2017's Justice League was and continues to be filled with controversies, and a good chunk of them are centered around its director, Joss Whedon. Zack Snyder was the film's original director, but the tragic death of his daughter forced him to drop out of directing duties. As a result, Whedon took over to rewrite the film's script and reshoot scenes with the original cast, but it completely changed Snyder's vision, thus resulting in largely divisive reviews from fans and critics.
The film's troubled production history has been well documented in the past years. Cyborg actor Ray Fisher was at the forefront of the controversy, as he is the one who has been the most vocal among the film's cast.
From withholding the film's script to an extensive investigation spearheaded by Warner Bros., the behind-the-scenes debacle has been making headlines ever since it hit theaters. This was further amplified during the promotional push and eventual release of Zack Snyder's Justice League in 2021, with Snyder joining the conversation.
It took another controversial turn when Wonder Woman lead star Gal Gadot broke her silence about the issue, with the actress voicing out her concerns over Whedon's abuse on set.
Now, the controversial director has addressed the issue in a new interview.
Joss Whedon Reacts to Gal Gadot's Accusations
Justice League director Joss Whedon sat down with Vulture to respond to Gal Gadot's claim that he verbally abused the actress during the film's production.
In April 2021, reports about Whedon's abuse of Gadot emerged. The Hollywood Reporter shared that the biggest clash happened when Whedon forced Gadot to record lines she didn't like while also threatening “to harm” the career of the actress and “disparaged” Wonder Woman and Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins.
In May 2021, Gadot confirmed the report, sharing that Whedon directly threatened to "finish [her] career" and that he would "make sure [her] career [would] be miserable" if she went against him on set.
The director claimed that he did no such thing, saying that he doesn't "threaten people:"
“I don’t threaten people. Who does that?”
The Avengers director continued by claiming that he tends to be "annoyingly flowery" in his speech since English is not Gadot's first language:
“English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech.”
Whedon emphasized that he told Gadot jokingly that if she wanted to get rid of a scene, she would have to tie him to a railroad track and do it over his dead body.
However, when New York Magazine reached out to Gadot, the actress didn't agree with Whedon's version of events, saying that she "understood perfectly."
The Joss Whedon-DCEU Fiasco Continues
After years of silence about the issue, Joss Whedon has finally addressed the famous Justice League debacle. However, many would agree that his remarks are still controversial, and some would say that they only contribute to an already-messy situation.
It's worth noting that Gadot and Fisher, the two cast members who have openly shared their experience on set, made consistent comments about the toxic working environment during the eventful Justice League reshoots. Whedon's first response is, understandably, denying all of the accusations made by the cast members, but it's apparent that it took some time before he could comment about the whole ordeal.
It is unknown if Whedon's recent comments will eventually turn the tide in terms of public perception, especially after the controversial comments against him by notable members of the DCEU. It also remains to be seen if this is the director's strategy after lurking in the shadows all this time or this is his way of putting an end to the allegations.
While Gadot has already responded with a simple yet impactful answer to Whedon's claim, it looks like it's only a matter of time before Fisher will chime in on the conversation to address the director's recent comments.
It would've been a fitting ending if Whedon admitted to his faults then completely apologized to the rest of the cast and crew. However, based on his comments, it looks like the director chose to add more chapters to the already-long story.