For better or worse, Joss Whedon is used to pressure. We’ve seen this with both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that also applies to the recent Justice League film, with Whedon coming in to, in his own way, complete the film and pick up from where Zack Snyder left off before stepping down to be with his family.
It’s clear from audience reception and feedback that not all of Whedon’s moves landed, one of which included a subplot involving a Russian family in Justice League. And with recent reports of Zack Snyder having no idea about that scene, as he has not seen the released version of the film, one may wonder what Whedon’s reasoning was for including the family in the film at all.
However, there is a reason for this. In an interview with Thrillist, Whedon addressed the importance of having the more human, civilian element. Mind you, this was not in regards to Justice League specifically, but the experience that came while shooting The Avengers, under the notion that audiences would be interested in the civilians in the middle of the destruction around them:
“The only stuff we shot that really wasn’t useful was stuff I shot. I shot probably three days in both films tracking civilians, because I was like, “These guys have superpowers, then they’re the Avengers. Nobody’s going to worry about them.” The audience is going to want to know these civilians better. And the answer was always like, “No they don’t. No they f****** don’t.”
Whedon went on to explain that such an element was important. Again, this was years before he was brought on for Justice League, but the similarities are there and could indeed be applicable in regards to the Russian family and why he included scenes of both Superman and The Flash assisting those in danger:
“But what it’s like for the people on the ground… that’s always gonna be important to me. Like there’s Hawkeye helping people off the bus. You have to have somebody who works at ground level who’s taking care of the smaller stuff. We probably had half an hours worth of fight of the Avengers versus Chitauri. We had so much more than we could use. But pulling the kid out of the bus it was in and then it was out, then it was in, then it was out, and then my daughter was like, “We should have that.” I’m like, “Yeah, actually. OK, it’s in.”
In theory, this idea works. And even Snyder’s previous DCEU films, Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, did include scenes of either the heroes escorting or warning civilians to get to safety or isolating the threat so it’s away from people in the line of fire, as was the case with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman battling Doomsday at an abandoned port.
With that in mind, what did you think of the inclusion of the Russian family in Justice League? Did you have a problem with it or find it harmless? And with word that this wasn’t Snyder’s intention, would you have preferred to see that original vision? Let us know in the comments below.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, J.K. Simmons, Connie Nielsen, Julian Lewis Jones and Ciarán Hinds. The film is available now on 4K, Digital HD, Blu-Ray, and DVD.