The DC Extended Universe may be the most divisive films ever made. Early films serve as a counterpoint to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: where Marvel is bright and funny and cheerful, Batman v. Superman is dark and brooding and joyless. Later movies like Wonder Woman and Justice League offered a course correction, but this angered fans who thought they were now trying to be too much like Marvel. Part of the problem with these movies is that they are created by committee. You almost never get a creator's singular vision: the movie is likely to get extensively chopped up (which is what allegedly happened with Suicide Squad in the editing room) or have last-minute changes (such as director Joss Whedon changing large chunks of Zack Snyder's Justice League).
To put it mildly, there's a lot of drama going on behind the scenes in the DCEU. Many of the cast and crew have their share of dark secrets that are hiding behind colorful costumes. These are the kinds of secrets studios like to keep to themselves and fans love to discover. Fortunately, you don't need to talk to Jor-El's hologram to discover these secrets...just keep scrolling to check out 15 Dark Confessions From Inside DCEU!
15 CAVILL THINKS THE DCEU IS BAD
While Man of Steel got mixed reviews, it wasn't until Batman v. Superman that the fan debate machine was in full swing. Many fans felt that the DCEU was mishandling its greatest heroes, while others insisted that Zack Snyder was taking a gritty step in the right direction. As it turns out, a surprising insider is on the haters' side: Henry Cavill!
During an interview with The Rake, Cavill let slip that he felt Snyder's DCEU had made mistakes and the occasional “stylistic error,” but hoped that they had now made the “right mistakes” and could learn from them. Furthermore, he acknowledged Wonder Woman (which is the most MCU-like movie of the bunch) was “the first step in the right direction.” Too bad Justice League decided to moonwalk backwards!
14 GAL GADOT NEARLY GAVE UP ACTING
Come book stories have often teased us with the idea of a world where our favorite heroes have gone missing. One famous example is Alan Moore's classic Superman tale Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? However, we nearly got a real life version of this when Gal Gadot almost quit acting!
In an interview with Glamour UK, Gadot admitted she felt she had failed as an actor. Before being cast as Wonder Woman, she was on the verge of moving back home to Israel and returning to school. She even considered becoming “the world's s—tiest lawyer.” Fortunately, Wonder Woman saved her career, and the character just might save the DCEU. And regardless of her future roles, it's clear no one will ever have to ask “whatever happened to Gal Gadot?”
13 AFFLECK ADMITS DCEU BATMAN WAS NOT A HERO
Batman ended up being the most jarring thing about Batman v. Superman. Fans have had many different Batman movies, TV shows, and comics over the years, so they felt they knew the character pretty well. However, Affleck's Batman was a gun-toting and murderous thug. He wasn't just unrecognizable...he was barely a hero at all!
As it turns out, even Ben Affleck agrees with this assessment. While chatting with Entertainment Weekly, Affleck admitted that Batman v. Superman was a departure “from the traditional Batman” and promised that the Justice League Batman would be “heroic” and actually “save” and “help people.” While it's good that everyone realized how much Batman needed a course correction, it's interesting to hear the Batman actor himself reveal that he wasn't at all a hero in his debut as the world's most famous hero!
12 SNYDER THINKS SUPERHERO MOVIES ARE DOOMED
We live in an unprecedented time for superhero movies. The DCEU is chugging along (despite some setbacks) and the MCU looks stronger than ever after Disney acquired Fox. However, some people have wondered if the superhero genre is basically doomed...and it turns out that Zack Snyder agrees!
Veteran director Steven Spielberg has offered a straightforward prediction for superhero movies: that they are eventually going to fade away like the Western genre. Where once Westerns dominated the cinema, we now get just very occasional new films. When Snyder heard Spielberg's comment, his response was simple: “I feel like he's right.” He then worried that superhero movies concentrated more on “flavor of the week” heroes like Ant-Man and that these may not have lasting appeal for audiences.
11 WHEDON SABOTAGED JUSTICE LEAGUE WITH MULTIPLE AFFAIRS
Hiring Joss Whedon to take over directing Justice League was meant to be a major coup for Warner Bros. This was the man who ushered two different Avengers movies into making over a billion dollars, and he had solid geek credit due to shows like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Firefly. However, the hype that came with Whedon ended up being undercut by a pretty major controversy.
It happened when a website ran a post written by Whedon's ex-wife. In it, she told the world that Whedon had allegedly had multiple affairs over the years with everyone from actors and coworkers to fans and friends. This was doubly problematic because Whedon is often praised as a feminist hero, and his ex-wife, Kai Cole, thinks he's a “hypocrite.” Fan sites shut down, which killed some of Justice League's word-of-mouth marketing and may have hurt its bottom line.
10 CAVILL'S IN THIS FOR THE MONEY
We live in an interesting time in which fans expect their favorite superhero actors to act like heroes when the cameras aren't rolling. This is why everyone from Chris Evans to Ryan Reynolds have tried to take a public stand for many different people and causes. However, Henry Cavill will have none of it: he's in this for the money!
In an interview with the Man of the World magazine, Cavill fessed up that he's not “just doing this for the art.” Instead, he's in it for “fantastic” money, and he went on to describe how the DCEU has helped fund “lavish holidays” and first-class flights all around the world. And while he did also mention that he loved to buy his friends gifts and drinks too, it's not hard to think that Superman's real green weakness is now money!
9 GAL GADOT HATES PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT CERTAIN THINGS
More so than any other DCEU hero, Wonder Woman has become a major symbol for her fans. She represents the strength of femininity and the willingness to deal with the world on her terms rather than being defined by the world of men. However, in the real world, Gal Gadot got very fed up with the world of male viewers.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she admitted that many fans could not stop focusing on one (or make that two) things. She mentioned how fans were constantly discussing things like whether her breasts were too small to recreate the voluptuous comic book icon. According to Gadot, she could barely breathe in her outfit, so it ended up being a good thing that things weren't more restricting!
8 AFFLECK'S KIDS PREFER OTHER HEROES
All fathers hope that their sons look up to them as heroes. For stars like Ben Affleck, this is literally true: his son gets to watch dad put on a cool costume and fight crime as the legendary Batman. However, the son has a secret: he doesn't really like Batman that much!
Ben Affleck admitted to E! News that his youngest child has his sights on different heroes. Apparently, the young man really prefers The Flash (possibly due to his own tendency to run around the house at high velocity). To top it off, Affleck's daughters look up to Gal Gadot much more than they do Affleck. It turns out Affleck himself is the biggest Batman fan in the family...although judging from the frequent rumors about his departure from the franchise, maybe not!
7 SNYDER HASN'T SEEN JUSTICE LEAGUE
Regardless of how you feel about Zack Snyder, it's undeniable that he's had a tragic life lately. He stepped down as director of Justice League after a personal tragedy, saying he needed to spend more time with his family. Joss Whedon took over as director, for better or for worse. However, it looks like Snyder might think it was “for worse” because he hasn't watched the movie!
When a Zack Snyder superfan completely trashed Whedon's version of the movie in a conversation on Vero, Snyder dropped the bombshell on her that he had not actually watched Whedon's vision of the film. He did not elaborate, but there may be some old tension at work: it's an open secret that Whedon extensively changed plot points and re-shot many scenes, and he even recolored the movie. In every sense, this is no longer Snyder's movie.
6 WHEDON TRIED TO HIDE EXTENSIVE RE-SHOOTS
Justice League fans who knew that Whedon took over as director when Snyder stepped down watched the movie very closely. It became a kind of game to try to see what scenes were directed by Snyder and what scenes were directed by Whedon. As it turns out, though, a lot of it may be Whedon...something that he's tried hard to keep a secret.
Initially, Whedon played the part of the company man and insisted he was carefully following Snyder's blueprint. However, a producer let slip that Whedon may have re-shot 20 percent of the movie. Furthermore, plenty of material was in film trailers and not in the final film, indicating extensive cuts by Whedon. Why, then, was Whedon playing coy about how involved he was with changing the movie? To disguise how much of this movie was an uncomfortable mish-mash of two VERY different creators.
5 THE DCEU MADE CAVILL CRY
Fans flock to superhero movies because they are pure escapist entertainment. It's tough to dwell on your own problems when you see villains like Steppenwolf threatening the entire planet! However, these movies are very real for their actors, and Man of Steel ended up being a little too real for Henry Cavill.
When Man of Steel premiered in London, Cavill admitted that he burst into tears about half an hour into the movie. He didn't describe much about it except to say that he felt the movie was very emotional. Of course, by this metric, most of the DCEU is very emotional: Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad certainly made many of us cry, though not for the same reasons that Henry Cavill was crying!
4 GAL GODOT VS. BRETT RATNER
One of the things that helped Wonder Woman succeed as a movie is that it premiered during a time when many more women were demanding equality and justice than ever before. On the heels of her movie's success came the #MeToo movement, in which many celebrities and politicians were called out for sexual harassment and abuse of women.
Ellen Page revealed how director Brett Ratner had harassed her back on the set of X-Men 3 (just in case you need anything else to make that movie gross and unwatchable). When Gal Gadot heard about this (and many other women accusing him), she put her foot down and said she wouldn't star as Wonder Woman unless Ratner was kicked off the Wonder Woman sequel. Warner Bros. agreed and gave Ratner the boot, making Gadot a heroic icon for everyone.
3 BEN AFFLECK STOLE BATARANGS
In the Dark Knight Returns comic, Batman gives his cynical view of superheroes: he insists that they have always been criminals themselves. This is the version of Batman that Ben Affleck is channeling in Batman v. Superman, but it turns out he was channeling his criminal side offscreen, too. Affleck stole batarangs from the set!
Apparently, no matter how rich you are, playing Batman is still pretty damn cool. Affleck thought so and walked away from the set one day with some souvenirs that he could show his friends and family. Unfortunately, he's not as slick as the real Batman, and Warner Bros. noticed immediately. And because they know exactly how much money he was making from the movie, they were happy to send Affleck a bill.
2 SNYDER NEEDED NOLAN'S BLESSING
In some ways, the biggest enemy for the DCEU Batman is Batman himself. Unlike the other Justice League members, Batman has had very successful modern movies via Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. People were inevitably going to compare the new Batman with Nolan's Batman and wonder if it's even worth trying to create a new Batman. And it turns out Zack Snyder is one of those people!
Zack Snyder was already tapped by Warner Bros. for their next DCEU movie, and they were adamant that they wanted a Batman v. Superman movie. However, Snyder actually went to Christopher Nolan to get permission for rebooting this character. Nolan reluctantly agreed, saying that “someone else” was always going to make Batman movies. Snyder, though, remains convinced that Nolan was unhappy about the idea of a new cinematic Batman so close on the heels of his own blockbuster trilogy.
1 WHEDON DRAMATICALLY CHANGED SUPERMAN
Fans went into Justice League preparing for weird CGI. It's a movie filled with creatures like Steppenwolf and henchman like Parademons. However, the weirdest CGI involved Superman's upper lip. When Whedon needed to re-shoot Superman scenes, Henry Cavill had a mustache he couldn't shave because he needed it for the next Mission: Impossible movie. The CGI upper lip was bad, but it also gives a clue to a dark secret.
Once you know that the CGI upper lip means Whedon shot that scene, you come to a terrible revelation: he's got that terrible upper lip in almost every scene he's in. In fact, there's only two shots in the movie where Superman does not sport the terrible CGI upper-lip. This means that Joss Whedon through out almost every single thing that Snyder did with this character...which, regardless of how you feel about Snyder as a director, is pretty damn insulting.