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More Behind-The-Scenes Drama From ‘Justice League’



You Don’t Say

If you don’t know by now, Justice League was a horrible film. And that’s not because of Zack Snyder. You may have heard that he was replaced by Joss Whedon to ‘add connective tissue‘ to Snyders foundation of the film. Of course, that was all fabricated to sell us, the audience, on the lie that the film was still Zack’s. The studio used our loyalty in hopes they could churn out a Billion dollar film.

Instead, it remains the lowest grossing film in the DC Universe of films with a budget north of $100 Million. And it earned those earnings. I actually feel guilty about seeing it twice in theaters and contributing, but I digress. Those earnings we speak of were never actually utilized in the proper way. Remember when I mentioned some actors didn’t get paid properly earlier this month? Thanks to Stephen Colbert over at Screen Rant, it’s finally being discussed.

The History Lesson

In one of my most anticipated scenes to witness on-screen, the ancient battle was up there. Sure, seeing Batman and the crew join together was going to be awesome, but this was the Old Gods. This was Steppenwolf and Darkseid and the New Gods. And if anyone could give us a battle the scale of Lord Of The Rings, it’s Zack Snyder.

So you can imagine my disappointment when we saw roughly minutes of the History Lesson. What was out of sequenced and rearranged scenes mixed together, we got chaos. In an amateur attempt to hid (for unknown reasons at this moment) the real battle from viewers, we got a mere glimpse of the historic fight.

Ares v Darkseid

When speaking to Stephen, it was revealed that the original actor who played Ares was meant to fight Darkseid in a one-on-one fight. If that sounds mad, that’s because it is. Not only did WE not get to witness this, but the actor himself was cheated out of it as well. If you’ve seen Wonder Woman, then you know that David Thewlis originally played Ares, the God of War, in that film. In Justice League, this was NOT David Thewlis.

Nick McKinless, who played Ares, was only credited as ‘Stunts’ and somehow was replaced in the credits by David Thewlis. Again, Thewlis was nowhere to be seen in Justice League and even if they somehow mapped his face over McKinless’ body, it’s not clear. But what that meant for Nick was that he never got paid his residuals for what he did in the film, and that’s F***ed up.

Nick McKinless

In the theatrical cut, Nick McKinless’ face is clearly visible when he attacks Steppenwolf. After the battle, however, there’s a group shot where Ares takes off his helmet. This gives us a brief glimpse of what could potentially be David Thewlis. But, as he said, he was contracted to play the role of Ares. So it seems like Warner Bros. may have a contractual issue to clarify or work out here. McKinless told Screen Rant he trained for the role from February 2016 to April 2016, dropping down to just 6% body fat:

“Zack, Eunice Huthart (stunt coordinator) and myself sat in Zack’s office and discussed the scene and what look he wanted extensively and he clearly stated I would be Ares. It was that way right up until DC stepped in to completely change the make-up and costume after Zack had pretty much signed off on our original ideas. We did so many changes it was getting ridiculous frankly… Zack’s vision [was] skin like paper and veins like worms. I managed to implement a plan and train myself to get the required results. As well as being a stunt coordinator, I’ve also trained athletes and actors my whole life so I knew what was necessary.”

Despite being signed on to play Ares (McKinless told Screen Rant his contract specifically said “Ares”), he worked with Snyder to establish the character’s look and build. Meanwhile, the other Greek gods, Zeus and Artemis were properly credited as Sergi Constance and Aurore Lauzeral, respectively. McKinless also says he has not received any of the residual pay he expected from Warner Bros. He says he’s attempted to contact producers, but he’s been unable to get a response.

The Tribes Of Men

It wasn’t just McKinless that saw his role reduced, but the Viking, Greg Draven, that buried Man’s Motherbox also spoke with Stephen. It was revealed that the Old Gods Zeus, Ares, and Artemis arrive just as the Tribes of Men are all but defeated. Once the Gods lend a helping hand, it reinvigorates the armies and together, they push back Steppenwolf and Darkseid. And if you’re wondering, yes, Darkseid was provided by a stunt performer in motion-capture. He then would have had his voice and face capture at a later date by Ray Porter.

What’s interesting about that, is what we also know from Draven. There was a planned meeting that was cut before and after the history lesson. An actor in a motion-capture suit was playing a Green Lantern. And he was originally meant to have a larger role than just a brief cameo. Add that a celebration was meant to be shown after the battle and I wonder just how much we have yet to see in that History Lesson. I imagine it would have been similar to how the League joins together at the round table.

What’s Next?

If a prominent misuse of credit for an actor who is clearly in Justice League is getting this treatment, how much other wrong-doings are there? Nick is the first one to come out publicly and explain the behind-the-scenes drama, but I imagine there’s more. Who am I kidding? I KNOW there’s more. We just have to have it come to light.

But this also brings up a question of what happens if/when the Snyder Cut of Justice League actually does come out: Will he be paid properly? Will Warner Bros. acknowledge their mishandling of payouts? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: Justice League is a mess.

Source: Screen Rant


Father // Senior Editor // Co-Host for The Reel in Motion Podcast @TheReelinMotion // Male Feminist // Unapologetic Snyder Enthusiast // Xbox X