No symbol better encapsulates the problems that Warner Bros. is having getting the DCEU off the ground than Henry Cavill’s digitally-removed mustache in Justice League. To be fair, Cavill’s inability to shave the thing off isn’t entirely DC’s fault, but at this point it kinda feels like maybe, just maybe, WB’s cool with this whole ship sinking.
By now you know the story: Cavill grew out a rather bodacious mustache for a role in Paramount’s upcoming Mission Impossible: 6, which began filming after Justice League’s first round of shoots. When Warner Bros. decided that Justice League would need extensive reshoots featuring Cavill’s Superman, the mustache became a problem. Paramount refused to let the actor shave, meaning that the Man of Steel was either going to have a mustache (a thing that’s happened before) or Warner Bros. was going to have to digitally edit the facial hair out. Unfortunately, the studio went with the latter decision and Uncanny Valley Faceman was born.
According to a person claiming to be a VFX editor who worked on the film, though, Warner Bros. fought desperately to shave the ’stache. During a recent Reddit AMA, the editor explained how Warner Bros. offered to pay money to digitally add a mustache to Mission Impossible: 6 in post production, and chalked up the studio’s refusal to budge to good, old-fashioned pettiness:
Said the editor:
“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.
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.”
The editor also went on to say that one of the main reasons Superman’s face looks so odd from time to time during Justice League is the tight schedule the effects house had to work on. Had they had more time, perhaps we’d all be a bit more forgiving.