Since even before the release of Justice League in 2017, fans have been demanding for the release of the supposed Snyder Cut of the film.
The centre of a much publicised shifting in leadership during production, the Justice League‘s first big screen appearance had seen much contention even before release. Following the tragic passing of the Snyders’ daughter, the reigns to Justice League was handed over to Avengers writer and director, Joss Whedon.
Detractors, unfortunately, have chosen to see it as a denouncing of Snyder following mixed to negative reactions to Man of Steel and Batman V Superman.
Despite the latter’s success with the Marvel property, the DC comic team’s debut failed to impress fans or audience similarly. The ensuing backlash forged an online movement dubbed #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. While, at different points in time, it had been said that a completed cut by Zack Snyder did not exist, or that it was left incomplete, Snyder himself has maintained his stance on the existence of his work.
Now, however, Snyder seems to have been vindicated with HBO Max promising to stream his cut of Justice League. The director surprised fans with the news this morning during a live online commentary of Man of Steel with Henry Cavill.
Of course, that it will take another year and north of $20’000’000 is, alone, reason enough to understand that the Snyder cut is not as complete as many would have liked to believe. That said, with most of the actors having moved on, and with some under altered contracts, the current footage must be sufficient for a post-production team to confidently knit it all together.
While the DCEU did seem to be subscribing to the notion of extended cuts on home media, the release of a complete alternate cut is unprecedented. That said, it wouldn’t be the first time WB has agreed to do this given the 2006 release of the Richard Donner cut of 1980’s Superman II. The film had been victim of studio meddling, and was almost completely re-shot by Richard Lester. It would only be in 2006, upon the insistence of Superman Returns director Bryan Singer, that Superman II was given a complete re-cut under Donner’s supervision and released with the label “The Richard Donner Cut.”
While it remains to be seen if his cut of Justice League would be an improvement to the theatrical release, this does set an interesting precedent for many films in recent times that have experienced negative outcomes due to studio involvement.
Even within the DCEU supposed studio meddling saw an entire re-edit of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Similarly, Disney has been accused of the same with fall out between creatives and executives dating back to 2010’s Iron Man 2, and later, Avengers: Age of Ultron. More recently, Disney’s involvement seems to have affected the final outcome and subsequent reaction to the finalé of the Star Wars sequel trilogy The Rise of Skywalker.
While, obviously, this could be the result of submitting to an exceptionally persistent group, one can now dream of watching the movies as they were meant to be.