Last month at San Diego Comic-Con, most of the Justice League cast gathered on stage at Hall H to celebrate their upcoming film. During the panel it was revealed reshoots under director Joss Whedon were still ongoing, which is a bit of a shock considering the film is set for release on November 17 of this year. Also known as “additional photography,” reshoots are extremely common in the film industry, especially on action and CGI-heavy tentpoles. But shooting them four months before opening day is still cutting it down to the wire, especially those that involve filming scenes involving Ray Fisher’s character Cyborg as his costume is 100% digital effects.
But that seems to be exactly what happened. IGN recently conducted an interview with Joe Morton who plays Dr. Silas Stone, Cyborg’s father and the inventor his technology. During the conversation, Morton confirmed his character had a few reshoots under Whedon, but that Ray Fisher’s were far more extensive.
“I know that with Ray [Fisher], the young man who plays Victor [Stone], there were some adjustments that they made in terms of the tone of that character. I think what I heard was that there was a need from the studio to lighten up the film in a way, that the film felt too dark. I don’t know what that meant in terms of how it actually got translated in terms of the reshoots but that’s what I heard. That’s what I thought some of the reshoots were about.”
Now that statement is bound raise a few hackles. The DCEU fan base can get prickly when the words “too dark” are bandied about. Couple that with Justice League being in the hands of Joss Whedon, and the specter of making the League too much like The Avengers (quippy and fun) raises its head. But lightening the tone of Cyborg is not the worst idea. Yes, he’s been transformed into a cybernetic weapon against his will by a father he doesn’t even like that much. But if there’s anyone who can blend trauma with humor, it’s Whedon. Throughout his career, Whedon has specialized in characters that hide their pain under quips. It’s basically his trademark.
And make no mistake, a majority of moviegoing audiences know Cyborg as a quip machine. (Pun not intended.) The most prominent characterization of Cyborg in the last decade has been on the two Cartoon Network shows about the Teen Titans. Since they’re ostensibly for children, Cyborg doesn’t linger too long on the accident that made him who he is today and that level of jokiness might not work in Justice League, which targets older viewers. But going too far in the other direction and making Victor Stone into a stoic action hero feels wrong as well, a feeling the executives at Warner Bros. must have felt too. Besides, without Beast Boy in the picture, Cyborg can share witty barbs with The Flash. Who can say no to witty banter?