By Kris Burke (@KRISBURKE)
To begin, I want to make one thing crystal clear.
I like Zack Snyder. He’s a very gifted filmmaker (some of his films are some of the most beautifully shot that I’ve seen) and by all accounts a good dude. I might not have totally agreed with his vision at times (I don’t like a killer Batman for example), but I have nothing but respect for the man
When today’s news broke that the oft-rumored “Snyder Cut” of Justice League is being released on HBO Max next year, I was floored.
Warner Bros. seemingly had turned the page on this era and looked intent on moving forward with strong solo films instead of a true shared universe. The studio was ready to cut their losses and leave the Snyder era behind, online protests be damned.
Then today happened.
Warner Bros. is actually going to pay to have Snyder complete his vision to as close to what he originally intended as possible and then release it as a tentpole for HBO’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max
Fans all over the world are likely celebrating today, as well they should. It’s been a rough couple of months for everyone and if today’s news brings you joy, cheers to you!
I personally have no need to see a director’s cut of JL, but if it gives some fans some closure then so be it. To be clear, outside of fans seeing perhaps some cameos of some of their favorite characters, that’s really all this new cut can provide.
That’s because this won’t change a thing in terms of history. It doesn’t change that the studio totally screwed the pooch in terms of rushing Justice League into production nor does it change the blueprint for DC on film going forward…perhaps with the exception of maybe, JUST MAYBE, getting Henry Cavill back as Superman for a solo Superman movie (Editor’s Note: I’d be 100% behind a true sequel to MAN OF STEEL with Henry Cavill. – Jett).
Releasing the Snyder cut doesn’t change the fact Warners botched their cinematic universe plans. A proper Man of Steel sequel (aka one without Batman) should have happened which would have then been followed by a few other solo films (Aquaman and Wonder Woman for sure and maybe even an Affleck-directed standalone Batman) movie, a different version of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and THEN Justice League.
Instead Warner Bros had dollar signs in their eyes seeing what Marvel was doing with their own universe and rushed their big team film into production far sooner than it needed to be.
Releasing the Snyder cut doesn’t change that at all. In fact, it may even rip that band-aid off and make fans even sadder at what “could have been.”
In terms of the future, let’s say the new cut is very well received. That could plant the idea in some fans’ heads that the shared universe is back on and all is hunky-dory.
It’s not going to happen.
It’s not going to bring Ben Affleck back into the fold as Batman. Maybe his performance is better in the footage Snyder shot (I mean it can’t be as mailed-in as what he did with Joss Whedon, right?) That train has left and it was in large part the actor’s choice. Robert Pattinson now owns the mantle of the Bat and a successful release of the Snyder Cut won’t change that nor will it force Matt Reeves to make The Batman part of the Justice League universe.
The only thing this new cut could potentially change is the studio’s plans for Superman and that includes bringing back Cavill for a proper Superman-centric film. That’s something I think we ALL can get behind and if that ends up happening thanks to the Snyder Cut, then I’ll be tickled to death.
So while I initially greeted today’s news as a victory for the comments section, I realize that was too harsh of a take. Just because Snyder’s version of Batman and these characters didn’t fit my tastes does not delegitimize those who feel it fit theirs.
That’s the beautiful thing about these characters. We can project ourselves onto them and make them relatable. There’s really no right or wrong versions. There is just my version and yours.
That’s the mindset fandom needs to get back into and after the occasionally fierce #ReleaseTheSnyderCut debate — which I admit I contributed some vitriol myself — let’s get back to that. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we have much more in common than we do differences.
So congrats to Zack Snyder and the fans who have so passionately embraced his vision. I hope you’re not disappointed. – Kris Burke
Kris Burke was born and raised on two things: Batman and Green Bay Packers football. He was an extra in THE DARK KNIGHT and has a bachelor’s degree in radio/tv/film production. He’s also a staff writer over at Acme Packing Company covering the Green Bay Packers. Follow him on Twitter @KRISBURKE.