A panel featuring high-profile director Joss Whedon has been pulled from the Comic-Con 2020 schedule without explanation. The panel was meant to take place later today on Friday, July 24th at 8pm PST, though the link to the event on Comic-Con's own schedule has since been removed. The panel, titled "A Zoom with Joss Whedon," was scheduled to be an hour long, likely going over the creator's career in Hollywood on projects such as The Avengers, Justice League, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But now it is off the books for Comic-Con@Home without a specific reason why.
Whedon has been in the spotlight over the last couple years due to some controversial issues, including accusations of infidelity and hypocrisy from his ex-wife Kai Cole who penned a scathing essay in 2017.
The filmmaker also took over the highly criticized Justice League from director Zack Snyder; Whedon was only credited as a writer on the film but he also handled extensive reshoots to bring the project back closer to the studio's vision. Justice League did not meet expectations at the box office and the film was critically panned, which ultimately led to the extensive #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign that resulted in Snyder given the opportunity to complete the film as he intended for HBO Max in 2021.
Whedon became a target of criticism among Snyder and Justice League fans, and even more recently he was called out by star Ray Fisher. The Cyborg actor accused Whedon of being unprofessional and then amplified claims made by stunt workers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that supported his comments.
Even before all of the issues surrounding Justice League, Whedon has not spoken extensively about the controversies that have popped up in recent years aside from vague apologies and statements. He was supposed to write and direct a Batgirl movie after Justice League but abandoned the project shortly after the deal was announced.
"It had been a year since I had first pitched the story. A lot happened in that year," Whedon said to Variety. "The story kind of just crumbled in my hands. There were elements that I just hadn’t mastered that, after a long time, felt like I wasn’t going to. I told people that I didn’t have an idea, which isn’t an exact truth. I had an idea, but it didn’t fit in the space that was left for it. It was a little heartbreaking. But I’m working on something of my own, and there’s nothing more exciting than that."
Whedon's next project is the HBO original series The Nevers, currently scheduled to premiere in 2021.