If you cast your minds back to the simpler time of 2017, when the stupidest thing Donald Trump had said yet was “cofveve”, you may remember a rather bizarre saga around Henry Cavill’s facial hair, nicknamed “Moustache-gate”
Long story short: reshoots for Justice League, where Cavill plays Superman, were scheduled around the same time as Cavill was in production with Mission: Impossible Fallout, probably as moral support as Tom Cruise attempted more and more ridiculous stunts.
The problem? Superman is clean shaven, while Cavill’s Fallout character wasn’t. Mission Impossible’s producers refused to let him shave. So Justice League had to CGI his moustache out and, well, check out the result…
things i am thankful for this year:
1) henry cavill's mustache
2) paramount being a petty bitch and not letting him shave it
3) the fact it cost Warner Bros. millions to CGI it out
4) this still pic.twitter.com/PBj3jOWtLi
— Emma Tyler (@EmmaStoneTyler) November 20, 2017
However, in an interview with Empire Magazine, Mission: Impossible Fallout director Christopher McQuarrie has revealed that the whole story behind what happened. As it turns out, he (at least) was fine for Henry to shave.
When the reshoots for Justice League came up [Justice League producer] Chuck Roven called me, and he said, ‘We need your help, and we need to shave Henry’s moustache. 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 [Mission producer] Jake Myers and the suggestion was made through channels that we shave the moustache, Henry begin to grow the moustache back, and that they would give us the resources to digitally fill in Henry’s moustache.
Fallout producer Jake Myers calculated that the full cost of digitally filling in the Mo’ would’ve been around US$3 million dollars. Considering that, from a visual effects standpoint, it’s easier to add hair than to remove it, this sounded like a decent compromise.
But McQuarrie, knowing that either scenario wouldn’t look great on camera for anyone, came up with a counter-offer that supposedly had everyone on board: Justice League‘s producers just give them the $3 million, Cavill shaves, and Mission: Impossible halt production for the time it takes Cavill to grow back the moustache.
Everyone… except the executives bankrolling Mission: Impossible.
At which point, somebody from Paramount Pictures said, ‘What is going on? What are you people even talking about?’ They were like, ‘There’s no way we’re going to do that, we’re not shutting down.’ So we were just like, ‘OK well that was the best plan that we could come up with.’
Which meant that we ended up with this beautiful gift
Henry Cavill's mustache could not be contained by mere human CGI pic.twitter.com/TnxdpbeNVT
— Zack (@Blankzilla) November 16, 2017
The biggest twist of all was yet to come, however. Shortly after reshoots for Justice League wrapped, Tom Cruise broke his ankle and, with their leading man out of action, production shut down anyway. Irony!
For what it’s worth, McQuarrie is sorry for the situation Warner Bros. was put in, but also admitted to not watching the final product.
Which is probably for the best. Justice League really wasn’t that great.