After a hopeful campaign on Twitter to see Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, things may be looking up for DC fans.
It was painful for DC fans to see a version of Justice League that had been reshot and cut up as much as Zack Snyder’s original vision was. Originally attached as a cowriter and director, Snyder aimed to complete his trilogy beginning with Man of Steel (2013), building tension in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and ending with Justice League (2017).
What sadly transpired was not the ideal route for the franchise. It began with the poor reception of Dawn of Justice which made the studio believe Snyder was the problem, when the real problem was merely poor screenwriting. Snyder had WB watching him like a hawk and when test screenings went on for Justice League, WB felt that the previous film was repeating itself.
In a tragic turn of events, Snyder and his wife (Deborah Snyder, who also produces the films) lost their daughter to suicide, and the studio used it as an opportunity to let Snyder go. The President of the Warner Bros. Picture Group, Toby Emmerich, said “What they are going through is unimaginable, and my heart — our hearts — go out to them.”
While Snyder certainly needed the break to be with his family, this happened in Mar. 2017 and the film was still on track for its Nov. 2017 release date – which means it was already done filming and deep in post production. After Snyder was off of the project, Avengers creative Joss Whedon was hired to complete the film, but not without a number of rewrites, reshoots and retooling altogether.
Whedon added a ton of signature shots (The Flash landing in Wonder Woman’s breasts after falling being the big one) and removed Snyder’s original colour scheme that was established in the previous two films. WB allowed the money to be spent in order to build what they thought would be a better film, but the result was the complete opposite.
Justice League opened to rather average numbers and below average reviews. Critics were fairly disappointed with it and fans did not like it. It was sloppy, poorly reshot and scrapped the themes of hope and idealism that Snyder had worked towards. Tom Holkenborg (or Junkie XL) had scored the film (after co-writing the score for Dawn of Justice with Hans Zimmer) and his music was scrapped entirely and replaced with Danny Elfman’s entirely forgettable music.
Fans were beyond annoyed that the legacy of these great characters had been buried. Cavill’s Superman ended up going into limbo after the film, with no news of a sequel. Ben Affleck left the role of Batman. Ray Fisher’s Cyborg had his solo film scrapped and Ezra Miller’s Flash film has been on WB’s back-burner for a lot longer than necessary now.
The only projects to move forward were Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (directed by James Wan) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman (directed by Patty Jenkins), but that wasn’t enough for some fans. The real spark came when Snyder re-emerged on the social media platform Vero and begun to hint at the fact his edit of the film was not truly gone.
A movement began under the handle #ReleaseTheSnyderCut which begged WB to let Snyder release his original vision of the movie, but for the longest time, it seemed to fall on deaf ears. Both Shazam! and Joker have come and gone from WB and DC with no acknowledgement of the SnyderCut movement.
On Sunday, Nov. 17, a Twitter movement began in an attempt to garner attention from the studio and make it known that the support and demand was in fact there. It was hinted at by industry scoopers that the studio was listening now, and they were paying attention to what people were saying about the desired cut of the film.
Today, the official Twitter accounts for HBO Max, the new streaming platform owned by WB, has liked a number of tweets supporting the Snyder cut of the film, and the official twitter accounts for WB Pictures and WB have re-followed Snyder on social media. It’s common practice for studios and filmmakers to connect, officially, on social media when they collaborate on a larger production – like Justice League.
The involvement of HBO Max is what makes it particularly interesting because rumours have been swirling about the possibility of the Snyder cut being an exclusive to the streaming service, and that rumour now holds some credibility with the recent development.
While it’s no clear indication the Snyder cut is a go, the traction behind the movement and the fact that WB is becoming more aware of its potential could be a telling sign of whats to come.
Like Lex Luthor said, “The bell’s already been rung, and they’ve heard it.”