What makes Zack Snyder’s Justice League so special?

Image: Warner Bros

Zack Snyder’s Justice League has finally gotten a release date of March 18, 2021. For those who have been supporting Snyder’s version of the film, this release is nothing short of an achievement. For other’s, this might be just another hyped movie that’s being released. But for the director himself, this movie is much more than that. Here is everything you need to know about the Snyder Cut

The Snyder Cut is one of the most anticipated directors cut in the history of the film industry, and there is a good reason behind it. 

Zack Snyder was the original director of Justice League (2017). Unfortunately due to a tragic accident, he had to step down from directional duties during the post-production of the film to grieve the death of this daughter, Autumn, who had committed suicide. With just six months left for its November release, Joss Whedon who directed The Avengers (2012) was brought in to handle post-production duties in Snyder’s absence. 

Image: Warner Bros

Under Whedon, the film went for two months of reshoots which cost Warner Bros an additional $25 million. The shooting coincided with Henry Cavill’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout, where the actor had grown a contracted moustache for the Paramount Pictures movie. Superman (Henry Cavill)’s moustache had to be digitally removed during the post-production process for the Justice League, and needless to say, it was blatantly noticeable in the released version.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg) also claimed that “Joss Whedon’s on-set treatment of the cast and crew of Justice League was gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable.” 

Several reports also suggest that there was a big creative difference between Warner Bros and Zack Snyder’s version of the film. Warner Bros were adamant on a two-hour runtime for marketing reasons whereas Zack’s original vision wanted it to be almost four hours. 

Image: Warner Bros

With a budget of $300 million, the movie ended up earning just $657.9 million. The movie’s poor performance saw Warner Bros step away from Zack’s concept of a shared universe of interconnected films such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and focused its attention on standalone films and franchises. 

After the release of Justice League, fans raised petitions to release the “Snyder Cut”  and the hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut took social media by storm. At that time, it was just speculation since it wasn’t confirmed if Zack Snyder had some unreleased footage of the film. The movement eventually lost momentum and fans assumed that this was perhaps just a pipe dream.

The second anniversary of the Justice League saw the hashtag trending again. Several actors of the film including Gal Gaddot and Ben Affleck tweeted in support of releasing the Snyder Cut. This happened to the extent that Warner Bros chairman Toby Emmerich called Snyder and expressed his desire to release the cut. 

Finally, in May 2020, it was announced that we would indeed be getting the Snyder Cut on HBO Max. Initial reports suggested that there would be no reshoots for the film and that a budget of $20 – $30 million was allocated for this project.

However, in September 2020 it was confirmed that Affleck, Cavill and Fisher will be returning on set for reshoots. The budget of the Snyder Cut is currently estimated at $70 million. Which on its own says that Warner Bros is gambling on the fact that the movie will attract more subscribers to HBO Max. 

We got the first glimpse of Zack Snyder’s Justice League in the DC FanDome event on August 22, 2020. The trailer was soundtracked by Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Zack stated that he used ‘Hallelujah’ because it’s a personal song for his family. It’s safe to assume that the ‘personal’ reason is tied to his daughter Autumn, who had committed suicide in 2017.

The movie has been an emotional rollercoaster for Snyder. He has grieved his daughter’s death, fought the studios and stood together with his fans. Despite how the movie turns out, it’s fulfilling to see Zack Snyder finally getting his version of the Justice League to the audience. Seeing him finally finish his project has left us contented. Not as a moviegoer but as a vulnerable human being.