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Paramount was “ridiculously petty” about Henry Cavill’s Justice Leaguestache, apparently

Photo: Emma McIntyre/ Getty Images

It was kind of funny over the summer when Henry Cavill joked about whether or not he’d keep the mustache he grew for Mission: Impossible 6 during Justice League reshoots. On his Instagram at the time, the Superman actor said, “It is not a question of IF I should shave. It is a question of how can we possibly be victorious against such a beast without bringing our own doom raining down upon us.” Cute, eh? Well, less so now because the beast in question here appears not to be the mustache, but the two-headed chimera that is Warner Bros. and Paramount.

As we all know by now, Paramount, the studio behind Mission: Impossible 6, wouldn’t allow Cavill to shave his mustache, thus forcing Warner Bros. to erase the strip via digital trickery. The result? Well...

Photo: Warner Bros.

The question comes down to why: Why would Paramount force Warner Bros. to spend millions of dollars on VFX when they could just slap a fake mustache on Cavill? It couldn’t just be pure pettiness, could it? According to a VFX artist who worked on Justice League, that’s exactly what it was.

In a Reddit AMA, the anonymous VFXer—though anonymous, he was confirmed by the Reddit moderators—says, “Paramount should’ve shaved him and stuck a fake one on for MI6. Ridiculously petty of them. 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.”

He also revealed that Warner Bros. “offered to pay for all the beard-adding shots in MI6”and that “they said no.”


That’s some cold, cold shit right there, especially considering, as the VFX artist points out, it’s a lot simpler to add hair than it is to remove it. He claims he’s currently working on James Wan’s Aquaman, and that it’s easier to add a “virtual beard that flows realistically underwater” than it is to recreate a portion of someone’s face.

He’s not taking credit for Cavill’s freaky, hairless upper lip, though, saying that it was done by different effects company. “I’m not sure which other studio did that opening shot on the cell phone, but it’s dreadful,” he wrote. “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?!’”


He blames the lack of time—only four months—between the reshoots and film’s release for the film’s notoriously shoddy special effects. “I thought half the Flash scenes looked crappy, and the CG Batman at the start even worse,” he wrote.

Another notable bit of news from the AMA is the fact that there is no “original” cut of the film from Zack Snyder. So, you know, good luck with that petition.


As for whether or not Warner Bros. will be fixing Cavill’s upper lip for the film’s Blu-ray release? “Lol nope,” he writes.

Probably for the best.


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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.