In May of 2020, it was announced that a director’s cut of the 2017 film, Justice League, would premiere on the streaming service, HBO Max at some point in 2021. This notorious cut of the film, nicknamed the Snyder Cut, was long thought to be just a myth. Why was there such a clamor among the fans and even some stars from the actual movie for this cut? Well, there’s a little bit of history that goes into it.
When the Justice League movie was first announced, Zach Snyder, who had previously directed Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, was slated to direct DC’s big team-up film. Part way through the production, however, a death in the family caused Snyder to step away from the movie. The vacant role of director was then filled by Joss Whedon, who had directed the first two Avengers films for DC’s biggest competitor, Marvel. After Whedon stepped in, major reshoots of the movie were ordered, costing large amounts of money. Combine that with Superman actor Henry Cavill’s scheduling conflicts not allowing him to shave off the moustache he had grown for Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the writing was on the wall for Justice League.
Come November of 2017, Justice League hits theaters and is met largely with disappointment. Throughout its entire time in theaters, the movie that cost $300 million to make only grossed a little over $229 million in America according to Box Office Mojo. In the wake of Justice League’s perceived failure, fans felt they needed something to blame, and that blame largely fell on Whedon for allegedly messing with Zach Snyder’s vision. Through that anger arose the rumor that Snyder had a mostly finished version of the movie ready before he left, and the infamous hashtag was born: #ReleasetheSnyderCut. After over two years of pleading from fans for this potentially imaginary cut of the film, they were rewarded with the announcement of the Snyder Cut. A trailer for it was even shown off in late August. The fans asked for this for a long time and some stars of the movie even sent out the hashtag, so why is this such a potential issue?
With the rise of social media, it is easier than ever before to get our opinions out into the world. All these people are now saying whatever they want, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but with so many sharing their disappointment online for the 2017 movie, a sense of entitlement grew and fans felt that they were owed the “real” version of the movie.This issue isn’t exclusive to Justice League. More and more now, whenever a film or TV show comes around that some people don’t like, petitions to get rid of the media pop up all over the internet. Think of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the final season of Game of Thrones, and even Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Looking online, you can find multiple sites campaigning for remaking the previous three examples and “doing it right.” The hatred for these movies and show is so strong that almost any positive post about the media is met with almost immediate retribution and disdain.It is important to remember that movies and TV shows, while largely considered forms of entertainment first and foremost, can also be considered forms of art, and art is subjective. Just because some people don’t like something doesn’t mean the art should be thrown out and redone to please the masses, and that seems to be what is being done with Justice League. Yes, it is giving the original creator a chance to share his vision for the project, but this can also be seen as giving validation to all the hate for the movie seen over the past two years.