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Will Joss Whedon Get a Co-Director Credit on ‘Justice League’?

Justice League
Warner Bros.

With all due respect to everyone on Twitter at Comic-Con, for my money, the hottest of possible hot takes from this past weekend belonged to screenwriter Zack Stentz. “The worst part of Justice League,” Stentz wrote, “is gonna be the fanboys and bad culture writers claiming to know which parts are Snyder and which are Whedon.” It’s true. Even the new Justice League trailer debuted at Comic-Con seemed to be an inseparable mashup of Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon’s sensibilities, alternating between alpha posturing and awkward self-parody with regularity. The mind already aches with the number of articles that will be written about Justice League attempting to give credit to the author’s preferred filmmaker.

And rather than offering us some guidance on the film, it would seem that Warner Bros. is leaning directly into the controversy. A handful of sharp-eyed fans (via Heroic Hollywood) noted that the Warner Bros. UK YouTube channel specifically credits Justice League as “a film by Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon,” further muddying the waters as to who owns what part of the finished project. Heroic Hollywood has taken this one step further, suggesting that Whedon might actually be given a co-directing credit on the final product.

Would Warner Bros. – or for that matter, the DGA – allow the two filmmakers to share a credit on this film, given the unique nature of the working relationship? The first thing that comes to mind for me is A Prairie Home Companion, where Paul Thomas Anderson served as a backup director for Robert Altman to meet the requirements of the insurance company (and, by some accounts, pretty much directed the entire film in Altman’s stead). Despite this, Anderson’s only credits on the film were as ‘Stand-By Director’ and ‘Special Thanks.’ My money would be on Snyder receiving sole credit on the film and Whedon getting a pretty free hand on his Batgirl movie as a quid pro quo from the studio. That seems like a pretty solid win-win scenario for everyone involved.

Justice League, whoever directed it, will hit theaters on November 17, 2017.

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