When Zack Snyder left Justice League after fights with Warner Bros. and a family tragedy, he had a four-hour version of the movie on his computer—four hours of raw, CG-less footage, all in black and white. That’s the “Snyder Cut” that could be coming to HBO Max next month…if Snyder hadn’t said no.
There are several surprising reveals over at Anthony Breznican’s very interesting, in-depth look at the saga of the “Snyder Cut” over at Vanity Fair today. The whole thing is very much worth checking out, including a throwaway line about “a hero cameo that will blow hard-core fans’ minds” during the movie’s reshot ending. However, perhaps the most surprising—and least surprising, in a way—is that Warner Bros. really wanted to release the fan-demanded, original incarnation of the Justice League movie without spending a dime.
Of course that would have meant seeing Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, and the rest running around on greenscreens for four hours. That probably wouldn’t have appeased the fans/trolls who have been howling for Snyder’s version since the Joss Whedon-reworked movie was released in 2017, but it would have saved WB a staggering $70 million, which Snyder estimates it has cost to unravel Whedon’s version. The director, of course, declined releasing his project that way for some rather solid reasons.
Vanity Fair reports, “That’s a no, that’s a hard no,’” he says. “And they’re like, ‘But why? You can just put up the rough cut.’” Snyder didn’t trust their motivations. “I go, ‘Here’s why. Three reasons: One, you get the internet off your back, which is probably your main reason for wanting to do this. Two, you get to feel vindicated for making things right, I guess, on some level. And then three, you get a shitty version of the movie that you can point at and go, ‘See? It’s not that good anyway. So maybe I was right.’ I was like, No chance. I would rather just have the Snyder cut be a mythical unicorn for all time.’”
The entire article is absolutely worth a read, but there’s another curious revelation: Snyder originally wanted Bruce Wayne (Affleck) and Lois Lane (Amy Adams) to have a major romance, something WB also said no to.
“The intention was that Bruce fell in love with Lois and then realized that the only way to save the world was to bring Superman back to life,” said Snyder. “So he had this insane conflict, because Lois, of course, was still in love with Superman. We had this beautiful speech where [Bruce] said to Alfred: ‘I never had a life outside the cave. I never imagined a world for me beyond this. But this woman makes me think that if I can get this group of gods together, then my job is done. I can quit. I can stop.’ And of course that doesn’t work out for him.” Whether some aspect of that will pop up in Snyder’s HBO Max release remains to be seen.
As much as fans have been looking forward to this film without Whedon’s terrible additions—like the utterly superfluous Russian family—it’s worth remembering that there’s absolutely no reason to believe Snyder won’t be making his own terrible decisions. Remember, both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were deeply flawed films all on their own.
All the people expecting the Snyder Cut to be some cinematic masterpiece might currently be drinking Grannie’s Peach Tea only to discover someone swapped the bottles when Zack Snyder’s Justice League premieres on HBO Max on March 18.
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