Movies & TV

While Filming Justice League, Avengers Director Joss Whedon Called Wonder Woman... Natasha

Ah, who’s gonna tell him?
IMAGE WARNER BROS./DC & DISNEY/MARVEL
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The DC Extended Universe has been plagued with controversy after controversy after the 2017 theatrical release of Justice League bombed with critics, fans, and well, the box office. Since then, there have been countless stories coming to light about the drama happening behind the scenes at DC Films, the studio overseeing the DCEU. From producers pressuring directors to create more Marvel-like films to an actor accusing a certain director of abuse on set. The director in question is none other than Joss Whedon, a former MCU filmmaker who directed the first two Avengers movies.

After bowing out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe due to creative differences, Whedon was hired by Warner Bros. to finish Justice League after Zack Snyder quit due to tragedy in his family. Whedon then went on to rework Snyder’s vision into his own, butting heads with a certain actor along the way. By now, DC fans have memorized the story: Whedon allegedly belittled Ray Fisher who plays Cyborg during filming, and Fisher accused him of being “gross, abusive, and unprofessional.” It’s a whole mess, and it just got messier because Fisher dropped even more shocking revelations in his Vanity Fair interview ahead of the Snyder Cut release tomorrow, March 18.

DC or Marvel?

“In my first conversation creatively with him, he kept accidentally calling 'Diana' 'Natasha,' which is crazy stuff,” says Fisher.

For comic book fans, that’s a pretty unforgivable mistake. Wonder Woman’s name is Diana Price, not Natasha Romanoff, the name of Marvel’s Black Widow. Diana and Natasha were, at the time, the only female superheroes in their respective ensemble movies.

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Fisher went on to criticize the scene in Whedon’s Justice League where Flash falls on top of Diana’s (aka not Natasha) chest, describing it as “something that he yanked out of Age of Ultron and just copy-pasted here.”

The problematic tones of that scene and forgetting Diana’s name unsurprisingly align with new accusations hurled at Whedon from outside the DCEU. A number of former actresses from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel have accused Whedon of being “casually cruel,” “mean-spirited,” and “toxic.”

If that wasn’t enough, Fisher claims that Whedon even namedropped a famous Marvel actor in an argument with him when Fisher attempted to suggest a change.

“He compared me at one point to Robert Downey Jr. And said, “Listen, I don’t like to take notes from anybody, not even Robert Downey Jr.” And I said, 'Well, okay. Be that as it may…'”

In stark contrast, Fisher and his co-interviewee Joe Manganiello (Deathstroke) could only offer praises for Snyder, who Manganiello describes as “one of the greatest shooters of all time” and famously easy to work with. Manganiello was originally meant to be in Justice League but all of his scenes were cut when Whedon took over.

For the two actors and many fans, the Snyder Cut is a welcome “sort of relief or release” after four long years of frustration.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League premieres on HBO Go in the Philippines tomorrow, March 18.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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