Justice League reshoots

Everyone’s favorite game coming out of Justice League has been the increasingly fruitless question of “who gets credit for my favorite scene: Joss Whedon or Zack Snyder?”

Joss Whedon took over the reshoots for Justice League after director Zack Snyder had to leave the DC Extended Universe superhero ensemble due to a family tragedy. But the hoopla surrounding the reshoots, which reportedly drastically changed the film at the behest of Warner Bros., sent fans into a tizzy, with many embarking on a treasure hunt for scenes that hinted at Snyder’s “original vision.” (They couldn’t find it, and instead petitioned for a non-existent “director’s cut.”) But in the weeks since Justice League‘s release, we have learned a little more of who shot what — and the newest revelation is a little surprising.

The opening credits of Justice League unfolded to a bleak montage of the fallout of Superman’s death after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, set to the mournful cover of Leonard Cohen‘s “Everybody Knows.”

“Everybody knows the war is over /Everybody knows the good guys lost /Everybody knows the fight was fixed / The poor stay poor, the rich get rich,” Norwegian pop star Sigrid croons over grim scenes of brutal criminals and their hopeless victims.

The scene matches the dark tone that Snyder established for the DCEU in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman, and seems to have remained untouched by Whedon and Warner Bros.’ new mission statement to inject fun into the DC universe after the success of the optimistic Wonder Woman. But that’s actually not the case. In a Twitter exchange with The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum, Whedon revealed that he “stuck” the song into the Justice League opening credits.

It’s an unexpected revelation, since Whedon is commonly associated with the carefree tone and snarky dialogue present in films like The Avengers or shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. While Whedon hasn’t been one to shun moments of emotional distress, it’s still somewhat of a surprise considering the director was ostensibly brought on to bring a lighter tone to Justice League. Plus, Snyder is well known for his evocative opening credits sequences and his use of Leonard Cohen songs.

There’s no question that Whedon helped to rehaul the film when he joined the project, which landed him the co-screenwriter credit with Chris Terrio, but perhaps this is a lesson for us: don’t assume that the scenes shot by Whedon and Snyder are clearly delineated. And maybe stop asking for the Snyder Cut of Justice League.

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