You know you've got a problematic film on your hands when a small amount of human hair completely overshadows it. And sadly for Warner Bros, that's firmly the case with Justice League and Henry Cavill's delicious Mission: Impossible - Fallout moustache.
The tale of that soup strainer has turned into the biggest stick to beat Warner Bros' expensive dud with and it's hard to see too many future production stories ever being as embarrassing. Watching it back now, it's still unbelievable that anyone greenlit the rushed CGI job.
And unfortunately for Warner Bros, it might not have been an issue if Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie had got his way as he actually agreed to let Cavill shave the 'stache. It's just that his studio paymasters didn't.
McQuarrie has given an interview to Empire in which he confirmed that he was willing to shut down Fallout's production temporarily and then start up again once Cavill's face was hairy again:
"When the question came - the reshoots for Justice League came out - [Charles] Roven called me, and he said, 'We need your help and we need to shave Henry [Cavill]'s mustache. We need him to come back and we need to do these reshoots.' And I said, 'Look, Chuck, naturally I want to do everything I can to help you, but I also have to think about our production. Let me talk to everybody and figure out what the scheduling would be.' And I went and spoke to Jake Myers, and the suggestion was made through channels that we shave the mustache and Henry could begin to grow the mustache back and that then there would be - they would give us the resources to digitally fill in Henry's mustache. Because like it or not, a fake mustache in close-up on a 75mm lens is never going to look like anything but a fake mustache.Advertisement
"So, we offered the following compromise: Jake Myers calculated the amount of money that it would take to replace the number of shots, and essentially what Jake was able to project was about a $3 million visual effects budget. So, I don't know how much Henry was in Justice League, I've never seen the movie, but I can tell you how much it would've cost for Mission: Impossible to digitally add Henry Cavill's mustache, and we said yes. We said, here's what we'll do: give us the $3 million and we'll shut down, and that will give Henry Cavill the time to grow his mustache back, and we'll just shut our movie down. ...We said we'll do this, at which point, somebody from Paramount Pictures said, 'What is going on? What are you people even talking about?' They're like, 'There's no way we're going to do that.' We were just like, 'Okay.' That was the best plan that we could come up with."
Clearly, the money offer wasn't enough for Paramount and it's not all that surprising. Shutting down an entire movie and potentially crashing other schedules is not a small thing so you can understand Paramount's reluctance.
Still, it must sting for Warner Bros to know some parties were happy to help.