It’s not fair to blame the mustache Henry Cavill had for Mission: Impossible — Fallout for ruining Justice League, mostly because Superman’s weird CGI lip honestly didn’t even crack the top ten of that movie’s problems. But, it turns out that Fallout’s director Chris McQuarrie tried to help Justice League out.
On the Empire Film Podcast, McQuarrie explained that he really liked Cavill’s mustachioed look because the actor “didn’t look like Superman.” Of course, not looking like Superman was a problem for Warner Bros., which needed Cavill to look like the Man of Steel again for extensive Justice League reshoots. Justice League producer Charles Robin called McQuarrie saying they needed Cavill to shave. McQuarrie, not wanting to lose the mustache entirely, consulted with another Fallout producer, Jake Myers.
“And the suggested was made through channels that we shave the mustache, Henry begin to grow the mustache back, and they would give us the resources to digitally replace, to fill in Henry’s mustache,” McQuarrie said, before explaining why that wouldn’t work. “A fake mustache in close up on a 75-millimeter lens is never going to look like anything but a fake mustache in close up with a 75-millimeter lens.”
So instead Myers came up with a counter-offer. He calculated that giving Cavill as CGI mustache would cost about $3 million (side note: holy shit).
“We said yes, here’s what we’ll do,” McQuarrie recalled. “Give us the $3 million and we’ll shut down, and that will give Henry Cavill the time to grow his mustache back.”
However, a higher-up at Paramount, the studio behind Fallout, put the kibosh on the plan when they found out. “What are you people even talking about?” they said, according to McQuarrie. “There’s no way we’re ever going to do that.”
“The truth of the matter was that someone was going digital,” McQuarrie added.
And, well… we all know how that turned out.
Listen to the full podcast below.