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Zack Snyder’s Cut Of “Justice League” Is Coming Next Year…Is That A Good Or A Bad Thing?

For some, a dream has come true. For others, toxic fandom has run wild. Then, for many, there’s just puzzlement over just what the hell the fuss is over a so called “Snyder Cut” of Justice League? After the recent news that DC fans were going to be getting this version of the film next year on HBO Max, it seems like a good time to discuss whether that’s a good or a bad thing, independent of the movie, itself. First, though, a refresher. Zack Snyder had begun directing Justice League, but at some point, late in production, had to step away after a tragedy in his family. Joss Whedon stepped in to finish, reshooting quite a bit and changing the tone considerably. Ever since its release in 2017, Snyder fans have clamored to see his vision. Now, they’re going to get it.

In case you forgot, the film continues the story began in Man of Steel and continued in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Taking place after the events of the latter, the world now lives with the death of Clark Kent/Superman (Henry Cavill). His sacrifice has spurred on Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) to take his heroism on a global level, especially when it seems parademons are scouting Earth for a takeover. He brings this to the attention of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who explains that they’re serving Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a baddie who wants to take over. To combat him, they recruit Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher). This team goes to war, but will all be lost without Superman? You’ll see. Zack Snyder co-writes with Chris Terrio and directs, while Joss Whedon has a writing credit after notably taking over and finishing the film once Snyder had to step away after a family tragedy. The large cast also includes Amy Adams, Billy Crudup, Jesse Eisenberg, Amber Heard, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Joe Morton, J.K. Simmons, Robin Wright, and more. Danny Elfman contributes the score, while cinematography is by Fabian Wagner.

This is what I said at the time about Justice League: “Honestly, a lot of this movie is a mess. The first act is terrible, and it isn’t until Superman finally makes his grand entrance that things really soar, no pun intended. Plus, it’s a Frankenmovie, as it were. Parts of it feel very much like Snyder’s dark vision, while others are Whedon’s, clearly. The comedic elements never work, while the tone can change even within individual scenes. The strength is in the character interactions, as Affleck, Cavill, and Gadot are reliably good, with Fisher, Miller, and Momoa being memorable new additions. It’s an odd situation where the film itself is a mixed bag, but there’s reason to heavily anticipate a sequel.”

On the one hand, it’s always fascinating to see what might have been. Movies with troubled productions or changes made late in the game have always captured my interest. No one is saying Snyder’s cut is better or worse than Whedon’s (well, plenty on Twitter are saying that, sight unseen, but you get what I mean), but it’ll be intriguing to compare the two. Moreover, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what Lord and Miller were trying with Solo, before they were replaced by Ron Howard? On the other hand, however, there’s a dangerous precedent being set. This same group of vocal fans on social media are already clamoring for David Ayer’s cut of Suicide Squad, lending an air of entitlement to the whole thing. The love of film and the interest in seeing what was discarded I can get behind, but insisting studios just bend to your will? That’s a whole other ball of wax. Mostly, I’m still stunned that a glorified work print is getting such intense attention.

In short, we’re getting the Snyder Cut, and hopefully it doesn’t ring in a new era of a vocal minority demanding that they have their way. Time will tell, but if nothing else, this new cut of Justice League will certainly be a curiosity. I know I’ll be watching…

Stay tuned for more on Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League, including when it actually airs on HBO Max sometime in 2021!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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