The one thing people simply can’t stop talking about when it comes to Justice League isn’t the world’s most famous superheroes teaming up or even getting to know big-screen versions of The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), or Cyborg (Ray Fisher). Instead, nobody can get over the use of CGI to remove Henry Cavill’s mustache for his portrayal of Superman.
Cavill had grown out his facial hair for a role in the next Mission: Impossible film and was unable to shave it off when it came time to reshoot scenes for Justice League, leading to the production team having to remove it digitally. The result was very noticeable to those watching the new superhero movie, as Superman’s mouth was oddly animated to delete the hair from his upper lip.
Now, two weeks after the film’s release, a member of the visual effects company that worked on the mustache manipulation is speaking out. In a Reddit AMA by LDM_Film, who was verified as a a VFX artist that has worked on DC films and claims to have observed work on the movie, the user claims that it was Paramount Pictures, the studio behind Mission: Impossible 6, who made the call to keep the facial hair.
“To me, as a fan, I was annoyed haha Paramount should’ve shaved him and stuck a fake one on for MI6. Ridiculously petty of them,” he writes. “We did tests on already shot footage of Superman to add a beard as well to show the MI6 team at Paramount it was loads easier, and Warner Bros offered to pay for all the beard adding shots in MI6. They said no.”
Beyond that, the user alleges that more that one team was used to manscape the Man of Steel. “Our team did a lot of the beard removal/face replacement on Superman and we were proud of our shots and that general audiences wouldn’t notice too much,” he writes. “I’m not sure which other studio did that opening shot on the cell phone but it’s dreadful. It shouldn’t have been approved internally let alone gone all the way to make it into the film. That shocked me a bit. We were all looking at each other when the film started like ‘wtf is this?!'”
The crew member says there were also a few more Cyborg scenes that didn’t make the final cut of the movie, in addition to the moments Fisher mentioned to GameSpot about his character’s mother. “There was a lot of Cyborg that got cut, which you’ve all seen a bit of by now, but there’s even more,” the user says. “A whole hacking sequence with a hologram bullfighting a hologram bear, more stuff with Silas and Star Labs etc.”
While it’s possible you’ll see those scenes released as bonus content at some point in the future, the user says there is no chance of a “Zack Snyder cut” of Justice League ever being released. “Zack would’ve probably done things differently to how the film turned out, but that’s it,” he says. “There isn’t a secret Zack version hidden somewhere. It doesn’t exist.” Snyder opted to depart the project in the wake of a family tragedy, with Avengers director Joss Whedon stepping in to complete the film.
Justice League is in theaters now.