Former DC Films head Geoff Johns denies ever threatening Ray Fisher over 'Justice League' catchphrase
- Fisher told The Hollywood Reporter that he pushed back on Cyborg saying "booyah."
- He believes he was threatened by then-DC Films head Geoff Johns to say the catchphrase.
- In a statement to Insider, Johns denies ever threatening the actor.
In a The Hollywood Reporter story that came out Tuesday, Fisher spoke on the record for the first time about his experience making the DC Comics movie. One of the things he opened up about was what happened when he pushed back about saying the line, "booyah," in the movie.
It's a line that the cartoon version of Cyborg is known for saying in the animated series, "Teen Titans Go!" However, Fisher said he didn't think it was right for his portrayal of the character."It seemed weird to have the only Black character say that," Fisher said, seeing as no one else in the movie would be throwing out a catchphrase, and adding that he thought about other Black actors in pop culture with famous catchphrases including Gary Coleman's "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" and Jimmie Walker's "Dy-no-mite!"
"This is one of the most expensive
Fisher's agent reached out to Warner Bros. studio chief Toby Emmerich about Fisher being pressured to say the line. That led to Fisher having a meeting with Geoff Johns, the other co-chairman of DC Films at the time, before Whedon's reshoots on the movie. Fisher said at that meeting he felt he was being threatened to toe the line and do what he was told.According to Fisher, Johns told him that having his agent call Emmerich was "just not cool." "[Johns] said, 'I consider us to be friends' - which he knew we were not - 'and I just don't want you to make a bad name for yourself in the business,'" Fisher said.
In response to this, Johns' publicist, Howard Bragman, sent the following statement to Insider:
"Since 2013 the ongoing 'Teen Titans Go!' animated series has introduced Cyborg to a new generation of fans. In that series, Cyborg says 'Booyah!' In an effort to excite fans that were currently watching the series while the film was coming out, Cyborg exclaiming 'Booyah' was added to the script. The entire studio believed it was a fun moment of synergy."Ray thought the animated series and the expression was childish for 'his take' on the character. Ray had his agents call Toby Emmerich to express that Ray did not want to say it.
"To note: In 2015, Ray posted #Booyah on his Facebook page when he was cast as Cyborg. Ray also tweeted #Booyah to the actor playing Cyborg in 'Doom Patrol' in 2020. At no point did Geoff ever deliver a veiled threat of any kind to Ray, rather he told him if there were creative issues they don't usually get delivered to the head of the studio via agents."
Representatives for Fisher did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Fisher finally said the line during reshoots (it has since been taken out in HBO Max's "Zack Snyder's Justice League"). However, Whedon made a big deal about it, according to Fisher. He said the director delivered a line from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" when he came to the set.
Whedon declined to comment for this story.After Fisher said the "booyah" line, he said Whedon said to him, "Nice work, Ray."
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