The announcement of the upcoming release of the infamous Snyder’s Cut of Justice League might have created some controversy on the subject, and some consequences could be lying ahead. Will it be remembered just as a nice exception (considering the circumstances that led to this decision), or will it be an example for all those directors whose film was maimed by editing?
Ask and you shall be given. After years of requests, petitions and demands the Snyder Cut of Justice League will be shared with the audience and it will hit WarnerMedia’s new streaming platform, HBO Max in 2021. When the american director stated that there was his version of the DC extended universe first team up film a massive movement came to support this cause, under the banner “#releasethesnydercut“. Same members of the cast and crew came through for him, with Jason Momoa himself to confirm that his version was “so sick”, nourishing the curiosity and the desire of fans across the world to see the Justice League film that was generated by the work of Snyder. Especially since the version completed and modified by Joss Whedon didn’t really achieve in its attempt to duel with the success that the first film of The Avengers had in 2012. Whedon’s hand in that movie is extremely recognizable and so the film takes a completely different direction from the one that Snyder meant for it, with the help of massive re-shooting session that changed a large part of the plot and the interactions between the characters, getting to the point that whole scenes and story-lines were cut off from the version that hit the cinemas in the end.
That was fall 2017. Since then, the DCEU has suffered many fatal blows that are bringing the Warner Bros to a completely different set of options, like recasting of some main characters (like Ben Affleck’s Batman out of the scene, or Henry Cavill’s Superman currently in talks to eventually reprise his role of Clark Kent) or a soft reboot of the whole universe that could be happening with Wonder Woman 1984. So the chances of ever laying eyes upon the Snyder Cut were almost close to zero, since his vision of the DC universe had literally no meaning at all for the Warner Bros company and the new direction that was being taken. Until the new HBO Max streaming platform came through with a large cavalry force and bravely decided to take up on the unlucky film, after the terrible circumstance that saw Zack Snyder quit after the loss of his daughter.
The now titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League will even feature the villain Darkseid, which is completely absent from the theatrical version, and will require the spending of $30 millions to wrap up the film with the required VFX and the return of members of the cast just in the dubbing room: there will be no budget to be used for re-shoots. The news already had an impact on the web, with fans getting excited at the thought of finally being able to watch the film, after supporting the cause for the last two years, and it could also have a big impact on subscriptions for the new platform.
The question that now some people are asking themselves is, will every director start to fight to see their “cut” been produced and released? There are already some examples, like David Ayer saying that “his soulful drama was beaten into a comedy“, obviously talking about his Suicide Squad, that according to him was edited around the model of Deadpool, after the success of the first film. Beside him, the all-female led reboot of Ghostbusters‘ director Paul Feig wants to share his 3.5 hours long director’s cut. Does this mean that every director is going to ask for his cut to be released when the theatrical version doesn’t become a hit (to be nice…)? Let’s analyse the situation of Zack Snyder’s Justice League: the dramatic way he had to part his way from the film it was absolutely a tragedy for him and his family. He put a lot of passion and work in this film, to the point that Zack and his wife worked together on the film post production to keep their mind busy and to put up with their loss, for as much as they could: it was their safety anchor. The fact that this film will eventually be released is the perfect and nicest way possible to close this story. I can’t imagine how much the support and the love of the fans meant for Snyder and his wife during these tough years, and the release of the film is definitely rewarding and the crowning of so much hard work.
Can this be considered a precedent, then? No, it can’t. The extraordinary circumstances of this particular case are unique and shouldn’t be a reason for either directors or producers to release every single director’s cut, even because there is one factor that has to be considered and it’s a really important one: the fan-base that helped all of this come true in the end. Fans, actors, cast members have been amazingly supportive towards Zack and his uncompleted film and played a fundamental part in the process. Things like this, on such a large scale, are not quite likely to happen and, unless there’s not a completed version of a director’s cut that might be eventually shared in home video at a later date, won’t be happening that easily in the future. Think about it: how many people would be wiling to spend money to see a different version of a film they already saw? We can absolutely say that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a wonderful exception…
What are your thoughts on the subject? Meanwhile, you can have a look at the very first teaser image of Darkseid just here: