Joss Whedon Denies Threatening Gal Gadot on ‘Justice League’ Set, Blames Language Barrier
Joss Whedon denied Gal Gadot‘s allegations that he threatened her career, claiming any conflict between the actress and the director on the set of Justice League was a misunderstanding.
“I don’t threaten people. Who does that?” Whedon, 57, said in a lengthy interview with New York Magazine, published Monday, January 17.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator, 57, reflected on his time taking over 2017’s Justice League. Warner Bros. brought Whedon in to take over for director Zack Snyder, who stepped down after his daughter died by suicide, and the Avengers director worked in many rewrites and 40 days of reshoots — which caused tension on the set.
In April 2021, the Hollywood Reporter outlined how Whedon allegedly “threatened to harm Gadot’s career and disparaged Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins” after the Diana Prince actress, 36, brought up creative concerns. Whedon reportedly told her to “shut up and say the lines,” threatening to “make her look incredibly stupid in this movie.”
When asked about her relationship with the filmmaker, Gadot told THR, “I had my issues with [Whedon] and Warner Bros. handled it in a timely manner.”
In his New York Magazine interview, the director claimed that the Israeli actress — who speaks fluent English — misunderstood him. “English is not her first language, and I tend to be annoyingly flowery in my speech,” Whedon told the magazine.
The New York native acknowledged that they argued over cutting a scene and claimed he jokingly told her that she “would have to tie him to a railroad track and do it over his dead body,” the outlet explained.
“Then I was told that I had said something about her dead body and tying her to the railroad track,” he alleged.
The Red Notice star disagrees with his recollection. “I understood perfectly,” Gadot told NY Mag in an email.
The Wonder Woman 1984 actress wasn’t the only one who took issue with Whedon. He denied actor Ray Fisher‘s claims that Whedon abused his power and lightened the 34-year-old Cyborg actor’s skin tone. Whedon said none of Fisher’s allegations were “either true or merited discussing.”
The writer is unsure of Fisher’s motives, but he maintains that the actor is lying. “We’re talking about a malevolent force,” he said. “We’re talking about a bad actor in both senses.”
The problems went beyond the cast. An anonymous crew member alleged Whedon once paused the shoot to announce that he’d never worked with “a ruder group of people.” The outlet quoted another unnamed source on set who noted that Snyder encouraged improvisation while Whedon wanted the actors to be word-perfect, causing even more tension.
Still, the Firefly creator lamented that critics were using “every weaponizable word of the modern era to make it seem like I was an abusive monster,” he said.
He certainly doesn’t see himself that way. “I think I’m one of the nicer showrunners that’s ever been.”