Zack Snyder tells Joe and Anthony Russo that he was told to make the script for Justice League funnier by the studio.
Zack Snyder kicked off the DCEU with man of steel ten years ago, but the cracks began to show with the very next film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Some critics called the film overly dark and humorless, which prompted Warner Bros. to meddle in the script for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
While speaking with Joe and Anthony Russo on their Pizza Film School podcast, Zack Snyder confirmed that the studio wanted him to lighten the tone of Justice League as a direct result of the reception Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice received. “The script for Justice League did evolve out of that,” Snyder said. “I’ll be honest, the script, what happened with ‘Justice League,’ because we had a very…the original script was much darker and weirder, and then ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ came out, and the studio was like, ‘ It’s not funny enough, people want funnier movies, they want funny stuff in it.’“
Zack Snyder said they did a more humorous pass of Justice League to appease the studio, but admitted that jokes aren’t really in his wheelhouse. “We did go back and did a…lightened the movie overall. And I would say my cut of ‘Justice League’ is a sort of in-between,” he said. “We had done the changes for the studio and I’ll be frank, Chris [Terrio] and I are not the funniest guys in the world, we’re not like awesome joke writers…I’m just 100% honest about that [Laughs].“Snyder added that much of the humor was given to Ezra Miller. “We had Ezra and he’s pretty funny, that was kind of his role, to be the Flash, and be young, and be a little irreverent and in awe of Batman and Superman,” Snyder said. “And he did a great job, and that part was great.“
As we know, Zack Snyder wound up stepping down from Justice League and the studio brought in Joss Whedon to finish the movie. The end result was… not great, but there it was definitely lighter than the previous movies, so I guess the studio got what it wanted, for better or worse. Snyder would eventually get to complete his vision of the movie for HBO Max, which received a better reaction from fans.