Why the Snyder Cut of “Justice League” Matters

Matthew Loffhagen
Warner Bros
(Photo: Warner Bros)

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the rumored Zack Snyder cut of “Justice League”.

Fans have been desperate for this mythic cut of the movie since before “Justice League” originally hit theaters. Rumor has it that somewhere in the Warner Bros vault there exists a cut of the film that was made solely out of Snyder’s footage. Before he stepped down as director and Joss Whedon came in to lighten the tone somewhat.

It’s widely accepted that the version of “Justice League” that we got has a tone problem, as it shifts around wildly depending on the scene. Fans of Snyder’s work, therefore, insist that an unfinished early version of the film is likely superior.

In truth, the Snyder Cut probably never existed. Certainly not as a complete, watchable film. One thing that’s clear about the way that Snyder works is he often shoots way too much material. He then whittles it down bit by bit by bit until he has something that can actually be played in theaters.

Therefore, when fans initially began calling for the Snyder Cut, the closest thing that might have existed was a six hour monstrosity filled with duff takes and incomplete sequences.

Not to mention, no special effects whatsoever.

Snyder’s Secret Project

With the continued interest surrounding the Snyder Cut comes yet more speculation.

A new rumor is circulating that suggests that Snyder is now working on finishing his own cut of “Justice League”, without help or sanction from Warner Bros.

Based on the incredibly sketchy source for these rumors, I highly doubt that this is the case. Snyder has better things to do than kowtow to DC fans.

Even if he did want to revisit “Justice League” instead of pressing forward with his new movie, “The Fountainhead”, Warner would never ever let him release his own cut of the DC superhero film.

Nevertheless, it’s worth noting exactly why the Snyder cut is so important to so many vocal fans.

The Importance of Being Snyder

By this point it’s clear that the majority of audiences really don’t care about Snyder’s vision.

Some people really hate it, some people really love it, but most people simply don’t care. “Justice League” in its current form came and went without much fanfare, after audiences simply got tired of “Batman v Superman”, Snyder’s previous movie in the series.

For those who hate “BvS”, Snyder has become a figurehead for a certain type of dark, gritty, grumpy storytelling that seems all too prevalent in modern Hollywood. The trend involves taking something that was once childish and innocent, and turning it into a “grown-up” version of itself.

To many fans, this idea is inherently repugnant.

To others, it’s exactly what they want from films.

Justice League Team
Source: Warner Bros

Support for Snyder comes from belief in his ideology, and the notion that comic book superheroes are unrealistically altruistic.

It’s a cynical view of the world. A belief that things are only ever going to get worse, and that the people we look up to are all inherently flawed.

There is catharsis to be had in seeing this play out on screen. It’s a reminder that we, as humans, don’t need to be perfect in order to be special. Sometimes, living a dark, brooding life of self-flagellation is necessary in a corrupt and broken world.

If that all sounds a little melodramatic, that’s the point. Zack Snyder’s aesthetic appeals to those with a taste for the theatrical. His fans would prefer to take a movie dead seriously rather than tolerate any whimsy.

A Worthwhile Pursuit?

So, then, when Joss Whedon, the King of Whimsy (and also probably a Duke of Extra-Marital Affairs I guess?), got his hands on the upcoming new movie from the mind of Zack Snyder, fans of “BvS” were duly worried.

Fans wanted to dark, gritty, joyless aesthetic of previous movies. They wanted to see grumpy, angsty superheroes squabble over the specifics of saving an uncaring world.

They certainly didn’t want color and levity to be injected into a half-finished movie in an attempt to make everything feel more fun.

Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of Snyder’s work, but I can’t say it’s as terrible as some people claim.

I like that Snyder has an artistic vision. Especially considering that so many Hollywood directors are more interested in box office returns than presenting anything with a genuine message.

Batman and Alfred
Source: Warner Bros

I can therefore see why fans of Snyder’s grumpy oeuvre would love to see more of his work, undiluted by the snarky quips that permeate the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

That said, I don’t think we’ll ever get a Snyder cut of “Justice League”. Warner Bros is trying to put the whole sordid Snyderverse behind them as they instead focus on more uplifting films like the upcoming “Aquaman”, “Wonder Woman 1984”, and “Shazam!”.

But, hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe enough fan petitions and online comments will be enough to ensure the release of an unfinished, unedited early version of a Zack Snyder movie that nobody likes.

Stranger things have happened – especially in the DCEU.