As I’ve mentioned far, FAR too many times now, I’m a big fan of director Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman, though I would quickly add that its the Director’s/Extended Cut of the film that is the one I’m referring to.
Full disclosure: While I liked the theatrical cut when I saw it -twice- upon its original release, I also gave that version of the film a bit of a pass as I knew there was the longer version out there and further I knew it would eventually be released to home video. Now, I can’t recommend anyone see the theatrical cut. Stick with the Director’s/Extended version.
Anyway, when Justice League was in the works, I was genuinely excited to see the film. Everyone who has any interest in the film knows what happened: Zack Snyder stepped down from making the film following the tragic suicide of his adopted daughter and Joss Whedon stepped in to supposedly complete some re-shoots and… well… as we’ve learned since, he essentially re-did the film in a way I suspect Warners/DC wanted it done, and some reports suggest as little as 10% of Zack Snyder’s original vision of the film remains in the theatrical cut, despite the fact that he is listed as the director of the film.
What followed was plenty of fans of BvS clamoring/demanding Warners/DC release the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League.
At first, there were questions as to whether such a cut even existed. This didn’t stop the speculation. Some insisted there was absolutely no “Snyder Cut”, that what existed were a bunch of unfinished scenes and nothing which could be salvaged into an actual, watchable work.
I never believed this to be the case.
The fact of the matter was that Mr. Snyder finished all principle photography and he left the film when he was brought back to do some re-shoots. I always suspected those re-shoots were studio demanded, perhaps sequences which featured more humor and less seriousness/darkness, something many fans viewed very negatively about Snyder’s previous DC works.
In time, it became obvious that a Snyder Cut of Justice League did indeed exist. This was made all the more obvious when Aquaman star Jason Momoa himself stated he was shown the Snyder Cut of the film and came away with very positive feelings about it.
Director Zack Snyder has played this whole thing most curiously, holding back on any strong statement regarding the film and his version of it but rather hinting -at times strongly- that such a thing existed and could be released. Not too terribly long ago and in early December, he finally issued that strong statement of the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League indeed existing. He did so with this posting:
If you look closely at the film reel shipping containers on this photograph, they state Z.S. JL Director’s Cut Running Time 219.
This should put the whole “does it exist” question to rest, but it doesn’t answer the “how much is left to do on this film?” question.
For I strongly suspect there are still effects that need to be completed in the film, and these may be quite significant. By significant I mean: To get them done, Warners/DC will likely have to put down some serious $$$$ to finish up whatever work remains on this cut.
But let’s move beyond that and to the reason I’m writing about this.
Let’s assume that Warners/DC does fund the completion of the Snyder Cut of JL. Let’s assume the film is completed the way Mr. Snyder wanted it done. And then let’s further assume the film finally gets its release.
Frankly, I fear many fans are going to find themselves disappointed.
Understand: I really, really like BvS. I’m not a Snyder uber-fan, however. I’ve seen only two of his films, Dawn of the Dead and BvS. I don’t consider Justice League (the theatrical cut) “his” film, despite the credit given to him. I have not seen Man of Steel, Watchmen, 300, and Sucker Punch, though I own all but 300.
I’ve read the reviews and the opinions of people regarding his works. There are those who very much hate what he’s done. There are those who absolutely love what he’s done. There are those in the middle, who feel the works are middling at best, with one or two films standing out.
I love BvS and, yes, I’m curious to see Snyder’s Cut of Justice League but given all the hoopla/interest in this film, I can’t help but worry that in time there’s going to be a whole lot of people suffer from a bad case of let-down-itis. I worry many of those demanding the release of the film have blown its potential quality sky-high and when the film is eventually released, they’ll watch it expecting nothing short of something amazing. And when that might not materialize, they may feel really, really let down.
Don’t get me wrong: the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League could turn out to be a very good film, perhaps on the level of BvS to me. It could turn out to be a better film than that, again IMHO.
But for many it has become this magical unicorn, a film whose importance and quality is at this point subject to nothing more than one’s imagination. We -you and I- can do nothing more than suppose the quality of the film. We have some ideas, yes, and some beautiful stills and the stuff that appeared in the trailers of the film but weren’t shown in the theatrical cut of it to get some sense of what Mr. Snyder was up to.
But we really have no idea what the film will be in the end.
What I’m getting at is the old expression of “be careful what you wish for”. While it is totally appropriate to ask for/demand that Warners/DC release this film, perhaps we should temper our excitement/interest. We are, in the end, talking about a film. It could be damn good. It might wind up being average to some. It might wind up being crap to others, even some of those who most vocally demanded the film’s release.
What will it be?
We won’t know until it is eventually released.
While at first there was a question as to whether the film would eventually be released, I’ve come around to thinking its no longer a matter of “if” but of “when”.
We will get to see the Snyder Cut of Justice League. Perhaps very soon.
Let’s hope it was worth the wait.