Ray Fisher‘s battle with Warner Bros. over director Joss Whedon‘s alleged abuse on the set of Justice League reshoots has been well-documented over the last year. The clash has taken place over social media, in Warner Bros. boardrooms, and across the entertainment media, a back-and-forth that has been equally illuminating and frustratingly opaque.
But after months of Fisher only alluding to Whedon’s abusive behavior on-set, the Zack Snyder’s Justice League star is revealing the details in his first full sit-down interview with The Hollywood Reporter. And his account indicts not only Whedon, but DC producer Geoff Johns and several higher-ups at Warner Bros. and WarnerMedia whom he believes are not “fit for leadership.”
Whedon Reportedly Threatened Gal Gadot’s Career
In the lengthy profile on Fisher, the actor revealed the extent of co-star Gal Gadot‘s own clash with Whedon, which the Wonder Woman star had alluded to earlier, saying back in December 2020 that her experience with Whedon was “not the best one.”
The extent of that experience was much worse, the THR report reveals. While Fisher declined to discuss any of the details of Gadot’s fraught relationship with Whedon, THR reports that “the biggest clash … came when Whedon pushed Gadot to record lines she didn’t like, threatened to harm Gadot’s career and disparaged Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.” Sources told the outlet that Gadot had “issues about her character being more aggressive than her character in Wonder Woman. She wanted to make the character flow from one movie to the next.” One witness to the production reportedly told investigators, “Joss was bragging that he’s had it out with Gal. He told her he’s the writer and she’s going to shut up and say the lines and he can make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.”
Gadot and Jenkins allegedly “went to battle” against Whedon, culminating in a meeting with then-Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara. The only statement that Gadot has released on the matter is: “I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner.”
Geoff Johns’ Cyborg Demands
While Fisher’s relationship with Whedon was tense from the start, with the actor’s concerns about the changes to Cyborg’s character arc (including cutting his traumatic backstory and relationship with his mom) falling on deaf ears, the actor mostly details his battle with executive Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. executives over the depiction of Cyborg.
Fisher and Johns reportedly clashed over Fisher’s darker performance as Cyborg, with Johns telling Fisher to “play the character less like Frankenstein and more like the kindhearted Quasimodo.” Fisher took umbrage at playing the character “as a jovial, cathedral-cleaning individual,” the actor said.
Fisher felt that his creative input, as the first major Black superhero for DC Films, was ignored in favor of notes from mostly white higher-ups, including discussions from then-DC Films co-chairman Jon Berg and Warners studio chief Toby Emmerich about having “an angry Black man” at the center of the film, referring to the character’s dour attitude and that Cyborg “smiled only twice in the movie.”
Perhaps most emblematic of this conflict was the issue of Cyborg’s infamous “booyah” line. Per THR, “Fisher says that Johns had approached [original Justice League director Zack] Snyder about including the line, but the director didn’t want any catchphrases. He managed the situation by putting the word on some signs in his version of the film, as an Easter egg. But Johns’ rep says the entire studio believed the booyah line was ‘a fun moment of synergy.’”
Fisher eventually relented and said the line, but noted that no other character in Justice League had a catchphrase and that “it seemed weird to have the only Black character say that.”
See the full eye-opening interview with Fisher at The Hollywood Reporter.
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