It’s the fanboys’ world now, and we’re just living in it. For years, even since the release of Zack Snyder’s superhero team-up Justice League, fans have been complaining that the movie, which wasn’t the triumph they were hoping for, was botched by the studio. They insist that Snyder’s original version of the movie is that triumph, and they want to see it.
The #ReleasetheSnyderCut hashtag has become both a rallying cry for fans (and some of the actual actors) and the butt of a joke for those who dislike Snyder’s vision and a fanboy culture that feels entitled to see their favorite stories get told exactly the way they want them to be told. Similar movements sprung up around the last season of Game of Thrones or Rian Johnson’s Last Jedi. The Game of Thrones petition amounted to nothing, but the anger at the Last Jedi seems to have resulted in the hollow fan-service of The Rise of Skywalker. (Sonic the Hedgehog also owes the vocal online fan culture for its makeover).
Now not only did we get confirmation that the Snyder cut actually exists, but the fanboys devoted to freeing it from WB’s vault will finally get to see it! HBO Max announced that they will be releasing the fabled Snyder Cut of Justice League on their new platform in the summer of 2021.
— HBO Max (@hbomax) May 20, 2020
The Hollywood Reporter reported that it will be released as either a four-hour version or in a six chapter installment.
They also spoke to Snyder, who says he’s getting the crew back together to edit and score the footage of what he says “will be an entirely new thing, and, especially talking to those who have seen the released movie, a new experience apart from [the theatrical release].” Snyder added that the version we’ve all seen only features maybe “one-fourth of what I did.”
The director endured a personal tragedy during the filming of Justice League that forced him to leave the film before completion, whereupon Warner Bros handed the reins to Avengers director Joss Whedon. Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is best known for his quippy dialogue and overall sense of fun, something many felt the DC movies needed after the grimdark disaster that was Batman v. Superman and the success of the brighter, goofier Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The resulting movie is a bizarre mishmash of Snyder’s darkness and Whedon’s light touch – not to mention Henry Cavill’s digitally repaired upper lip – that has its moments but was not the rousing spectacle many were hoping for.
For years rumors have swirled that Snyder’s version is the real deal and when released will redeem the director’s dark vision for the DC superhero universe. The time may even be right after Todd Phillips’s even darker Joker took the box office by storm and went to the Oscars. Maybe audiences are more willing to accept the darker tone that Snyder brought to some of our most beloved superheroes.
In 2021, we’ll finally find out. And who knows, maybe this will lead to more disappointing movies and TV shows getting a do-over. We may never see an original piece of work again!