Jump to content
Poobah

Joss Whedon: So Cancelled His Thread Got a Sequel

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

expect that informed his experience hugely. That tensions arose is hardly surprising.

Sure, but there's a pattern of bad behavior here, especially as the THR article talks about issues he had with a lot of the cast members, not just Fisher. Though from that article, the execs pull some questionable stuff to say the least.

Edited by Raja

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Raja said:

Sure, but there's a pattern of bad behavior here, especially as the THR article talks about issues he had with a lot of the cast members, not just Fisher.

Snyder wanted four hours and Whedon was told to squeeze it into two, so I imagine most of the cast started unhappy.

Didn't Fisher complain about Whedon changing colours in editing? Perhaps that's indicatively frivolous given that the film went from sepia to colour and then eventually back to sepia.

Which is not to say that there weren't some genuine issues too, just that a big gang of unhappy people trying to massage out a turd from a giant constipated superhero film aren't going to have a fun time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whedon seems to have dramatically overstated his own power and influence as well, all the more bizarre given this was a couple of years after he failed to get a lot of his choices accepted on Age of Ultron and he left Marvel with his tail between his legs (to be fair a lot of that was down to Perlmutter, and the whole situation is a key reason why Perlmutter was removed from having any say at all over the MCU and everything was left to Feige), so his credibility was hardly at an all-time high. He also seems to have failed to understand his power and profile versus that of key actors. Fisher, who was a newcomer, was one thing, but both Gadot and especially Momoa had had a lot of profile building for many years by that point and both had way more pull than Whedon did. I note Whedon seems to have clashed with Momoa over line readings but not pulled the shit he did with the other two actors. I suspect Whedon trying to lock Momoa in an office would have ended rather badly.

Whedon's career credibility rested a huge amount on three critically-acclaimed TV shows, none of which set the ratings on fire (and one was cancelled mid-season), a movie which barely broke even and The Avengers, which was a huge critical and commercial success but Whedon didn't get all the credit for that, as all the casting had been done beforehand and the very general shape of the story was in place. I can see Whedon being annoyed by that - he did write the script, came up with the specific plot beats and cast the actors original to that film as well as directing it, so he did do a lot - and perhaps overcompensating.

I'd also be fascinated to hear about the experience of filming The Avengers and ignoring Robert Downey Jr.'s notes, given RDJ probably could have had him fired from the movie on a whim. I suspect he listened very politely to Downey Jr's notes and opinions and didn't dare say shit to him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

Which is not to say that there weren't some genuine issues too, just that a big gang of unhappy people trying to massage out a turd from a giant constipated superhero film aren't going to have a fun time.

Like I said, I would be more understanding of it if it was a one off situation ( i.e the pressure of this one movie causing lots of people to be unhappy), but with Whedon it really hasn't been just this one time. Ymmv, though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Raja said:

Like I said, I would be more understanding of it if it was a one off situation ( i.e the pressure of this one movie causing lots of people to be unhappy), but with Whedon it really hasn't been just this one time. Ymmv, though

I agree that Whedon has issues, and he sounds like an arse, I just think he was parachuted into a substantial mess. I can't imagine there's a director out there that could keep everyone happy while cutting half of their scenes. The people involved in the initial stages are those who should have fingers pointed at them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does sound like Snyder's not getting enough criticism for basically taking WB's money to make a 2-hour movie and instead trying to make a 4-hour movie that was never, ever going to fly, and creating the original mess which someone - anyone - else had to step in and try to fix.

That said, it sounds like Whedon strolled in with a chip on his shoulder and an attitude and made everything far worse than it had to be.

The situation has been somewhat salvaged, although it sounds like WB are still financially down on the situation and will be for quite a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

Fisher was the guy who had his part cut the most in the film, so he was never going to be happy. (And the problem there was trying to shoehorn an origin story into an already busy ensemble movie, rather than Whedon specifically. I expect that informed his experience hugely. That tensions arose is hardly surprising.

What exactly would be cut in the end wouldn't necessarily be told to the actor ... nor do we have to believe that the guy cared more about his character than his paycheck. And it wasn't Whedon's decision the movie wasn't going to be four hours.

Insofar as Whedon's work ethics are concerned we can now say he basically tried the same shit with Gal Gadot he did with Charisma Carpenter back in the day - threatening to harm her career.

Which, as Wert has pointed out already, qualifies as a gross overestimation of his power in this movie franchise. The very idea that anyone would care more about Whedon than Gadot in this franchise is ridiculous. But considering he did that, we are clearly talking about a deeply embedded character/behavioral trait there, not something that goes back to ad hoc rationalizations and apologies like 'making Buffy was very stressful', 'making/developing 2-3 shows at the same time did take a toll', 'Charisma Carpenter shouldn't have gotten pregnant and/or shouldn't have gotten that tatoo/should have communicated better', etc.

Instead, it is quite clear that this is just the way this man deals with people he (thinks he can) exert(s) power over ... and it is finally starting to bite him in the ass.

Edited by Lord Varys
LV cannot properly spell Gal Gadot's name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Werthead said:

It does sound like Snyder's not getting enough criticism for basically taking WB's money to make a 2-hour movie and instead trying to make a 4-hour movie that was never, ever going to fly, and creating the original mess which someone - anyone - else had to step in and try to fix.

That said, it sounds like Whedon strolled in with a chip on his shoulder and an attitude and made everything far worse than it had to be.

The situation has been somewhat salvaged, although it sounds like WB are still financially down on the situation and will be for quite a while.

That would be completely different issue. The problems with Whedon seem to have to do with him and his behavior, not so much with the situation created by Snyder.

And we don't even know whether the actors were even in favor or great fans of the idea of a four hour movie. Or at least I don't know that. Honestly, I haven't even watched the Snyder Cut so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound like you have a bee in your bonnet about Whedon more than anything, and I've no interest in trying to defend him as he doesn't seem like an especially nice person.

Your suggestion that the actors might all be keen on a four hour movie seems a bit silly, given that any four hour movie, never mind this shitty four hour movie, would be a fucking ordeal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

You sound like you have a bee in your bonnet about Whedon more than anything, and I've no interest in trying to defend him as he doesn't seem like an especially nice person.

Oh, I've no problem with the guy, I actually realized how much I like Buffy. I just find that a lot of comments in these two threads consisted of a lot of ad hoc explanations/rationalizations for Whedon's behavior.

24 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

Your suggestion that the actors might all be keen on a four hour movie seems a bit silly, given that any four hour movie, never mind this shitty four hour movie, would be a fucking ordeal.

My point was that I don't think that the actors cared much about the length of the movie, nor the guy whose role was cut down by Whedon so much about the reduced screentime he got ... because that shouldn't have reflected on his paycheck. Some actors do identify with their roles, but most actually don't. Acting is a job, after all.

In that sense, my guess would be that Whedon's behavior was the problem there, not the actor being pissed that his role was reduced. He did have problems with how his character was reimagined by Whedon, but that seems to be more about the new lines of his character, less about screentime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

My point was that I don't think that the actors cared much about the length of the movie, nor the guy whose role was cut down by Whedon so much about the reduced screentime he got ... because that shouldn't have reflected on his paycheck. Some actors do identify with their roles, but most actually don't. Acting is a job, after all.

In that sense, my guess would be that Whedon's behavior was the problem there, not the actor being pissed that his role was reduced. He did have problems with how his character was reimagined by Whedon, but that seems to be more about the new lines of his character, less about screentime.

While I'm sure you're right that most actors care about earning a living more than making it big, anyone with ambition will surely want to be seen as much as possible. I can't imagine the actors stood by in complete ignorance of what Whedon had been sent in to achieve. Any additional scenes or reshoots would have been met with questions, and answers, surely?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Soylent Brown said:

While I'm sure you're right that most actors care about earning a living more than making it big, anyone with ambition will surely want to be seen as much as possible. I can't imagine the actors stood by in complete ignorance of what Whedon had been sent in to achieve. Any additional scenes or reshoots would have been met with questions, and answers, surely?

I'm sure Fisher wasn't pleased about his role being completely rewritten, but issues seem to have been more to do with Whedon's behavior, and the way how the role was changed, not the fact that the role was reduced.. Again, it was a studio decision to cut the movie down to two hours, not Whedon's ... he had to do that. In fact, Snyder had done that, too, apparently, before he left. Whedon was not just brought in to cut things down, but also to make the movie 'lighter'.

And, in the end, the decision which scenes to keep from either shoot would be made during the editing process, not during the reshoots as such - although the actors would certainly be able to figure out which scenes wouldn't be kept in light of the new scenes they were shooting and the new script they were given.

Edited by Lord Varys

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Soylent Brown said:

Gadot had issues with her character being more aggressive in Justice League than in the Wonder Woman film? Doesn't she splurge a bunch of baddies into toothpaste and unnccessarily destroy a building in the Snyder cut?

That bit raised my eyebrow. Given what we see between the cuts, it sounds like she and Jenkins (who the gossip mill has claimed distanced herself from the Snyders in WW84, including replacing some of their crew guys that they had brought onto the original WW; gossip mill being gossip mill, who knows how true it is) were actually annoyed that Snyder's very violent take on Wonder Woman was surviving some of the script revisions, and this somehow becomes Whedon's fault. It would also suggest that Gadot was not too happy with the Zack Snyder's Justice League restoring all of that murderous fighting, but I guess she's one who's happy to neither see a return of the SnyderVerse nor the treatment of the Snyder version as the canon.

ETA: The one bit that seems really new to me is that it's claimed in Master's report that Snyder did in fact create a 2 hour cut. Has anyone heard this before? Given Snyder's many remarks about the impossibility of using what he made and making a good 2 hour film, including quite recently, I find it hard to believe. I could swear that he and Deborah Snyder were recently interviewed and said they had a 2 hour, 40 minute cut, which they were going to sweat down to 2.5 hours. Something feels off about this.

Edited by Ran

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ran said:

ETA: The one bit that seems really new to me is that it's claimed in Master's report that Snyder did in fact create a 2 hour cut. Has anyone heard this before? Given Snyder's many remarks about the impossibility of using what he made and making a good 2 hour film, including quite recently, I find it hard to believe. I could swear that he and Deborah Snyder were recently interviewed and said they had a 2 hour, 40 minute cut, which they were going to sweat down to 2.5 hours. Something feels off about this.

Why is it hard to believe? He says it's impossible to make a good 2 hour film from what he shot.  Not that it is impossible to make a 2 hour film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Slurktan said:

Why is it hard to believe? He says it's impossible to make a good 2 hour film from what he shot.  Not that it is impossible to make a 2 hour film.

It's just that he spoke of a two hour cut as just impossible to achieve, wondering how it could be done as if he himself had never made the attempt. That, and his speaking of a 2.5-2.6 cut as the thing he had made, rather than ever admitting he made a 2 hour cut. Shouldn't he have said, "Look, I made a 2 hour cut and they still didn't want to use it" at some point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the situation is difficult to parse. Obviously Snyder went through a horrific family tragedy and there may have been some build-up to that which took his eye off the ball during the pre-planning phase of the film. I certainly get the impression that almost everyone involved from WB down to the actors has extended a lot of sympathy and understanding to Snyder because of that, especially WB giving him another $70 million to create a whole new version of the film, despite the fact it will likely take quite a while for that to pay off for them. That seems to be the major reason the "Restore the Snyderverse" campaign seems doomed to fail, because although the Snyder Cut's done okay, it's not done anywhere near the numbers to warrant that. In fact, it sounds like it's been very handily beaten by Godzilla vs. Kong as a HBO Max debut.

It might well be that Snyder was thinking a solid 2-hour-40 cut of the film could be achieved (and it sounds like you could edit the existing Snyder cut down to that without too many major problems) with what they'd filmed but anything below that would have required much more major reshoots and reworking of the film, perhaps including a more thorough reshoot or splitting the movie into two films. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It might well be that Snyder was thinking a solid 2-hour-40 cut of the film could be achieved (and it sounds like you could edit the existing Snyder cut down to that without too many major problems) with what they'd filmed but anything below that would have required much more major reshoots and reworking of the film, perhaps including a more thorough reshoot or splitting the movie into two films. 

There have been a few fan edits already taking a stab at it, including a 2 hour one that everyone seems to feel is a complete mess. So far people are coalescing on a 3 hour film not being a problem in terms of retaining what substance there is in the 4 hour cut, a 2.5 hour film starts getting janky but is just about doable, and a 2 hour film is just not possible for reasons you state. It would need major reworking, and it didn't go nearly far enough when it comes to the theatrical cut.

For now, I'm going to take Master's reporting as hearsay and unconfirmed on the point of a Snyder 2 hour cut. I've searched and have not found any reference to this prior to the piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/6/2021 at 5:24 PM, Werthead said:

It does sound like Snyder's not getting enough criticism for basically taking WB's money to make a 2-hour movie and instead trying to make a 4-hour movie that was never, ever going to fly, and creating the original mess which someone - anyone - else had to step in and try to fix.

That's because it would be a nonsensical criticism. Is there one source that claims Snyder was contracted to deliver a 2 hour film before production started? If that had happened he'd have been fired the moment he showed the first cut to Tsujihara. The recent Vanity Fair article also states that either Johns or Berg had to be on set at all times, so it's not like Snyder was able to go off and shoot some whole other movie behind WB's back.

The 2 hour mandate came down after principal photography had finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

That's because it would be a nonsensical criticism. Is there one source that claims Snyder was contracted to deliver a 2 hour film before production started? If that had happened he'd have been fired the moment he showed the first cut to Tsujihara. The recent Vanity Fair article also states that either Johns or Berg had to be on set at all times, so it's not like Snyder was able to go off and shoot some whole other movie behind WB's back.

The 2 hour mandate came down after principal photography had finished.

Obviously. Anything else would mean WB had no idea about the length of the shooting script, the shooting schedule, or the time they were taking making that movie...

But the bigger issue with the Snyder version seems to have been not so much the length but the tone. That's what caused those reshoots. To cut the movie down in size they could have gone just with the minor reshoots that are quite common when something like that is necessary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Deadlines? What Deadlines? said:

That's because it would be a nonsensical criticism. Is there one source that claims Snyder was contracted to deliver a 2 hour film before production started? If that had happened he'd have been fired the moment he showed the first cut to Tsujihara. The recent Vanity Fair article also states that either Johns or Berg had to be on set at all times, so it's not like Snyder was able to go off and shoot some whole other movie behind WB's back.

The 2 hour mandate came down after principal photography had finished.

Films, especially superhero films, are generally about 2 hours long. You can maybe push that to 2 hour 30 if you're a prestige film-maker like Nolan or you've built up to that length through a series of successful previous hits (which Snyder in his mind clearly thought he had). You can maybe go to 3 hours if you're adapting the biggest novel of all time, or your name is James Cameron, or you're making the 23rd film in a hugely successful series that has made over ten billion dollars.

Justice League being 2 hours was reasonable, being 2 hours 40 was at the very ceiling and that was iffy because it had not been earned, and any longer than that was impossible. The previous films had not been profitable enough and had been critically drubbed.

Film-makers being contracted to make a film of x length and then making a film that's a lot longer is very common, and in some cases encouraged by the studio so they can sell an "extended cut" later on and double-dip. Studios and producers are also not always the best at discerning how long a film is going to be based on the script alone: New Line thought FotR was going to be maybe 2 hours to 2 hours 30 because the script sometimes had a paragraph to describe a scene that Jackson ended up making last 10 minutes on screen (most famously the line, "the Fellowship runs down the stairs,").

It is clear that the producers, the studio and the writer all need to take a share of the blame for the problems in pre-production, and Joss Whedon needs to take a blame for fucking up the salvage operation, but a lot of the blame rests on Snyder himself. This narrative that Snyder was making some amazing film, and it then got fucked up by other people and he came back and saved the day is pure fantasy. If the family tragedy had not taken place, if the film had been completed by Snyder himself, it probably wouldn't have been regarded as much better than the version we ended up with, there just wouldn't have been someone else to blame (who is also very much not blameless) conveniently to hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...