Zack Snyder’s Justice League is officially hitting HBO Max. Are we excited or exhausted by this news? Read on and find out!
On Wednesday of this week, the near-unthinkable happened. After years of campaigning, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement finally came to a head. Following a Man of Steel screening, Snyder himself revealed that HBO Max would be releasing Zack Snyder’s Justice League. This will be a four-hour-long version of the film. It’s not just an extended version of the film we got, but a completely different one. It will change how things shook out in the original movie and will likely even result in a completely different ending — one that calls for Justice League 2.
But is this exciting? Is this something we here at LRM actually want?
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Joseph Jammer Medina (Editor-in-Chief):
Okay, so right off the bat, I think this is exciting. That being said, you have to know right up front that I’m a Zack Snyder apologist. I loved the ideas behind Man of Steel but didn’t care for the film. I genuinely love the Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition and think it’s a great movie. However, it is undoubtedly plot-driven in nature, as opposed to character-driven. If there’s anything I’ve learned as a storyteller, audiences love characters. Snyder is more about ideas, and that’s what I’m always drawn to. I even give Sucker Punch a pass, because, in spite of its womanizing and boring action scenes, it has ambitious ideas that it’s playing it.
This is just a long-ass way for me to say that I’m interested in seeing a more ambitious take on the Justice League story. And not just Justice League, but the first part of the DCEU. Batman v Superman had scenes in it that weren’t paid off in the Joss Whedon cut of the film. This movie will allow those aspects to actually get paid off in full, theoretically making both movies stronger in the process. These films weren’t structured like normal movies, but rather parts of a TV series. Batman v Superman literally featured scenes that had no payoff. I appreciated that confidence and ambition and hope the payoff will be worth the wait.
But will it be worth it…? Who knows?
Cam (Staff Writer):
I think when Justice League came out, myself and Jammer both said it was a mess, but that we had fun at the same time. For me, Justice League felt like a big Saturday morning cartoon. No depth, no finesse, but strangely fun to watch. However I was not a fan of Snyder’s other DCEU movies prior. I don’t like Snyder’s Superman, nor his Batman.
So I’m more morbidly curious to see what Snyder had planned for Justice League. I’ll watch it, I’ll give my opinions on it, but I do not want to see Snyder back in charge of the DCEU. I’ll guess I won’t like the Snyder Cut, seeing as we know so much already of what it contained. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Frankly I don’t see any downside to doing this. $30m isn’t much these days and HBO might make that back on subscriptions alone. Plus, it keeps a section of the fan base happy. Where’s the negative?
I thought the theatrical version of Justice League was not horrible but an attempt to profit off of the Marvel formula. I agree with Cam and Jammer that it was fun but nothing from it made me go WOW. It felt like a mid 90’s Jean Claude VanDam movie, mediocre script with a lot of action to cover it up.
I am excited for the Snyder Cut for Justice League because I really enjoyed the extended version of Batman vs Superman. I really think that Snyder is a great storyteller if he isn’t constrained by time or producers. Hopefully, we get a movie that resembles his style as he did with 300 and Man of Steel. The great thing about this is it is truly fan service for this cut of Justice League and not corporate bullshit. There is no way that Warner Bros is going to get their money back on this investment, so let Snyder make his movie without any interference.
Buzz Meade (LRM Contributor):
I’m probably the outlier at LRM, but excited is not a word I’d use for HBO Max’s upcoming Zack Snyder’s Justice League. It bothers me for a couple reasons.
First, the problems of the feature film are not something that can be easily fixed in a quarantined Hollywood post-production house. Is Danny Elfman’s new score going to somehow make me care about our heroes? Are these new edits going to make the story’s plot make sense and give each character clear goals? Is bringing back actors going to make the CG Steppenwolf an actual cinematic character with motivations and faults?
Next, no one is talking about the fact that in 2017 Warner Brothers viewed a four hour cut of Justice League and was like “Meh…” Don’t you think if what they saw was that earth-shattering, they would have came up with a solution to show all of it before now?
Lastly, what precedent does this set for Hollywood? Perhaps every past film endeavor that has underperformed at the box office now has a license to go back and get a do-over? Because 100,000 unhappy people signed an online petition, an original, creative idea won’t get funding and we’ll instead be served something we’ve already seen before.
Sure, Zack Snyder can now make his vision unencumbered and tell the story he wants to. But remember this is the same guy who made Batman v. Superman. Story isn’t exactly his strong suit.
Emmanuel Gomez (Staff Writer):
I remember being so excited about the announcement of The Justice League and following Batman V Superman. Zack Snyder had created a different take on the DC Universe that seemed to fit late ’80s comics. Then I also remember the disappointment right off the bat with Superman’s face. There were a lot of moments that could have been great but were obviously changed.
Then for years Snyder gave us us little bits and pieces of what his vision was for the film. Given what the Ultimate Edition of BvS did for that film I thought of what a “Snyder Cut” might do for Justice League. But WB has moved on and it didn’t seem plausible. Lucky for us we get the chance to see it and once in for all-out this topic to rest. It doesn’t hurt anyone so why not? As a DC fan I’m excited to see how Snyder resolves a lot of moments that were left with no resolve. If you’re against the Snyder Cut it’s quite simple… just don’t watch it. But keep in mind, if it ends up being great, it will be another superhero film we can enjoy. If not, a lot of people can say I told you so.
Fox Troilo (LRM Resident Film Critic):
My personal philosophy when assessing a film is: “did the final product achieve its objective? Was this the film the creative team intended to make?” Justice League is a truly interesting film to examine through this particular lens because it’s a resounding “no.” The reasons for this are what are fascinating–inexplicable tragedy coupled with mismatched visions and expectations.
There are a few ways to consider this (somewhat) highly unusual situation. First, it’s not like Director’s Cuts are new. Sometimes they are, in fact, superior. Some examples are the Lord of the Rings Extended Editions (which completely changes the character of Faramir for the better), and I’d even argue Batman v Superman Director’s Cut is a stronger film. Now sometimes the director gets in their own way (see: Superman II The Donner Cut), but foundationally I see nothing inherently “wrong” with releasing various cuts as the end result can often showcase how a myriad of modifications can severely alter the outcome (except in Dune’s case where every beloved variation is exhaustingly confusing).
I firmly believe this is a good thing. The alternative would have been a documentary someday (see: The Death of Superman Lives) and almost always more content strengthens the mythos and story (except The Rise of Skywalker, bew bew beeeew!). I for one fall into the excited camp. For better or worse, it’s another version of a fantastic character who people want to see in movies that are engaging. Snyder has absolutely earned the right to share his vision so that (for better or worse) he can sleep well at night feeling like he gave it his best shot.
What do you think of Zack Snyder’s Justice League coming out? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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