All of us, love The Justice League. This superhero team-up made a special place in our hearts soon after dedicated comic issues were launched. But the Justice League truly a part of our lives after the animated show titled “Justice League Animated (TV Series)” was aired. This article will explore the events that led to the unexpected anomaly in Hollywood called the “Snyder Cut”.
The movie that we saw in theatres is known as the theatrical cut. It was panned universally by both critics and fans alike. And “Snyder Cut” is the reference used for the original movie version that Zack was working on. He departed from the project after the death of his daughter.
Origin of the Snyder Cut
The Justice League movie was completed by Joss Whedon after Zack’s departure. It is also dubbed as “Josstice League” due to Joss’s direction. He drastically changed the tone and story of the movie to please the Studio Executives that hired him for the project. And even changed the ending of the movie drawing extreme criticism from the fans.
And Soon after the release of the theatrical cut, fans all across the globe were left saddened by the movie. They even wanted to forget any memory of the theatrical cut, such was the disappointment caused by this version of their beloved movie.
In all this frustration over the movie, the chatter of a fabled cut began as a ray of hope. This cut was supposedly the movie that Zack was working on before his departure. And according to the sources, this version of the movie was complete and only needed VFX editing.
Several members of Snyder’s team also confirmed the existence of such a cut. After this, the fans started rallying for the release of this version of the movie calling it the “Snyder Cut”.
The Difference from the Theatrical Cut
After the fans started rallying for the release of the “Snyder Cut” multiple new pieces of information came to light. It was implied that Zack left the project himself. But, it was later revealed that it was not the case. The studio forced him out and did not give him due time to deal with the loss of her daughter.
The studio had lost faith in Snyder following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And the studio wanted to replicate the winning formula of the rival MCU. For this, WB forced Snyder to cram humor in Justice League as opposed to the dark tone of the BvS: Dawn of Justice.
In order to accomplish what they wanted, the studio placed Geoff Johns and Jon Berg on Snyder’s set as Watch Dogs. Their job was to make sure that the Studio’s demands were being met. And Snyder did lighten the tone of the movie considerably without compromising his vision.
But the WB executives were still not satisfied. Sources state that the WB hired Joss Whedon on the recommendation of Geoff Johns. Whedon was brought in as a writer to re-write scenes with more comedic relief. But the studio eventually started giving him more and more directorial control of the film.
After the death of her daughter, the studio did not wait for Snyder to cope with the huge loss he suffered. And he worked for two months after her death in hopes of reducing his grief. But the Studio’s treatment of Zack and his vision left him even more shattered ultimately resulting in his departure.
Primary Changes In Storyline
After Whedon had full control, he changed the entire storyline and also wrote and directed a new ending. He erased Darkseid’s role as the Big Boss behind Steppenwolf. And made him the primary villain. He added new shots with Wonder Woman diminishing her role to mere eye candy.
As reports suggest he even reduced the screen time of Cyborg and The Flash. And also eliminated their back stories. He even presented Bruce Wayne as a cheap copy of Iron Man in his directed Avengers Movie. He even changed Aquaman’s character into a careless dude character. And also integrated the useless Shawarma Joke at the end.
The story also suffered from multiple cuts making it hard for even the die-hard fans to understand how the story progressed over time. It was full of loopholes created due to unnecessary cuts to reduce screen-time.
The first battle was reduced in duration with the fight scenes with both the Amazons and Atlanteans also considerably shorter.
The final cut that Joss completed with all these changes was so disappointing that even Jeff and John avoided taking any credit in the development of this film.
One thing that everybody in Hollywood knows for a fact is that “Zack is an amazing Visual Artist”. His esthetics for the development of the visual effects in 300 and Watchmen have been praised by everyone. And when Joss took over he even changed the visual effect that Zack had worked on.
Joss changed the entire backdrop of the movie to reddish rather than Zack’s darker tone. He changed the appearance of Steppenwolf. Joss’s version of Steppenwolf was more like an overgrown human rather than a scary and intimidating alien from Planet Apokolips.
His weapon simply made a lightning trail when used as opposed to Zack’s version. Zack’s version of the weapon shattered the Earth to pieces when hit on the ground and released actual lightning when used.
The most notable change in the movie that Joss released was the absence of Superman’s iconic Black Suit. He is seen wearing this suit after his revival in “The Death and Return of Superman” story as seen in comics and animated iterations. The reason Superman wears the black suit is to absorb more sunlight and restore his powers at an increased rate.
Audio Score Change
The audio score for the Justice League was completed by Junkie XL but was changed at the last minute. Joss brought in Danny Elfman to compose a new score. The new soundtracks were felt rushed and did not provide the desired immersive experience to the viewers. This new score also made the movie feel disconnected from its predecessors due to a change in tone.
At the time of the expensive reshoots undertaken by Whedon, Henry Cavill had a moustache because of his role in the Mission Impossible franchise. He was under contract and could not remove the moustache.
The Director decided to digitally remove the mustache making Henry Cavill’s Superman looking more like Darkseid’s champion who is infused with the anti-life equation. And less like the beloved hero that is the last hope for humanity.
This blunder was made partially because of poor reconstruction of Cavill’s upper lip and teeth. The face became more and more annoying as the movie progressed to say the very least.
This hashtag became very popular among fans campaigning for the release of this movie. This became even more popular when Zack shared photo of film rolls in a box with Z.S Justice League written on it.
The fans even reached AT&T after their merger with Warner Bros to release the movie. Fans even purchased two billboards ad space and asking Ann Sarnoff to release the Snyder Cut directly.
It is normal for fans to rally for movies that they want. But what separates this movement from the rest is that even the cast and crew of the movie came out in support of releasing “Snyder Cut”. On two year anniversary of the Justice League, all the members of the cast and crew tweeted with hashtag #Release_the _Snyder_Cut.
After all the campaigning by the fans and support from the cast and crew, the studio gave the green signal to release the Snyder Cut in February 2020. Snyder himself told in a podcast that the studio wanted to release the cut unfinished without the VFX shots and be done with it. But he did not agree and they allocated a budget for him to complete the movie.
The Snyder Cut is officially titled “Zack Snyder’s Justice League”. New reports suggest that it was actually AT&T that forced the studio for the release of the Snyder Cut to capitalize on the free publicity that the movie has received. And if was up to the studio executives, the movie would never be released.
The movie is 4 hours long and with additional photography, Zack has also added Jared Leto’s Joker in the movie. This runtime is double to what we got for the theatrical cut.
The movie is scheduled to be released on HBO Max on 18th March 2021. It was originally planned to release the movie as a mini-series divided into four parts. But was later decided to release it as a movie.
This movie’s release is truly an anomaly in the long history of Hollywood. As we have never seen two versions of the same film to be officially released ever before.
Future of Snyderverse
Zack originally planned three Justice League movies but due to Studio’s intervention, the other two sequels were scrapped. And then we got the Josstice League and the idea of expensive team-ups was dropped altogether by the studio and supporting the making of disconnected movies like The Joker.
But the launching of HBO max had changed the dynamic. And we will get to see Zack’s vision on HBO max. This left the possibilities of sequels open.
But from the looks of it WB is not supporting Snyder Cut even one bit. They did not even share the trailers of “Snyder Cut” on the studio’s various YouTube channels. They have also opted to release “Godzilla vs Kong” on 24th March 2021 creating unwanted competition with their own movie.
The studio also angered the DCEU fans even more by announcing the reboot of Superman even after extending their deal with Henry Cavill.
Observers now claim that there is only one way that fans are going to see Justice League sequels now. And that is if the Snyder Cut performs exceptionally well and becomes profitable. This will allow HBO max to exclusively make sequels to the Snyder Cut.
Fans have worked really hard for “Snyder Cut” to get released. Now that we are actually going to witness the release of this movie we should support it completely and allowing the movie to surpass any expectations that the studio has attached with it.
Zack has teased the cliffhanger ending for this movie. So we should support the movie in hopes of getting sequels to the movie. In this way, we can help Zack to complete his vision for the Justice League Saga.