Zack Snyder’s Justice League: A Tale Of Studio Meddling, Tragedy, And Fan Campaigns

By Tim Rogers |

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League,” out now on HBO Max, holds very little resemblance to the theatrical version of  “Justice League” released by Warner Bros. in 2017. The critical and commercial failure of Justice League had fans clamouring for Snyder’s original version of the movie. The hashtag “#releasetheSnydercut” echoed across every social media platform. Most people didn’t even know if the Snyder Cut actually existed, but they still demanded that Warner Bros. release it. Rumors of a possible Snyder Cut began soon after Justice League hit theaters. After four years, $70 million dollars, and hundreds of hours shooting and editing, the Snyder Cut is finally here.

It’s well known that the theatrical version of Justice League was released after much behind the scenes drama. Snyder found himself fighting over the creative direction of the movie with  Warner Bros. which wanted a lighter tone to be present in the movie after the previous DC film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was criticized for being too dark. 

As the conflict between Snyder and Warner Bros. continued, tragedy struck in March 2017, when Snyder’s daughter Autumn, passed away. Snyder stepped away from post production to heal with his family after the heart breaking news. With the movie left unfinished, “Avengers” director Joss Whedon was hired to finish the movie. The end result was a movie that left many fans and critics dissatisfied

The Snyder Cut movement took off after that. Despite the lack of any credible evidence, fans maintained hope that a better version of  Justice League existed and campaigned for years to get an official director’s cut released. At one point, the movement would be plastered on a billboard at New York’s Times Square. In 2019, an airplane flying a banner with #releasethesnydercut would be seen flying over San Diego during Comic Con. On the film’s second anniversary, the hashtag would have its biggest day ever. Stars of the film Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck would voice their support for the movement on twitter.

Finally, Warner Bros gave fans what they wanted. During the summer of 2020 nearly three years after the announcement that Snyder would be stepping away from Justice League, it was announced that the Snyder Cut was coming to HBO Max. Perhaps the studio reasoned that not only would it please fans, it would also be a good way to promote HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s streaming service.It’s not uncommon for directors to lose creative control of big budget blockbusters, or for other filmmakers to step in. But it’s rare for a studio to return to a filmmaker and offer back the power and creative freedom they took away. To this day DC fans are still campaigning for Director Zack Snyder’s vision for the Cinematic Universe. Soon after the Snyder Cut was released, Snyder himself revealed that he planned to make two sequels to his version of Justice League. After this news broke a new movement and hashtag was born “#RestoreTheSnyderVerse.”

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