Joss Whedon is getting a writing credit on Warner Brothers’ upcoming Justice League film. The writer/director had stepped into the production last spring ostensibly to do some script polishing for planned reshoots, but wound up taking charge after director Zack Snyder had to step away following a family emergency. That news brought speculation as to whether or not Whedon would receive any screen credot for his work. However in the studio’s newly released fall preview press announcement, they list Whedon as a co-writer on the project, alongside Chris Terrio. Snyder shares a “story by” credit with Terrio.
One conversation that genre fans will most likely have over and over again following the release of Justice League will be exactly how much of the film is Snyder’s and how much of it is Whedon’s. Rumors have circulated that Whedon was not just shooting some isolated pickups but was remounting large portions of the film. Other rumors went so far as to suggest that the only thing of Snyder’s work that was being held over was his action sequences.
Well, a baseline for these debates has been established with Whedon’s credit. By Writers’ Guild rules, if a screenwriter has materially contributed at least 33% of a final script, they get credit. And with Whedon and Terrio being the only getting credit for the screenplay, anything from one-third to two-third’s of the film’s screenplay could conceivably be Whedon’s work. And with him having started with the writing before stepping in behind the cameras to direct the reshoots, it looks as Whedon is the actual director of anywhere between one-third and two-thirds of the final film.
So does that mean Whedon might be getting a director’s credit as well? Not necessarily. For Whedon to be eligible for the director’s credit on the film, he would have to have directed 51% of it. And even if the reshoots have amounted to more than half of the film’s final running time, when he was first announced as stepping in to help following Snyder’s departure, it was stated that Snyder’s name would stay on the film as director.
Here’s the text of the press preview released by Warner Brothers –
Director: Zack Snyder
Story by Chris Terrio & Zack Snyder, Screenplay by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon
Based on characters from DC Entertainment, Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Producers: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg, Geoff Johns
Executive Producers: Jim Rowe, Wesley Coller, Curtis Kanemoto, Chris Terrio, Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Raymond Fisher, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
Justice League arrives in theaters November 17.