After all the controversy and the many hours of online support, the much anticipated “Snyder Cut” of the Justice League starring the cinematic DC heroes is getting its due on the new HBO Max subscriber site!
After the long wait… will it be worth it? Fans will no longer have to speculate. Zack Snyder, the filmmaker that inherited the reigns of the DC Comics characters cinematic universe after reintroducing Superman to the big screen with Man of Steel had a very different movie in mind when he envisioned the inevitable blockbuster Justice League. The feature-length film was meant to combine the film franchises comprised of the DC Comics characters; that included the “big three”: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
The trinity had been set-up in Snyder’s follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel, which starred Henry Cavill and had him going up against Ben Affleck, the latest Hollywood heavyweight to suit up as the Caped Crusader in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The big brawl ultimately featured the big-screen debut of Wonder Woman and turned Gal Gadot into an overnight sensation. Although the pictured performed admirably at the box office, its lukewarm reception with fans and critics left Warner Bros. the studio behind the blockbuster feeling a little anxious.
In order to compete with the unprecedented success of Marvel Studios, DC and WB were fast-tracking a combined and expanded “cinematic universe” in the same vein as Marvel had done with the success of Avengers and each of its subsequent solo-features. Snyder’s relationship with DC goes way back to his big-screen adaptation of Watchmen the best-selling graphic novel series which takes an examined look at an alternate world where costumed heroes and vigilantes are criminalized. Snyder’s film captured the dense messaging but was mostly emotionless.
His often dark interpretation of comic book based material made many skeptical of the filmmaker’s dedication to realizing the pantheon of DC greatest heroes when it was announced that Snyder would be directing Justice League after BvS and Wonder Woman made her solo film, assembling The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman in the Justice League movie. An otherworldly threat in the form of the oppressor Darkseid had been introduced in BvS as were the anticipated heroic line-up. The film began principal production in 2016, but a personal tragedy interceded.
Although a good majority of the movie had been shot and was moving into post-production, Snyder had to leave the project to attend to a personal family matter leaving the film in the hands of WB, which was not entirely content with the shape it was in. Joss Whedon, a friend of Snyder’s and fellow filmmaker, had a familiarity with the genre having brought the first two Marvel Studio Avengers movies to life, was recruited to finish Justice League so it can meet its release date. Whedon was authorized to reshoot and retool elements of the movie.
Justice League Disassembled!
When Justice League finally arrived in theaters the film left many fans and audiences scratching their heads. It was obvious from various elements that had been pre-determined as the film was in production, that some of the film’s epic themes were missing, mostly the inevitable intersection of Darkseid, as the film’s main antagonist, Steppenwolf an agent from Apokolips became the catalyst that brings the heroes together to fend off an alien invasion. The film intercuts between some relatively dark drama and humorous quips that fall kind of flat.
And Whedon looking to beef up the presence of Superman conducted several reshoots that demanded Henry Cavill work double duty during his shoot in the latest Mission: Impossible co-starring Tom Cruise. The inconsistency made for a mostly intractable experience, with many fans demanding that Snyder’s vision of the film be reexamined. As the dust settled and more and more bits about the director’s original narrative started to appear online, fans rallied in their determination that the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League be released.
The fruits of the online campaign finally lead to action! With the advent release of HBO Max, the subscriber-based service that would encompass much of the DC catalog of the big screen and small screen features, the film would have a locked-in audience and when Snyder along with his executive producing partner (and wife) Deborah Snyder expressed an interest in finishing their vision of Justice League, WB couldn’t pass up on the opportunity. A sizable budget was authorized to bring the film back into post-production.
With much of Hollywood currently on lockdown due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was an easy enough matter for the Snyders and their team of post-production engineers to work remotely and finish much of the film that was already shot but needed to complete special effects shots many of which realize the plot’s main villain, Darkseid. The actor who had been cast to rotoscope the largely computer-animated nemesis, Ray Porter announced via @Twitter his excitement at being brought back into the project.
Fans will finally get their wish in 2021, Justice League The Snyder Cut is determined will make its debut and everyone will experience the movie as Snyder intended which will elaborate on the apocalyptic invasion by Darkseid and his ultimate plan to wield the might of Superman in his effort to enslave mankind. In Snyder’s original narrative the death of Lois Lane (Amy Adams) as first alluded to in BvS is the turning point that leads to the Justice League’s ultimate confrontation to save the Earth from the tyranny of Apokolips. Soon all will be revealed. Stay Tuned!
Justice League is currently available to view in its Theatrical Release on HBO Max with the Snyder-Cut coming to the subscription service in 2021.