Why Is Everyone So Hyped About The ‘Snyder Cut’ Of Justice League?
There have been numerous times over the years where, for any number of reasons, a film hasn’t released in what you may call its final form. Blade Runner, for instance, has been released, re-cut and re-released more times than we care to go through here, with revision on a certain film aiming to provide additional layers of nuance and clarity to enrich the overall viewing experience.
In some cases, it can also make amends for an overwhelming sense of disappointment suffered by much of a film’s fan-base, whether it’s through time constraints causing a director to cut out crucial plot points and story arcs, or studio-mandated changes that water down the final product.
As such, when a revamped cut of an already popular film is announced to be in the works, it generally creates quite a lot of buzz within certain circles of fandom. But few re-cuts have managed to generate quite the hype of Zack Snyder’s upcoming re-jig of DC Superhero Flick Justice League. But why is this?
It’s worth saying here that Justice League, as it released, was by comparison to its chief rival in the Avengers films a huge disappointment. It didn’t break even at the box office despite taking over $600 million globally, and received mixed reviews from both critics and fans alike. It was however, like so many other films, just another project that fell victim to its own tumultuous production process.
And tumultuous it was. Zack Snyder, the director and writer originally trusted as the custodian of the film after releasing films like Watchmen and Wonder Woman to enormous success, left the project during post-production due to the death of his daughter. Joss Whedon stepped in to replace him, drastically re-cutting the movie at the directive of Warner Bros., who demanded that the film stick to a 2-hour run time. For comparison, Avengers: Endgame alone ran for nearly 3 hours, and it was just half of the story arc’s closing chapter.
Whedon’s cut of Justice League also earned significant fan backlash for watering down Snyder’s original vision of a particularly dark, gritty Justice League film. Having previously worked on Avengers films, he brought the same approach to Justice League’s post-producgion not only re-cutting the movie, but overseeing reshoots that brightened the film significantly. Whedon’s alterations added more humour and a more family-friendly overall visual feel to the movie.
The eventual film that released was, as many fans immediately noted, a far cry from what Snyder had originally intended to make. Snyder was notably incensed. "You probably saw one-fourth of what I did," Snyder said in an interview, claiming he’s never seen the theatrical cut of the film.
As such, when it was announced by Warner Bros. that it would spend $20 million allowing Snyder to re-cut the film to fit his original vision, it was treated as a godsend for many who felt that they’d been robbed of the Justice League film they’d waited for through numerous shitty build-up films and a generally underwhelming extended DC Universe. The release was partly the result of a fan-led campaign demanding that Warner Bros. give DC fans what they wanted — one supported by many of the film’s own stars.
Snyder’s cut promises a darker tone, a moodier aesthetic, revised villain dynamics, and probably significantly less humour. According to a report from Collider in fact, there will be no Joss Whedon-shot footage in the film at all. “That is a f***king hard fact. I literally would blow that thing up, if I thought for a second…Anything you see in this movie that reminds you of the theatrical release…. would be because that was a thing that I had done, and was being borrowed for whatever, that Frankenstein’s monster that you got in the theater.”
It’s also thematically rather different, intended to be more of a meditation on the nature of being a superhero rather than a simple battle between good and evil. It’s "about the purpose of being a superhero,” Snyder said.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League, as it’s known, will release on HBO Max over in the States in 2021.