that it was lacking professionalism to publicly criticize a director like this for everyone to see.

Not only did Twitter decide to refresh people’s memories about who Joss Whedon really was, thanks to this article written for The Wrap by his ex-wife Kai Cole, but a recent interview that Ray Fisher did with journalist Jonita Davis highlighted the differences between how Cyborg was portrayed in Justice League by Joss, and how Cyborg was supposed to be portrayed in Justice League by Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio.

And if you thought that Ray Fisher was done spilling the tea and talking shit about Joss Whedon, and his work on the set of Justice League, you clearly weren’t paying attention to Twitter yesterday.

Not surprisingly, Twitter (especially DCEU Twitter) completely lost its shit in response to this tweet.

(This tweet came from Clay Enos, a well-known photographer who has worked with Zack Snyder on many of his films)

And as with Ray’s previous tweet, there still seemed to be people on Twitter who were not only defending Joss Whedon, as well as comic-book writer/screenwriter/producer Geoff Johns and producer Jon Berg (both of whom were in charge of running the DC Films division for Warner Bros. until the box-office failure of Justice League changed that), but wondering why Ray was being so hostile and unprofessional in speaking to the public about their working relationship. And Twitter was not having it.

And the reminders of Joss Whedon’s treatment of women both onscreen and in real life just kept on coming.

In case you forgot about how Charisma Carpenter was treated by Joss during the last two seasons of Angel, here’s one reminder (start it at the 4:00 mark)…

…followed by another, in the form of this interview that Charisma did with Evan Ross Katz.

ERK: I want to ask you a question about a rumor and if you don’t want to respond, you say no, and then we’ll cut it out completely. There have long been rumors that your pregnancy somehow impacted the decision to have Cordelia exit the show from the writers room that they were not equipped to write around your pregnancy. Is that ever something that you’ve heard?

CC: It was 100% not expected. I don’t know why it wasn’t expected. When you’re a 30-year-old woman and you’ve been on a show for seven years and you’ve been with the same partner for like, five years and you do have sex. It’s plausible a person could get pregnant and it shouldn’t be something that could, you know—But the news, despite my efforts to reach the powers that be to inform them of my news. It happened over the summer when I found out, before we went back to work at the end of July. Every season started around my birthday either the 22nd or 23rd of July and I had tried fervently to get ahold of people. I had my people contact the powers that be I contacted them personally, I did not get a response. Then finally I got a call to meet the powers that be in an office and I was let know how it was fucking everything up for the season. So that’s 100% accurate.

ERK: What’s so odd about hearing that story is if something like that were to ever happen today, how that would not be at all accepted. I want to believe that that to be the case.

CC: It wasn’t supposed to be accepted then. To be honest with you, I was so afraid to say the truth for fear of those things that we fear. I had a little baby to feed and I was a primary caretaker of my family. I couldn’t afford to say my truth. I couldn’t afford to talk about the way that I was treated.

And if you’re curious as to why Gal Gadot’s stand-in/stunt double for Justice League, of all people, is more supportive of Ray than she is of Joss, it might be because she had to deal with this.

As if all that wasn’t enough, producer Jon Berg spoke up in his own defense to Variety regarding what Ray said about him and Geoff Johns.

When reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon, Berg told Variety that it was “categorically untrue that we enabled any unprofessional behavior.”

“I remember [Fisher] being upset that we wanted him to say ‘Booyah!,’ which is a well known saying of Cyborg in the animated series,” Berg added.

Of all the possible reasons for Ray Fisher to possibly burn many a bridge and put his own career at risk by publicly talking shit about a successful and well-known writer/director in Hollywood, expecting people to believe that Ray did this because he didn’t feel like saying a catchphrase didn’t come across as very believable, and just elicited this response on Twitter …

are you kidding me 3.gif

What makes all of this even more unbelievable is that both Johns and Berg are producers on the live-action/CGI adaptation of Frosty The Snowman. The actor who will be playing Frosty? Jason Momoa.

Yeah. Which I’m sure won’t be awkward or weird at all.

And it really didn’t help when actor Alan Tudyk, who has worked with Joss on Firefly, Dollhouse, and Serenity (the one that doesn’t star Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway and that Kristy loves with every fiber of her being), jumped into the ring to show his support for Joss and that he found it impossible that he would ever exhibit such horrible and unprofessional behavior.

Once Tudyk got ratio’d and had enough people telling him to shut the fuck up and also realize that just because someone is nice and pleasant to you doesn’t mean that they’re not capable of being cruel and abusive and unpleasant towards others, he did some backpedaling with his following tweet, while still defending Joss.

There is a lot more that will probably said about what it was really like on the set of Justice League, and why so many people seem like they would be happy and willing to Spartan-kick Joss Whedon into the nearest bottomless pit. Whether it comes from Ray Fisher, his Justice League castmates, or any other crew members who have also run out of fucks to give, and whether we’ll find this out before this week has even ended, is really anyone’s guess.

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Brian Richards is a Staff Contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.


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