For months, actor Ray Fisher has been vocal about his negative experiences on the set of the Justice League reshoots. As the performer behind DC Comics hero Cyborg, Fisher formed a close relationship with director Zack Snyder and writer Chris Terrio when preparing to take on the character of Victor Stone for the DCEU superhero team-up movie – but when Snyder left the project due to a family tragedy and Warner Bros brought in Joss Whedon to oversee reshoots and create a shorter, lighter version of Snyder’s serious opus, things changed.
In a major new interview, Fisher spoke to Empire about his experiences and opinions on the Justice League reshoots – which saw a much-truncated and repositioned role for Cyborg – and the mixed messages about the nature of the extra shooting. “Transparency would have gone a long way; if they had said to us, ‘Hey, we don’t like Zack’s movie, we want to shift gears completely and we need you guys to buckle down,’” Fisher explains. “But they were trying to hold on to this narrative of doing it for Zack and maintaining his vision, all the while completely not doing that.”
Fisher adds that he was encouraged to provide his thoughts on the direction of Cyborg in the film – just as he had done with Snyder and Terrio – but felt that voicing opinions on the reshoots was not met with the same openness. “Unfortunately, gaslighting occurred by asking for input but, ultimately, biting people’s heads off when you gave it,” he says.
©James Van Evers / Empire
As well as fighting back against an ableist joke about Victor not being able to feel his legs, Fisher says he argued against a scene in which Cyborg was drawn and quartered by villain Steppenwolf. Instead, the scene saw Steppenwolf rip off Victor’s leg instead. “Had I not been so welcomed in the initial process I might not have felt as comfortable speaking up about those circumstances,” Fisher explains. “But I had to try to rein those guys in. It was not a good look to essentially pull this Black man, who has already endured so much physical trauma, limb from limb.”
Fisher is, he says, much happier with the recently-released ‘Snyder Cut’ (aka Zack Snyder’s Justice League) which features the footage he shot with his original director – and reinstates significant portions of Cyborg’s storyline. Despite its four-hour running time, he had – at the time of speaking to Empire – watched the film seven times.
Read Empire’s full interview with Ray Fisher – talking the life that brought him to the screen, his experience on Justice League, and the release of the Snyder Cut – in the upcoming new issue, on sale Thursday 15 April and available to pre-order online now here. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out now on Sky Cinema and NOW.