Look, you didn’t think you were getting out of 2020 without one more uber-dramatic update from the year’s most persistently unkillable entertainment feud, did you? It’s just not to be, folks, as actor Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg in 2017's “Did you think we’d still be thinking about this movie 3 years later, Christ?” opus, Justice League, has now made a statement that seems to come very close to breaking ties with the DC Universe of films entirely. Specifically, Fisher—who’s been embroiled with Warner Bros. in a fight over the film ever since he came forward with allegations of “abusive” behavior by director Joss Whedon on the film’s set earlier this year, along with allegations of similar vague misbehavior from producers Jon Berg and Geoff Johns—stated on Twitter today that he “will not participate” in any future projects associated with Walter Hamada. Which would be all well and good, except Walter Hamada is the current president of DC Films, i.e., the sub-studio that handles all of Warner Bros.’ superhero movies, so… Yeah.
Fisher has been beefing specifically with Hamada since September, when he asserted that the executive—who was put in charge of DC Films after Justice League received a $658 million shrug at the box office—was throwing Whedon and Berg “under the bus” in order to protect Johns, the long-time DC Comics writer who’s still reportedly heavily involved with the studio’s movie-making plans. Said plans did seem to involve attempts to bring Fisher back into the fold, reportedly with a return performance in the long-gestating Flash movie, and no stated objections to his part being expanded for Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but, well, see above.
Things seemed to be cooling off between Fisher and the studio earlier this month, when Warner Bros. stated that the third-party investigation the actor had called for into allegedly racist and dismissive actions during the film’s shooting had been concluded, and that “remedial action” was being taken. Fisher’s response at the time was, essentially, “Good start, let’s wait and see what happens,” but apparently he’s waited and seen enough at this point; possibly spurred on by a new profile of Hamada in The New York Times this week—in which the execu’s bold new vision for the DC superhero properties appears to be exactly the same as the old new vision for them, i.e., copy whatever Marvel’s doing a few years after the fact, with a heavy move toward TV expansions of established characters—Fisher wrote on Twitter today that “Walter Hamada is the most dangerous kind of enabler.” He also referenced a September 4 “hit piece” from Warner Bros., i.e., a press statement the studio released pushing back on some of Fisher’s claims, and painting him as a disgruntled actor unhappy his part had been cut down in the film.
All in all, it’s just one more cumulonimbus of crap in the PR shitstorm that Warner Bros. has been weathering over the last few months; Wonder Woman 1984 has been getting a tepid response from critics (now that the majority of critics have been allowed to see it, natch), and many of the studio’s most prominent directors are threatening revolt over its plans to release many of its big 2021 releases simultaneously on HBO Max. The studio needs to get its superhero ducks in order in order to regain a little bit of that trust—with that same New York Times piece noting that the plan is essentially to use the “multiverse” concept to jettison everything that didn’t work from the early Zack Snyder films, and keep the Jason Momoa/Gal Gadot-shaped parts that did—but Fisher’s high-profile pushback continues to get in the way of the studio presenting that critical “big, happy family” image that was just one part of what made Disney’s Marvel movies such an unprecedented success.