Warner Bros. should have had a slam dunk on their hands when they revealed they were making a live-action film based on Justice League. Every geek knows who Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash are so putting DC Comics’ biggest superheroes in one film should’ve made everyone happy. Yet, when it was released, no one was. Fans were disappointed at how… average it all was. The suits at Warner Bros. and DC were disappointed with how it didn’t even break a billion dollars worldwide.
Then again, there was already something fundamentally going to go wrong with Justice League. It had a beleaguered production with the higher ups at Warner Bros. interfering with it and Zack Snyder, the film’s director, ultimately having to bow out due to a tragic event in his personal life, leading Joss Whedon, ironically the same guy who directed the first two Avengers films, taking over. Basically, what we saw in theaters wasn’t the result of any one man’s vision. It was a mishmash of a lot of people’s ideas.
It’s because of this that fans have been clamoring for the mythical Snyder Cut. The legend speaks of the idea that Zack Snyder did manage to shoot enough footage to bring his original vision of Justice League to the big screen before he had to leave. But it turns out the legends were true. Zack Snyder did a viewing of Man of Steel just last week and, when one fan asked if or when he was going to release his cut of Justice League, he confirmed that he was!
Now, the Snyder Cut will not be released in theaters and will be an exclusive for HBO Max and it won’t even be ready when the service is launched later in the year. This is because, while most of the filming has been shot, there still has to be some reshoots and the special effects, editing have to be completed. In fact, Warner Bros and HBO are reportedly sinking around $20 million to have this completed by 2021.
The news of the Snyder Cut actually being a real thing and something we will be able to watch in the future has fans excited. However, I do say we have to temper our excitement because, while it may be good and it might even be better than the one we got in theaters in 2017, I don’t expect it to elevate the entire film to the level we wanted it to be.
Now, I’ve already wrote about my thoughts about a version of the Snyder cut before. But that was a couple of years ago and some of the information from the source I got it from isn’t available anymore. However, I did so some further research about what did change from the Snyder Cut and what Joss Whedon had to squeeze out. Some of the details from the one that I read a couple of years ago were incorrect but, thanks to the Internet, there are more concrete stories of what Zack Snyder’s original plans were for Justice League.
Of course, all of this information about the Snyder Cut should be taken with a grain of salt as the thing hasn’t been released yet. However, after seeing the updated information, it does look like the Snyder Cut does have a lot of things going for it. The biggest one for me would be more attention to the events of the previous movies. For example, in the Joss Whedon version, the Justice League resurrect Superman by doing the same thing Lex Luthor did in order to create Doomsday. However, in the Snyder Cut, that little detail about Kal-El’s DNA being infused with the Codex from Kryton from Man of Steel is also mentioned, which is why Superman won’t become another Doomsday. That’s just a neat little touch to show that Zack Snyder did have a plan all this time.
Another thing the reports of the Snyder Cut has is how they delve into DC Comics’ library of heroes a little bit more. Not only would it have teased Darkseid for future films, it would have also shown us some of his followers like Desaad. We also would have gotten more hero cameos like the Green Lantern Corps, The Atom and even the Martian Manhunter, who would’ve made the universe a little more full.
Another thing the Snyder Cut could get right is give some of the characters a little more time to introduce themselves. We would actually get to see Cyborg’s origin and how he became who he is. We would also get to see Aquaman interact with Vulko a little earlier as well as a blurb about him visiting his father at the end of the flick. The thing I would have loved to have seen with the Joss Whedon version was how The Flash saves and meets Iris West for the first time. We’re going to get to see that in the Snyder Cut… with the complete visual effects in place to boot and not that crappy placeholder CGI we’ve seen before!
However, all these additions would be one of the biggest issues the Snyder Cut inadvertently created for itself: its length. Cramming all these scenes and extras into one film would undoubtedly extend any film’s runtime. How long, you may ask? Well, originally, it was said that the Snyder Cut would be around 2-1/2 hours but that was from the report that was released a couple of years ago. More recently, it’s been reported the Snyder Cut may be 3-1/2 to 4 hours long! That’s a considerable time sink! There are rumors that HBO Max will break up the Snyder Cut into several parts, making it more digestible but that would mean breaking it up like how Netflix broke up the Hateful 8’s runtime. It’s still a huge timesink but at least there are breaks in between.
Also, adding all of these cameos from other characters might feel a little overzealous as it harkens back to one of the biggest problems I had with Amazing Spider-Man 2: telling the viewers we have future films instead of concentrating on the actual film. This is basically counting their chickens before they’ve hatched. Sure, it’s nice to see a cameo here and there but, since this is a superhero movie, fans do kind of expect to see more of them in the future. With all of the changes that’s been done at Warner Bros. and how they’re moving forward with their DC superhero films, I don’t expected them to show movies based on Atom, Martian Manhunter and the Green Lantern Corps. So what would be the purpose of showing them here?
But the biggest thing a Snyder Cut would do for Justice League is give the film one consistent tone. This can be both a good thing or a bad thing. It all depends on how you feel about the overall “grimdark” down of the previous DC Extended Universe films. To me, this would be a negative because, to tell you frankly, I was just never reveled in Zack Snyder’s other DC Extended Universe films, Man of Steel and, most especially, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It doesn’t matter if Zack Snyder did say his plan was to lessen the “grimdark” as the film series grows. Still, there are going to be that overall “grimdark” scene. For example, remember that scene in Justice League where Wonder Woman saves hostages from some bank robbers/bombers?
Remember how she managed to save everyone in the bank, showing off what a great hero she is? Well, the Snyder Cut shows that she fails to notice one of the bombs and it explodes. Granted, there weren’t going to be any casualties but she still gets blamed. If the Snyder Cut is going to be more of the same for the most part, then what are the chances I’ll be enamored by it? Pretty low, I would say.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? I think a lot of fans like myself never really hated what Zack Snyder did with the other DC Extended Universe movies but we certainly didn’t love them as well. They’re a couple of mixed bags of good and bad elements. The same thing can be said for the Justice League Joss Whedon delivered. I can definitely see the Snyder Cut being better than the one we did get in 2017 but I can’t see it being the version that everyone will fall in love with as the same time.
In fact, the kind of legendary status the Snyder Cut has developed for itself might be its biggest drawback if you really think of it. You’ve had two years of fanboys desperately pleading for Warner Bros. to release the Snyder Cut with the belief it’s leagues better (pun intended) than the Justice League we got. With all this hype and excitement, the odds of the Snyder Cut actually hitting that lofty standard gets lower the more the fans want it.
Not only that, there’s just no way the Snyder Cut we’re going to get on HBO Max will be the exact vision Zack Snyder had in mind. His original plan was to have two Justice League films, not one. But Batman v. Superman happened and the higher ups at Warner Bros. and DC went into panic mode. They force Zack Snyder to squish the ideas for two films into one. So the Snyder Cut is already a compromised vision, not what the man had imagined.
Oh, I am still going to watch it when it does come out on HBO Max by hook or by crook. But I am going to temper my expectations for it as I don’t see myself loving or hating it.
What do you think will be your reaction to the Snyder Cut? Let me know in the comments section below!