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Tag: Justice League

Editorials

What The Snyder Cut Could Mean For The DCEU

June 16, 2020
Justice League

Things have never gone quite smoothly for the DC Extended Universe, often seen as the poor relation to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and always playing catchup. The DCEU does not seem to have had the same overall guidance that the MCU had and with the announcement that HBO will screen the “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League things are only going to get more complicated.

What Is The Snyder Cut?

Justice League - The Snyder Cut
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (credit: Warner Media)

When DC wanted to create its own superhero universe, the DCEU, one director was pushed to the front – Zack Snyder. Snyder directed the first film in the DCEU, Man of Steel, in 2013. He then went on to direct Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, which brought Batman and Superman into conflict and introduced the character Wonder Woman. Naturally enough, a Justice League film was planned, this being a team of superheroes that worked together from the DC comics. Again, Snyder was to direct. However, after a family tragedy Snyder stepped down from directing and the project was taken over by Joss Whedon. Many fans were disappointed with the finished product with some believing Whedon had taken the film in a different direction to which Snyder had wanted. And so an internet campaign was born for the so-called “Snyder Cut” to be released.

The Two Film Problem

Doc explaining the diverging DCEU timelines (backtothefuturefandom.com)

This has created a rather thorny philosophical problem – which is the real Justice League film? To use the correct term – which is canon? In the past this wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, canon was not something that worried the people who made Batman Forever, whilst nominally a sequel to Batman Returns it was very much its own film. But in the DCEU this is important as it will have repercussions to the other films and tv shows. In the world of comics, canon is at once incredibly complicated and incredibly simple. There is no one story for a superhero, there are multiple stories, they can be set in different time periods, change important details of the story, retell old stories in a new way. This is a perfectly natural part of comic books that allows them to remain refresh when characters can be decades old. Such a reset is probably coming to MCU relatively soon.

The DCEU machine is already winding up for the release of The Batman with Robert Pattison taking on the role. Obviously this will be a younger Batman/Bruce Wayne than Ben Affleck’s Batman and raises the question of where does this sit in the DCEU storyline? I have tried to find this out but it seems very unclear. Similarly what about Suicide Squad, The Suicide Squad, and Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey? Affleck’s Batman briefly appeared in Suicide Squad and as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn runs through them it could be assumed they are all in the same universe.

I doubt in terms of plot too much would be different between The Snyder Cut and the original film. I can’t imagine that Snyder’s will feature a massacre of the main characters or a completely different outcome but if nothing else fans obsess over small details.

The Darkest Timeline

Abed in Community wearing his evil beard (www.community-sitcom.fandom.com)

My own rather impractical solution is to have two separate DCEUs running alongside, each branching off from their own version of Justice League. The idea of having two competing DCEU timelines with the same actors and same plots is certainly intriguing, given that it’s DC you’d have to assume that each would be competing to be the darkest timeline – in the vein of Abed’s infamous belief, in TV show Community, that of six possible different ways for the show to go, there was a “darkest timeline”. Like in Community (as inspired by Star Trek) all characters in DCEU would wear goatee beards, the acknowledged universal symbol of evilness.

Abandon The Universe

Joker (deseret.com)

My unpopular opinion on the MCU is I don’t think it promotes good storytelling. The MCU currently consisted of twenty-three films (as well as tv shows that are meant to take place in that universe) and every new film has to fit in. There can be a lot said for telling a story over multiple films and adding scope to the narrative but I see it as so much baggage.

Joker is probably the most critically acclaimed comic book film ever as well as being hugely financially successful and popular with traditional fans and it is not considered part of the DCEU. I would like DC to embrace this idea. They didn’t have to worry about how this film would fit into the wider story and just make a great film. If they want to do another Green Lantern film there is no reason for it to fit in with an existing story, it can be it’s own self-contained entity, allowing them to be more experimental. This will allow DCEU to have over-the-top minor character mad-cap adventures like the recent Harley Quinn and their brooding dark Batman films.

If nothing else the release of The Snyder Cut could be an interesting watershed for films with huge fandoms, fans made this happen. Much has been written about what effect fan dissatisfaction had in relation to the recent Star Wars films and it’ll be interesting to see how fans will use this new power.

Also Read: The Snyder Cut Saga

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Editorials

The Snyder Cut Saga

November 25, 2019
Justice League - Snyder Cut

On November 17th 2017, Justice League arrived in cinemas everywhere. After several missteps, the DCEU was finally going to rival the MCU. Then people saw it.

Reviews were mixed, with the film currently sitting at a 6.4 on IMDb. After director Zack Snyder stepped down due to a family tragedy, Joss Whedon finished the film. Despite reassurances that the film would not be affected, the result was a Frankenstein of a film. Tonal shifts, deleted scenes, bad CGI and the infamous moustache removal. The final product did not live up to the hype. But then whispers of another cut began to emerge- The Snyder Cut

So what’s so special about it?

Snyder’s cut of the film included the villain Darkseid, amongst other characters that were cut from the theatrical release (WB, 2017)

Snyder’s original plan for the film was part of a five long film arc. Starting with “Man of Steel”. However he was forced to edit much of part 2 Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, most of this was eventually restored in the “Ultimate Cut”. Parts 3, 4 and 5 would have been a Justice League trilogy (with standalone movies for each character appearing in between). His cut of the film would have felt much more like part of that universe, with the “Knightmare” scene becoming a key plot point, and the heroes actively working to stop it.

Regarding the heroes, Ray Fisher’s Cyborg was supposed to be a much bigger role. Jason Momoa’s version of Aquaman was largely created by him and Snyder, and the original film was supposed to introduce a lot of the mythology surrounding him before his own film. Snyder frequently posts images and teases from his version on his Vero and Twitter accounts.

Why is this such a big deal?

The Snyder Cut reportedly featured Cyborg in a much bigger role, exploring his origin and relationship to the Mother Boxes featured in the film (Snyder, Vero, 2019)

The theatrical cut of Justice League disappointed almost everyone. In an effort to please everyone, they pleased no one. While Snyder’s films often get mixed reviews, he does have a dedicated fanbase, as do DC comics and their heroes.

The Release the Snyder Cut movement started shortly after the film was released, and has gained a massive following. Several big names in the business have given their support, including Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher and Gal Gadot. Even Ben Affleck has joined the chorus, despite no longer being Batman.

The Snyder Cut movement has been all over the internet since it began, especially anything related to DC films and although they have developed a reputation for being entitled and mean, that isn’t always true. For San Diego Comic Con 2019, the movement set up a crowdfunding page and bought billboards around the convention center. The additional funds went to a suicide prevention charity, in honour of Zack Snyder’s daughter and the reason he stepped away from the project.

Is it finished?

The fan movement bought ad space around the area for SDCC 2019, despite WB not actually attending (Twitter, 2019)

This one is a little trickier, as there are a lot of mixed reports. Snyder himself claims that “it’s done“. Reports say that principal photography was completed, with some VFX work still in progress, which is more likely. However several people, like Jason Momoa, have seen it, so it is at least viewable, albeit likely with several effects shots not finished.

The problem is whether the film is in a suitable state. Unfinished edits are nothing new, as test screenings often have unfinished VFX or audio. If the cut were to be released, it could potentially look something like the “alternate universe” cut of Into the Spider-Verse, with unfinished scenes and storyboards with sound slotted in. The problem with this is how much unfinished footage would be added. Of course, it is entirely possible that WB or Snyder could spend the extra time and money to complete it. But is it worth it?

Is the Snyder Cut good?

That can’t really be answered until we see it. Of course, all art is subjective. Snyder’s films, especially Batman V Superman, are rather divisive. The Snyder Cut would likely be similar in tone to that film, as well as picking up plot threads. However, Directors Cut’s are often seen as improvements over the theatrical releases. Snyder himself has several Director’s Cuts, with the aforementioned Ultimate Cut of Batman V Superman adding in 30 minutes of cut material, and his Directors Cut of Watchmen. The Snyder Cut is presumed to be around 214 minutes (about 3 and a half hours) long. So it likely depends on how you feel about his previous film.

Will we ever see it?

Never say never. Director’s Cuts are popular. And although the DCEU has moved away from the original plan, there is still clearly a big demand for this version. All cards seem to be in WB’s hands, and some suspect a release on HBO Max. The 2 year anniversary of Justice League gave the movement a big resurgence, so it seems like they won’t stop until it’s released.

Also Read: Joke’s On You: A History Of Batman’s Arch-Nemesis On The Big Screen

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