#releasethesnydercut – By @now_pictured
On Wednesday, the 20th of May 2020, a real life miracle happened. For the first time in history, one director and his fandom got the redemption they’ve been waiting for years.
Zack Snyder had been working on DC films for a few years (Man of Steel and Batman v Superman) before starting work on the Justice League movie. During the filming, the studio (Warner Bros) became unsure of the direction he was taking the franchise in. Where did this doubt come from? It came from the »backlash« and comments of casual fans that demanded more »upbeat«, »happy« and »bright« films. They wanted more jokes and a tone more similar to the already successful Avengers franchise from Marvel.
So in the worst possible move, using a Snyder family tragedy as an excuse, WB ousted Snyder as the director and brought in Joss Whedon (Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron) to rework, reshoot and »brighten up« Justice League. It was a very transparent and obvious move to try and please an audience that could never have been pleased. So actors were brought back to set for reshoots to »fix« what they could fix. By the time these late reshoots came, Henry Cavill (Superman) had grown a mustache for a Mission Impossible movie and was contractually obliged to keep the mustache. So what did the studio do? Well, they spent millions to CGI out the mustache resulting in a horrible uncanny valley mess.
So Joss Whedon finished the film and it went to theaters. The result of this very expensive endeavour was luke-warm at best. It was clear this was the end of a franchise and not the beginning. What WB and Whedon created was a Frankenstein monster of a film, where scenes were digitally brightened, you had a scary-looking Superman, added one-liners in attempts to add humour to appease the »fans«. By doing this they just muddied the waters. Some fans may have disliked Batman v. Superman but at least it was a product of a clear vision of a visionary director and people could respect that. Justice League, however, felt like it was cobbled together by a group of executives in a last-ditch attempt to fix something they thought was bad. All the endeavours to »fix« the film actually had the opposite result (as it happens very often when studios intervene with directors’ ideas).
So as soon as the film came out, Snyder fans were disappointed. They had loved the uniqueness and vision of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. Justice League, on the other hand, was a film no one could stand behind. So almost immediately the internet started demanding »The Snyder Cut« from the studio. The elusive Snyder cut was the original edit of the film before Joss Whedon had come in to do the reshoots. It was 2019 when the movement gained momentum on social media. Most of the main cast from the film shared #releasethesnydercut, fans had bought up billboard spots in Los Angeles for it, Jason Momoa gave interviews claiming he’s seen it and that it’s »great«. Zack Snyder joined in on the movement, adding fuel to fire by releasing images from his version of the film.
Then, just last week, the impossible became possible. After years of pursuing something that felt like chasing windmills, it became real. Zack Snyder revealed that »The Snyder Cut« will be released on HBO Max in 2021. WB will give Snyder somewhere between 20-30 million to finish the visual effects and edit a final cut of the film (or potentially for it to be re-edited into a mini-series). Regardless of the fact if the movie is going to be good or not, that’s not important. What is important is that on a rare occasion in the film industry a studio is going to go back on their actions and let a director fulfill his creative vision. And really that is a win for creatives everywhere.