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Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Ray Fisher speaks out about Justice League trauma
What REALLY happened behind the scenes of Justice League? Ray Fisher speaks
After months of cryptic comments, an investigation by Warner Bros, and the ousting of Justice League director Joss Whedon from his HBO drama The Nevers, we have gotten a clearer picture of the trauma that Ray Fisher went through behind the scenes of Justice League:
The movies producers really wanted Fisher to say “booyah” during the movie. Fisher didn’t want to say “booyah”.
It sounds dreadful.
Apparently “booyah” is the characters catchphrase from the animated Teen Titans cartoon.
With reshoots underway, Fisher says Whedon raised the issue again: "Geoff tells me Cyborg has a catchphrase," he told him. Fisher says he expressed his objections and it seemed the matter was dropped — until Berg, the co-chairman of DC Films and a producer on the project, took him to dinner.
"This is one of the most expensive movies Warners has ever made," Berg said, according to Fisher. "What if the CEO of AT&T has a son or daughter, and that son or daughter wants Cyborg to say 'booyah' in the movie and we don't have a take of that? I could lose my job." Fisher responded that he knew if he filmed the line, it would end up in the movie. And he expressed skepticism that the film's fate rested on Cyborg saying "booyah."
But he shot the take. As he arrived on set, he says, Whedon stretched out his arms and said a line from Hamlet in a mocking tone: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you." Fisher replied, "Joss — don't. I'm not in the mood." As he left the set after saying just that one phrase for the cameras, he says, Whedon called out, "Nice work, Ray."
THR has an extensive piece exploring the behind the scenes tensions of the movie, with Joss Whedon apparently clashing with everyone.
My reading of it all is that Joss Whedon can be an ornery, unpleasant person to work with at times and rubs some people the wrong way (or as we say in Australia: he’s a bit of a dickhead). He came to work on a production mid-way through where there were a lot of actors who were all on the same page with one specific creative direction (a direction which fed into their own individual feature movies that they would be the face of, so obviously they’d be protective). For Fisher, he also had the added weight/displeasure of seeing his character move from lead status to barely a supporting player (for reasons of what he saw as racial animus). But Joss had his own creative intentions which were not the same. It’s little wonder that tension was high on the set.
For fans of puppets and politics (isn’t that the same thing?)
Fox has picked up Let’s Be Real to series. Based on the long-running French format Les Guignols (30+ years and still going), Let’s Be Real skewers politics and entertainment. Puppets of Dr Anthony Fauci, Ted Cruz, and Kim Kardashian will feature. Last year Fox aired a Let’s Be Real one-off special.
If, like certain email newsletter editors, you feel that puppet satire has been done to death, you may be heartened to know that the creative behind the series is Triumph The Comic Insult Dog’s human appendage Robert Smigel.
Your must-listen today is Kara Swisher talking to Tim Cook on her Sway podcast. Cook is heard in the podcast to refer to AR as vitally important for the future of the company - that’s going to have a huge impact on our screen watching and the business of TV/film. Read/Listen: NYT
Oscar nominees and their guests have been classified as ‘essential workers’. Read: Variety
THR has a great deep dive into the behind-the-scenes deal that brought the Knives Out sequels to Netflix for $469 million. Read: THR
Mythic Quest returns to Apple TV+ for a special on April 16 ahead of its proper season 2 return on May 7. Read: TV Insider
607,000 viewers tuned in to watch the Bluey Easter special. Australians love that animated dog. Read: TV Tonight
Harry and Meghan have announced their first Netflix production - a documentary about the Invictus games. Read: Deadline
Jennifer Jason Leigh will replace Al Pacino as the star of Nazi hunting Amazon series Hunters for its second season. Read: Collider
Pam Dawber (Mork & Mindy) is returning to acting with a guest appearance in husband Mark Harmon’s NCIS. Prior to the NCIS return, Dawber has appeared on screen three times prior - her last appearance in an episode of The Odd Couple in 2016. Read: TV Insider
Girls5eva debuts May 5 on Peacock.
When a one-hit-wonder girl group from the 90’s gets sampled by a young rapper, its members reunite to give their pop star dreams one more shot. They may be grown women balancing spouses, kids, jobs, debt, aging parents, and shoulder pain, but can‘t they also be Girls5eva?
In as good an audition to be the next James Bond as any, Dominic Cooper stars in Spy City for AMC+. It debuts April 15.
The espionage Cold War series follows the awful dilemma faced by the English spy Fielding Scott (Dominic Cooper, Preacher, Captain America: The First Avenger), as he is sent to Berlin in 1961 on a mission to find out the source of the leak of vital security information. The Russians, it seems, know everything. Someone in Berlin is giving away all the secrets of the Western – American, British, and French – powers. Fielding has been given possibly the hardest job in the world: clean up Berlin. He must find out who the traitor is and expose, arrest, or eliminate that person.
Without Remorse debuts on Amazon Prime Video April 30.
The film tells the origin story of John Kelly (aka John Clark), a U.S. Navy SEAL, who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife by Russian soldiers. When Kelly joins forces with fellow SEAL Karen Greer and shadowy CIA agent Robert Ritter, the mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war.
Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street will be released in US theatres on April 23 and VOD on May 7.
Batman: The Long Halloween Pt 1 goes direct to digital in the coming months.
Monster debuts on Netflix on May 7.
Monster tells the story of Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) a seventeen-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder. The film follows his dramatic journey from a smart, likeable film student from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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