There was an interesting cameo embedded into the opening of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It was a brief moment where Holt McCallany (Netflix’s Mindhunter) plays a criminal in Gotham, and was being pursued by Batman, before the Dark Knight is suddenly interrupted by a Parademon. The scene is pivotal in showing that Batman is hot on the trail of what is causing these parademon sightings. According to McCallany, this scene was originally written to be a lot funnier than it was in the final cut of Justice League.
McCallany says that the scene was created by Joss Whedon, but had to be re-cut before the studio will sign off on it. In an interview with Mens Fitness, McCallany talks about the scene and how Whedon took the scene’s retooling:
“I love Joss Whedon. My scene with Batman was originally conceived as a comedic scene. That’s how Joss wrote it, and that’s how we shot it. I thought it came out great, but the studio felt it would be a mistake to open the film with a completely comedic scene, so it was re-edited a little bit.
I was disappointed, but when I got home to New York I found a bottle of my favorite Champagne and a note from Joss that said ‘To Battles Lost. Gratefully, Joss.’ I can’t tell you how much it meant to me that he took the time to write to me. Joss Whedon is a class act. I had the letter framed.
It was fun to fight Batman, even if I lost. In some of the takes, my character fights back a little more but with no success. I have my own fight style based on techniques I’ve learned over many years of boxing and working in films, and I got to use that here. In this case, it’s fighting a superhero, so it’s tougher. Batman can do a lot of things other guys can’t do. It was a great experience, and a fun scene to shoot. Ben [Affleck] was very easygoing, we got it in just a few takes.
My favorite fight scenes are usually ones that are choreographed with some style to them, and ones that are choreographed around a particular actor’s individual strengths. The old adage in the fight game is ‘styles make fights.’ I like to design my own fight choreography in conjunction with my director and stunt coordinator whenever possible, and here it was a great way to be a part of the film, even though I got beat by Batman.”
We may never know exactly what scenes Joss Whedon did, and what scenes were the product of Zack Snyder’s changing gears for Justice League. It is nice for stories like this to leak out giving fans a glimpse into the changes that occur during a film’s production.