We all know what happened to 2017’s Justice League. What seemed like a fever dream for many childhoods ended up crashing down in a nightmare. From middling to bad reviews, Superman’s mustache memes and a complete flop in the box office, it was a dark day for fans of DC’s roster of superheroes.
While many have wrote the franchise off, there is a good number of people who believed that movie that came out was not what we should have seen. It was a long time coming but the voices who believed in Zack Snyder’s vision were finally heard after 3 long years of campaigning. Indeed, HBO and Zack Snyder are finally releasing the Snyder Cut.
What is the Snyder Cut?
2017’s Justice League underwent a very tumultuous development period. There was a lot riding on Justice League’s ability to deliver under the pressure of rival Marvel Studios’ mainstream popularity. DC had the advantage of having world’s most iconic Superheroes under their roster, but they were starting their cinematic universe late. The goal was to go big first with Batman vs Superman and Justice League, then go into individual stories after the Big Bang, which is the inverse of how Marvel did their universe.
After a rewrite from the original script due to feedback from the dark and gritty Batman vs Superman, Zack Snyder got to work and ended up with a mostly “done” film but with a lack of post-production.
Only a handful people including friends, family and Warner Brothers executives have seen the “mostly done” Snyder Cut. This version which was shown was over 3 hours long, with lots of additional footage, backstory and new characters. Believe it or not, we only saw about 1/4th of Zack Snyder’s original footage with the final release.
Zack Snyder left the movie after his daughter’s tragic death, and the movie was handed over to Avengers director Joss Whedon who rewrote parts of the script, did some re-shoots (resulting in Superman Stache) ending in what was released in 2017.
While the framework of Zack Snyder’s template was mostly followed, fans were disappointed and left wanting for more. Fans petitioned and there was an outcry for the #ReleasetheSnyderCut movement, believing that the rewrites and the creative change have resulted in an inferior film than originally envisioned. When Snyder and the actors involved in the movie also got into the movement, it gained some serious traction and what seemed to be an impossibility is now happening in 2021: Zack Snyder’s Justice League is releasing on HBO Max.
Should We Be Excited?
While the Snyder Cut’s release may or may not necessarily translate to a good movie, it will definitely be exciting to fans of comic books. Zack Snyder’s original plan for the DC Extended Universe was to build up to a post-apocalyptic scenario leading up to the third Justice League movie.
This also means one of DC’s baddest villains Darkseid is in the movie, and other more familiar characters such as the Martian Manhunter and side characters such as Iris West, Silas Stone and characters from the previous film such as Lex Luthor play a bigger role and add to the world building and mythos.
It’s really too bad that we won’t get to see the Justice League trilogy come into fruition as it really seemed promising; if it wasn’t for the lack of execution. It might have been the closest we see the storyline of the game “Injustice” come to our theaters, a proper Green Lantern Corps film (sorry Ryan Reynolds), a Flashpoint movie, and a solo Batfleck movie which is a consensus bright spot in the Snyder movies.
Nonetheless, this is the closest we will see of what might have been – an unfulfilled saga which was cut short before it had the chance to get running. We are going to see glimpses of what might have happened, and that is fulfilling enough for fans who want Justice League done in its original vision.
According to Snyder himself, it will cost Warner Brothers an additional $20-30 million to complete post production of his version, and this will either be released as a 4-hour film or a 6-part miniseries and will be bringing some of the original cast together.
Buckle Up for The Snyder Cut
DC has a rich lore and a treasure trove of TV and movie properties that can get you prepared for the Snyder Cut, but I would highly suggest watching the following to get you prepared:
Justice League and Justice League Unlimited (TV Series) – An excellent bookmark to the award winning DC animated universe with many excellent episodes and the series that put the Justice League on the mainstream map
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths – One of the best animated Justice League movies to date featuring parallel universes, and one of Batman’s finest moments.
Justice League: The New Frontier – An alternate universe version of the Justice League, an excellent entry point to newcomers
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox – A mainly Flash-centric film set in an alternate dark future. One of the most popular comic sagas in DC’s history. Definitely a must see!
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War – The newest Justice League animated movie culminating with the end of the current run of DC animated movies. This closely mirrors and is most likely inspired by Zack Snyder’s vision for his DC movies. Grim, dark and a very satisfying watch.
Batman vs Superman: Extended Edition – Also known as the “Ultimate Edition”, the extended version of Batman vs Superman makes a lot more sense than the theatrical version. As this happens directly before the Justice League movie, it’s definitely an appetizer of what to expect with the Snyder Cut.