Before I continue with this article, this is how I feel whenever I get drawn into another conversation/debate/argument about publicly releasing a cut of JUSTICE LEAGUE by its original director, Mr. Snyder…
But, I promise (🤞) that this is the last time I’m going to talk about this subject here on BOF.
The only reason I’m dredging up this BS again is that a solid journalist finally did some investigating about this so-called “Snyder Cut” of JUSTICE LEAGUE that a small, but vocal, segment of fandom has been demanding Warner Bros. release.
(Before I continue, let me state that I unequivocally couldn’t care less if the “Snyder Cut” of JUSTICE LEAGUE is finished by Warner Bros. and released or not. BOF has no dog in that hunt nor an agenda against it. We are, however, very excited for Matt Reeves’ upcoming THE BATMAN. Justin sayin’.)
In a piece for THE TELEGRAPH, Helen O’Hara of EMPIRE (and other outlets) talked to a lot of folks and kinda-sorta pieced together what went down (based on what was released as PR, what Mr. Snyder has said online, and frankly biased social media posts by folks with an agenda).
An important revelation in the story came via a VFX expert from a company that was working on JL, who said he was “pretty sure” that there wasn’t “anything close to final on much of the film” in terms of finished sequences when Mr. Snyder officially departed in May of 2017.
Here’s what this VFX person had to say…
The movie was still months away from delivery when Joss came on board. It seems very unlikely to me that there was anything close to a releasable cut of the film. Put it another way: if there was a near finished movie that everyone was happy with, then WB would have got the editor to complete it rather than drop another $30-40 million into it.
Recently, filmmaker and FATMAN BEYOND podcast host Kevin Smith weighed in on the topic…
It’s not a finished movie by any stretch of the imagination. I would assume, based on what I’ve been told, that large sections of the Snyder cut are, you know, pre-viz, with a lot of greenscreen. We’re not talking a finished movie…It was a movie that people in production could watch and fill in the blanks. It was certainly not meant for mass consumption.
Back to Ms. O’Hara and her article, here’s how she basically sums up the situation…
So if the Snyder cut is to see the light of day, it will either require tens of millions of dollars more VFX work or it will appear with storyboards and animatics where its most spectacular moments should be.
It also seems unlikely that Junkie XL’s score was complete…it would again be unusual for a composer to have finished much music five months before release — so that too could take time and money to deliver.
With Snyder largely silent on the matter, possibly for contractual reasons, and Warner Bros. themselves withholding comment, it’s hard to be sure how much would need to be done to prepare any sort of release. But the fans conviction that there’s little to do but print the discs seems misplaced.
Indeed, for a third time.
Folks here’s the bottom line: Warner Bros. simply is not going to spend the significant amount of money it would take to fully and properly complete a film that relatively only a very small number of people care about and want to see.
If you’re one of the fans who desperately want to see it finished and released, I understand where you’re coming from, I really do. But to be brutally honest, you’re a very, Very, VERY small minority. Most people simply don’t care. Heck, most people didn’t care about the JUSTICE LEAGUE we got and they certainly aren’t going to see another version of it. So why would WB spend millions of dollars to finish, publicize, and release a movie (on home video I assume, because there’s no way it would be shown on the big screen) in which there’s really no audience for?
And there’s another issue besides money.
Lest we forget, the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie that was released in theaters in November of 2017 is — OFFICIALLY — the “Snyder Cut.” Remember, Joss Whedon was hired to “complete Zack Snyder’s vision” of JUSTICE LEAGUE.
When I reported in June of 2017 that the JUSTICE LEAGUE reshoots helmed by Whedon were not simply standard pickups and was going to cost Warner Bros. a lot of money, ZS fans called BS and said that I was making it all up for website hits. There was even an outlet or one that the reshoots were not significant, were indeed just standard pickups, and all was perfectly OK and going as originally planned.
But here’s the reality people: Joss Whedon wasn’t hired by Warner Bros. to just “finish Zack’s vision” and he did not go rouge, hijack the movie from Snyder, and spend a lot of the studio’s money to make his vision of JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Rock-a-hula baby, right?
I think it’s obvious what really happened: Warner Bros. didn’t care for Mr. Snyder’s (very incomplete) film that they allegedly deemed “unwatchable” and brought in someone (Mr. Whedon) to rewrite, reshoot, and re-edit it to hopefully make it “watchable.” One of these days, the whole story will all come out in an exposé, article, or (maybe) a documentary film.
Besides the money, here’s the other bottom line y’all: The OFFICIAL stance of Warner Bros. — and all involved quite frankly — is that the Snyder cut hit theaters on November 17, 2017 and can now be found on home video.
That narrative ain’t changing…at least not anytime soon. – Bill “Jett” Ramey