Tag Archives: Zack Snyder

Oh Boy: Zack Snyder put together a new cut of Justice League…?

David James over at wegotthiscovered.com offers the following tantalizing bit of information/rumor…

Zack Snyder’s Put Together A New Cut Of Justice League For WB Execs

Ok, to begin and as many of you who frequent this area must know by now, I’m a fan of Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman, though I would quickly add the version I like the most is the Director’s Cut versus the chopped down Theatrical Cut. I suspect many people who despise that film are familiar with the Theatrical Cut, though certainly not all.

Believe it or not, I have yet to see Man of Steel, the first Zack Snyder DC foray featuring Henry Cavill’s Superman. Further to that, the only other Zack Snyder film I’ve seen in its entirety is Dawn of the Dead. I’m quite aware of his other films, from 300 to Sucker Punch to Watchmen, but I have yet to see any of those films. Given how little I liked Frank Miller’s 300 graphic novel, I suspect I’ll skip the movie version entirely.

I point the above out because I want to be clear about something: As much of a fan as I am of Batman v. Superman, I’m hardly a Zack Snyder uber-fan, though I suppose one can be forgiven by believing so given the number of times I’ve written about how much I love BvS.

Justice League, to my mind and as released in theaters, is hardly a full on Zack Snyder film. It’s also, I would venture to say, not a full on Joss Whedon film either. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a film as it’s been described by many, including in the above linked article.

You get parts which may feel a bit like Zack Snyder but other parts feel completely off. The story itself is also odd, moving in spurts and seemingly more unfocused than it should be.

Having said that, in my opinion the film isn’t terrible as it stands now. There are some bits here and there which I found interesting/fun but, overall, one could tell just as one could tell with the theatrical cut of BvS that there were a lot of things left on the cutting room floor.

In the case of Justice League, the tone of the film was far removed from that of BvS, the first big clue that Zack Snyder’s more “serious” take on the DC superheroes was erased by Joss Whedon. There was more snark, more humor, and less of a feeling of danger. The main villain appeared here and there and it just seemed like all major ties between that film and BvS were minimized.

The film didn’t do well at the box office which, given all the behind the scenes stories, wasn’t too big of a surprise. However, once the film finished its run, rumors of a Snyder Cut of Justice League emerged. There were many who felt such a cut simply didn’t exist and that people who hoped it did were deluding themselves.

Over time, that rumor evolved. Interestingly, Mr. Snyder, who frequents the internet and posts, didn’t say directly whether his cut of the film did indeed exist. Was he being coy, some wondered. I felt he was keeping quite because maybe he didn’t want to burn any bridges with Warner Brothers, in case further down the line he might either work for them again or perhaps be allowed to release Justice League as he intended.

Then, a few months back, the notion that a Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League was essentially verified and that Mr. Snyder had presented Warner Brothers executives a rough cut of the film shortly before he left to deal with his family tragedy. Further to that news was the rumor all that was left to complete on Mr. Snyder’s Cut of the film were some special effects (not an insignificant thing!) and perhaps the music (another not so insignificant thing!).

Meanwhile fans of Mr. Snyder petitioned Warner Brothers to release the Snyder Cut, and even some celebrities, among them Kevin Smith and Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, publicly stated they wanted to see the Snyder Cut released. Later on Mr. Momoa posted that Mr. Snyder played his cut of the film to the actor.

By this point, there was no longer any doubt a Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League did indeed exist.

Which brings us to the above article.

Of course, it is a rumor, though the author notes the source did peg other DC movie news correctly.

If Mr. Snyder was afforded the opportunity to present a new cut of Justice League to Studio Executives, it can be for one reason only: To let them see the product for themselves and decide whether/how/if they want to release the film.

Perhaps now, with DC doing well with “stand alone” superhero films, they’ve come to realize they no longer have to present each new DC movie as being connected, a la Marvel films, to each other.

So DC Execs may feel a “Snyderverse” trilogy of films isn’t such a bad thing after all.

If the rumor is true, then perhaps Warner Brothers has come to the realization that it is pointless to let all that hard work and money invested sit and rot away, especially when there exists a vocal contingent of fans who appear very interested in seeing -and therefore spending money on- the Justice League film as it was originally conceived.

And if it is released, and people wind up -shock of shocks- really liking it, is it so inconceivable to think that maybe, just maybe, we might get another Snyder Justice League…?

Stranger things have certainly happened.

For now, let’s take it a step at a time and see if the Zack Snyder Cut of Justice League finally makes its way to the masses.

UPDATE: Yesterday the very same website, wegotthiscovered.com, offered the following article by Evan Lewis:

Zack Snyder Trying to get WB to Release Justice League Snyder Cut

While the author of this article was different from the one I first pointed out above, the gist of the story is the same: Zack Snyder has apparently shown a tweaked version of his Justice League to the powers that be at WB and is hoping to convince them to allow him to complete the film and formally release it.

The author of this second article is decidedly less enthusiastic about the whole thing and his article is more negative in tone, yet it would appear we now have at least two articles -whether they were created from the same source(s) I don’t know- who point out that there does seem to be an effort to interest WB in releasing the Snyder Cut of Justice League.

We’ll see!

The Snyder Cut of Justice League…

Way, waaaay back in 1927 acclaimed German director Fritz Lang released his latest film, Metropolis. The film’s opening day release… didn’t go well.

At all.

In fact, critics and audiences did not like the film. Noted science fiction author H. G. Wells, the man who wrote the seminal The Time Machine, War of the Worlds, and The Invisible Man, wrote a scathing review for The New York Times panning the film. The review began with the line: I have just seen the silliest film (If you’re curious, you can read the full review here).

Immediately after the film’s debut, UFA, the German studio which financed the film, feared they had a major flop on their hands. The film cost them a lot of money to make and if their investment failed to bring back residuals, they would be bankrupt. Almost immediately after the film’s debut, studio hands began trimming Metropolis down from its initial 2 hours and 22 minute run time.

The film didn’t do terribly over its initial release but over the ensuing years, a most curious thing happened: The film developed a strong following. This prompted many to try to find the cut scenes from Metropolis. Unfortunately, back in 1927 when those cuts were made, there was no sense of film permanence. The scenes that were cut back then were discarded without much thought.

Famed musician Giorgio Moroder spent considerable time and effort looking through various versions of Metropolis available and put together a what was for that time the most complete version of the film. He then enlisted several famous musicians including Freddy Mercury and Pat Benatar, to create a soundtrack to this version of the film. In 1984 Giordio Moroder’s version of Metropolis, complete with this new soundtrack, was released to theaters. It had a very big influence on me, not least of which was inspiring the creation of my first major work, The Dark Fringe

Though Moroder’s reconstruction of Metropolis was incomplete, the opening frames of the film, wherein it is noted that Metropolis remains incomplete and scenes were still missing, inspired a new generation to pursue those pieces. But it wasn’t until much later, 2008 in fact, that a gentleman by the name of Francisco Peña discovered a full-length copy of Metropolis in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires. He brought it to the attention of others and this almost complete (it still lacks at least one short sequence which was too degraded) version of the film was finally released to the public (you can read about that in this article by Larry Rohter and presented in The New York Times).

Today, you can purchase a wonderful copy of the film that restores, as best as possible given today’s technology, Metropolis to its original version.

Many decades after that initial release of Metropolis, director Richard Donner was hired to undertake an ambitious project: Make a film version of the beloved comic book hero Superman. But the movie’s producers, Ilya and Alexander Salkind, were interested in making not one but two films at once: Superman and Superman II. The strain of doing two films at the same time became a little too much given the deadline to release the first film. Director Richard Donner abandoned work on Superman II after completing approximately 60% of it to focus on completing Superman. However, once that film was completed Mr. Donner was fired by the Salkinds and he was unable to finish his work on Superman II. Richard Lester finished the film and was listed as its director, though it was clear much of Richard Donner’s work remained within it.

Given the quality of Superman, fans for years were curious to see what Donner’s version of Superman II would be. Some twenty six years later, Warner Brothers allowed work to be done to finish -as best was possible given only 60% or so of the film was completed- the “Donner Cut” of Superman II. It was released in 2006 and now people are able to see the theatrical cut of Superman II along with Donner’s version… though the later features an ending which likely would not have been used had Mr. Donner been allowed to finish the film.

Fast forward to a few years ago. After much controversy upon the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Brothers found themselves extremely nervous about director Zack Snyder’s take on the DC Hero pantheon. While BvS made a ton of money, a vocal contingent of fans and most critics hated the film. In fact, so vociferous were the critics that Warners desperately tried to “fix” the subsequent DC Comics movie release, Suicide Squad, to avoid the critical savaging BvS received.

While there were many who hated BvS, there were also many, like me, who liked the film. Indeed, I feel Warners did Mr. Snyder no favors releasing a cut down version of the film to theaters. When the Ultimate Edition, or rather the “Director’s Cut” of BvS was eventually released, it was clear this was the superior product and what should have been released in the first place.

Mr. Snyder continued working on Justice League. While nearing the end of his work, tragedy would strike his family. Mr. Snyder’s adopted daughter committed suicide and the director stepped away from the film. Joss Whedon, known for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, and the first two Avenger films, already at work doing script fixes on JL, was given control over the film.

He began re-shoots and when Justice League was eventually released in 2017, it was met with shrugs. It was an “ok” film, to me, and it did decent box office but nothing like what the studios felt it should have. Many have stated the film was a flop and lost considerable money but with a cumulative worldwide gross of $614,729,668 (this is according to IMDB.com), I wonder if it did indeed lose money.

Who knows.

Regardless, the Joss Whedon “take” on Zack Snyder’s film was the version of the film that was released and, to date, that’s the only one available to be seen.

Which brings us to the point of this entry: Zack Snyder’s version of Justice League.

At first and shortly after the theatrical release of the film, there were many who clamored for the release of Zack Snyder’s version of the film. There were many who scoffed at that. There was no Zack Snyder version of JL, they said, and those asking for it were either misinformed or foolish to think such a thing existed.

But over time, statements from those actually involved in the making of the film filtered out and it soon became clear there did indeed exist some kind of at the very least rough cut of the film. One suspects this rough cut is likely missing some special effects work -a not insignificant thing- yet certainly one can today feel comfortable assuming there is more Zack Snyder Justice League in Warner’s film vaults than there was Richard Donner Superman II.

The critics of Zack Snyder -and there remain many out there- continue to throw cold water on the whole affair. While many now acknowledge there is at least a rough cut of Snyder’s JL, they wonder why people still bother.

Let it go, they say. Or Warner Brothers will never spend money to complete a version of this flop. The studio wants to move on and so should you.

Move on.

I’ve read this sentiment more than once and it seems to be one of bigger arguments made by people who don’t care for Zack Snyder’s work nor the idea there may be more of it out there.

Give it up already.

But… why?

Understand, I don’t know if the Zack Snyder version of Justice League is good or crap. And while I pointed out the tortured history of both Metropolis and Superman II above, in no way do I mean to suggest Snyder’s version of Justice League will turn out to be remotely as classic as these films are considered today.

Yet… why deny others who are clearly interested in seeing this film their opinion and hope that Warners can eventually be convinced to release this version of the film? Why brush them off with a “get over it” type statement?

If there weren’t those who gave a damn, we would never have seen the full or director versions of Metropolis or Superman II.

Further, the interest in the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League is somewhat unique. There is nowhere near the same level -if at all- of interest or fan attention to David Ayer’s original cut of Suicide Squad. Or Gareth Edwards’ original version (with the original ending) of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Or the Josh Trank’s cut of Fantastic Four.

There most certainly exist versions of these three films in the vaults of the studios that financed them yet public attention is not there for them as it is with Justice League.

I suspect this is due to the fact that, unlike the others listed above, Mr. Snyder had two films in the DC universe under his belt and people therefore had a history to judge his third film on. They found what was released lacking and want to see what he would have released, had he been able to.

But you know what? I’d be curious to see those director’s cuts of the other films as well! As a film fan, I’m fascinated with the process of making movies and I’m incredibly interested in seeing something that never was… yet could have been.

Here’s the bottom line for those who say “get over it”: If (a BIG if) the Zack Snyder version of Justice League is eventually released… how will it affect those who hate Zack Snyder’s DC work?

Not at all.

For those who have no interest at all in seeing Zack Snyder’s Justice League can go right on ignoring it. I can pretty much guarantee you absolutely NO ONE will force you to see the film. So if you think Zack Snyder’s work is crap and the film Gods conspire to release a Snyder Cut of Justice League, feel free to completely ignore the thing!

But why take away others’ interest and curiosity because you don’t give a shit about it?

Pardon me a moment…

I know many out there simply don’t care, and I understand.  There are many out there that absolutely cannot stomach Zack Snyder’s run of DC movies, from Man of Steel to Batman v Superman to… well, whatever hybrid Whedon-esq film Justice League was.

Regarding the later film, there has been curiosity by those who enjoyed the Snyder DC films (or, as some smug people have called us, “idiots”) as to when/if the Snyder version of Justice League will ever appear.  Further, there is even a question of whether such a thing even exists.

Well, here’s some of the latest on that.  Ana Dumaraog over at screenrant.com notes that artist Jay Olivia, one of those who worked on Snyder’s Justice League, has stated…

Snyder had a full cut of Justice League before leaving

Essentially -and at the risk of completely spoiling everything in the article, Olivia stated that before he left Justice League, Mr. Snyder had indeed left behind a full cut of the film, albeit one that needed some work.  From Olivia…

It may not be 100% polished but all of the planned scenes were shot and edited into a full timeline.

So we have what may amount to, using a literary term, seems to be a full “rough draft” of the film that requires some “polishing,” likely some editing to trim whatever fat is unnecessary and likely quite a bit of effects work.

In other words, what’s keeping the Snyder “cut” of Justice League from being released looks to be a matter of a) Warner Brothers deciding it is worth doing (I suspect, rather strongly, that Mr. Snyder would love to finish the work up), and b) money.

The later is the big issue, of course.  There are some rumors that Warner is willing to release a Snyder cut of the film but only if Mr. Snyder or his production company pay for the remaining work needed to be done to finish it up.  I imagine this could be a big amount, but who knows.  Further, this could be a negotiating tactic: Warner is willing to pay some monies to finish the film up, but they don’t want to take the whole hit.

Stay tuned… if you’re not one of us idiots.

Now this is interesting… Regarding the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League

I’ve made no secret -on the contrary, I’m likely beating a dead horse at this point!- regarding my enjoyment of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and, further, my interest in seeing the Zack Snyder directed version of Justice League.

One of the first times I wrote at length about being curious of, and hoping for, the release of the Zack Snyder “cut” of Justice League was here:

Will they… or won’t they? Justice League: The Zack Snyder Cut

That posting appeared on February 27th.

Today, April the 5th, I find the following article by Rick Austin and presented on fortressofsolitude.co…

We don’t need a Zack Snyder cut of Justice League

I point out the above link because the article is rather… similar… to my own, thought the conclusion isn’t.

Creative coincidence?

Perhaps!

A little more on the Zack Snyder Justice League…

Yesterday I found the following article by Stephen M. Colbert over at screenrant.com:

Zack Snyder wants you to believe in the Snyder cut

As the days go by and we’re getting more and more of these little tidbits from both Mr. Snyder and the actors involved in the Justice League film, the more convinced I am that there is indeed a pretty complete Zack Snyder “cut” of the film.

To Mr. Snyder’s credit, he hasn’t been overly negative or castigating regarding what went on in the creation of the film and his subsequent departure (though there are rumors he was indeed fired, he hasn’t, to my knowledge, come out and said anything about his departure other than the initial statement that he left due to his adopted daughter’s suicide).

The biggest clap back he’s had against the Joss Whedon theatrical cut of the film was a very mild statement poking fun at the use of CGI to hide actor Henry Cavill’s mustache.

This latest bit of news concerns actor Ray Fisher, who played the character Cyborg in the film, posting a picture from the filming of the movie which showed his character playing football.  He also posted the following statement with the photograph: Life doesn’t always go how we plan it. The only thing we can do is keep reaching for what we believe.

The article above notes that the character of Cyborg in the  Zack Snyder cut of the film had a lot more story.  Mr. Snyder, for his part, quickly posted a reply to this, showing a second image from the football game along with a one word comment: Believe.

This is the crux of the article’s headline and I find it… interesting.

Will we ever get to see what Mr. Snyder was up to?

I admit, I vacillate between thinking it will happen to wondering if enough of the work was done (and I’m talking CGI effects here) to merit a formal release.

One thing’s for sure: I’d be lying if I said all this hasn’t intrigued the hell out of me!

Justice League box office…

News came yesterday of the final box office take of Justice League aaaaaannnnddddd… things aren’t all that great:

Justice League ends Box Office run as lowest grossing DCEU movie

The film’s final worldwide total was $657,924,295, a handsome sum certainly but the least amount made of the five films that were part of the DC “universe” of films, which includes Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, and, of course, JL.  Ironically enough, the film that made the most in this group is the much reviled (by some, not me) BvS.

In retrospect, I suspect people should have seen this coming.  The circus and negative reactions to both BvS -which I feel were deeply unfair at times- and Suicide Squad -more deserved, the film’s story was a mess and the only thing that “saved” the film, if such a term can be used, was the acting by the principles- created in the fan community so much negativity that even DC/Warners knew they had to put up a brave front to get people to come back to their side.

They trotted out director Zack Snyder and had him assure people JL would be a brighter affair.  They even had reporters and fans come to the active set and were shown props and scenes meant to give them a taste of the better film to come.

But then came word that Snyder left the project some six months or so before its scheduled release, ostensibly due to the tragedy of the suicide of his adopted daughter.  Joss Whedon took over the film and was doing re-shoots -which the studios stated were approved of/OKed by Snyder- and would finish the film.  Given the film we finally received, I can’t help but believe those statements were lies.

Mr. Snyder, it was revealed much later, had likely been fired from the production and, it should be noted, he stepped down when the re-shoots were beginning.  In other words, Mr. Snyder finished Justice League’s principle photography, reportedly presented a 3 hour cut (which some felt was “unwatchable”), and then was gone when the re-shoots began.

Could it be -and this is rank speculation on my part- that Snyder had no interest in doing the re-shoots?  He’d been a “good soldier” for DC/WB, allowing the clipped theatrical version of BvS to be released when the much better Ultimate Cut was out there.

Could it be the studio meddling had finally become too much for him and, if he wasn’t outright fired, then maybe the studios and he decided it was time to part ways amicably?

Regardless of all that, the film essentially limped into theaters, the source of plenty of negative speculation and feelings that there was no way it could be a coherent work, given the speed in which it was released and the fact that the original director was gone.

When the film was released, it earned generally better reviews but not spectacular ones.  There was more ridicule regarding the fact that Superman actor Henry Cavill had to keep his mustache due to contractual obligations with the latest Mission: Impossible film and the mustache was digitally removed after the fact (not well, to many).

When I saw the film, I liked it well enough, though at times it felt like I was watching a tug of war between the Snyder stuff and the Whedon stuff.  I still hold out hope -perhaps misguided, given the box office figures- that DC/Warners will eventually allow Snyder to go back and release his version of the film.

Why do I say “misguided”?  Because maybe DC/Warners wants to close the book on the Snyder run of movies and have no interest at all in reminding anyone of them.  Given the weak box office they have every reason to close that particular chapter of the book, especially if completing the Snyder “cut” of the film might result in further expenditures to finish any effects.

Which is really too bad.

For better or worse I would have loved to see what Mr. Snyder was planning with Justice League.  At least based on some of the trailers and scenes that never made it to the Whedon cut of the film, it appeared there was more stuff there with the ancillary characters, including Flash and Cyborg.

Truly, its too bad.