WARNING: Fairly obvious spoilers for Justice League ahead
If you have been following the saga of Henry Cavill’s mustache and its digital removal from his scenes in Justice League, you’ve been missing out on one of the oddest stories in cinema. When Cavill returned to do reshoots on the DC Comics blockbuster, his mustache from his role in Mission: Impossible 6 had to be digitally removed from the film. This was achieved to the tune of $25 million in post-production (not all mustache costs) and seemed crazy at the time, especially when you consider this is one of the biggest superhero films of all time on paper.
It would seem that shaving it off and working with Paramount on Mission: Impossible would be easier, but the studio was requiring that the mustache stayed in place while their film was still in production. And now, according to a VFX worker on the film — confirmed to be legit by the moderators — Paramount’s decision seems to be allegedly due to stubbornness and “pettiness”. Warner Bros. reportedly offered to pay costs for Cavill’s beard to be digitally added to Mission: Impossible after it had been shaved, but they refused:
“To me, as a fan, I was annoyed haha Paramount should’ve shaved him and stuck a fake one on for MI6. Ridiculously petty of them.
We did tests on already shot footage of Superman to add a beard as well to show the MI6 team at Paramount it was loads easier, and Warner Bros offered to pay for all the beard adding shots in MI6. They said no.”
The entire AMA is full of some pretty interesting tidbits about what was cut from the film and the possible existence of another cut by Zack Snyder. There are also some revelations about what this particular VFX worker wasn’t involved with and how it only added to the awkwardness of Cavill’s phantom facial hair:
I saw it with the crew and then again today. Our team did a lot of the beard removal/face replacement on Superman and we were proud of our shots and that general audiences wouldn’t notice too much.
I’m not sure which other studio did that opening shot on the cell phone but its dreadful. It shouldn’t have been approved internally let alone gone all the way to make it into the film. That shocked me a bit. We were all looking at each other when the film started like “wtf is this?!”
This could all be false, obviously, but that also only compounds the whole beard/mustache controversy. This is at least an answer and not just a big hanging question mark with $25 million attached to it. All we need to find out now is that Tom Cruise personally requested Cavill keep his facial hair.