It seems whatever contractual constraints holding back Justice League star Ray Fisher from discussion of the film on his terms are coming loose.
In a post on Twitter Wednesday morning, the actor called out the film’s second director, Joss Whedon, for on-set treatment of the cast and crew which was “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable.” In recent discussions about the film, Fisher has alluded to issues with Whedon, but has never before used such direct terms.
Fisher first made a brief cameo as the cinematic Cyborg in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was also set to star in a Cyborg feature film originally scheduled for release this year; but considering the actor’s increasing frankness about working on Justice League, we image his contract for that film has lapsed completely. That said, Fisher is reportedly reprising his role in The Flash feature film — provided that film actually gets made, of course.
Whedon joins the DC Films story when he was hired to re-write parts of Justice League after a reportedly disastrous screening of the film for executives. Publicly, the studio said he was on the lot to develop a Batgirl feature, but was soon directing the scheduled Justice League reshoots after director Zach Snyder left the production to grieve and process a family tragedy.
The result, as we’ve said before, is one of the few truly compromised films as Whedon’s sense of comedy is at odds with Snyder’s more serious tone.
The Avengers director is no stranger to accusations of misconduct on set. In a 2017 guest blog for The Wrap, Whedon’s ex-wife, Kai Cole, claims he admitted to starting affairs with multiple women involved in his television shows. In more recent times, former Buffy and Angel star Charisma Carpenter has become more vocal about the way he lashed out at her for “ruining” his plans for the fourth season of Angel by becoming pregnant and changed aspects of her character’s storyline before quietly firing her.
After Justice League thudded critically and commercially, Whedon left the Batgirl project claiming he could not “crack” the story.
Fisher also names former DC Films heads Geoff Johns and Jon Berg as enabling Whedon’s behavior. The pair left their positions at DC Films shortly after Justice League‘s 2017 release; although both still have ties to WarnerMedia. Berg has an office at the studio producing films for the company. Johns, of course, is the executive producer of the Stargirl television series and is attached to write and produce a Green Lantern feature film. As with many accused of enabling bad actors in the last few weeks, it is unclear if they will face any fallout from Fisher’s comments.
Though no other Justice League stars have commented on Fisher’s allegations or ever alluded to troubles with Whedon, all have been early supporters of the film’s so-called Snyder Cut. As the others, like Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa, have readily apparent on-going relationships with WarnerMedia, it is possible support for Snyder is the only way they can protest Whedon’s involvement and keep their jobs. Whedon, meanwhile, carries on. His next project, The Nevers — a “science fiction drama about a gang of Victorian women who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that might change the world” — is set to premiere on HBO in 2021.
Snyder’s version of Justice League is due out on HBO Max next year.