This Friday, HBO Max finally announced the release date for the much awaited “SNYDER CUT”. Titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League, it will stream on March 18, 2021. This announcement attracted a lot of fanfare from around the world, as this was what many campaigned for, for almost 3 years.
Today, we’ll go have a look at the latest news about this film as well as understand what the Snyder Cut. Additionally, we shall also explore in brief, the fan-led movement to get this.
THE RECENT NEWS
Since the announcement of the film, there was a lot of uncertainty over the release date. These were put to rest when HBO Max and Zack Snyder himself shared 3 posters mentioning the date. Additionally, these contained some sort of symbolism as well.
Zack tweeted 3 posters from his account that traced the tumultuous journey of the Snyder Cut . The FALLEN poster shows a JUSTICE LEAGUE LOGO. However, this one is old and dilapidated as it has been lying in oblivion since years. This is a reference to how Warner Brothers earlier disowned the universe Snyder was creating. But out of the rubble rises a phenomenon which never died. The phenomenon which we call THE SNYDER CUT.
The next poster says RISEN. This one shows a Justice League logo banner, possibly on a piece of cloth merchandise. This torn piece of cloth which barely survived time, is waving proudly in today’s date. This is a reference to the will and resolve of Snyder fans, who campaigned for his movie day and night. It’s due to them that finally, Zack’s vision was greenlit for release. This poster is also similar to the Death of Superman comic, which Zack’s DC universe adopted. Zack Snyder’s Justice League will see the rebirth of Superman, after he sacrificed himself for mankind in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Finally, we have the 3rd poster titled REBORN. The title is a much direct reference to Superman’s arc in this movie i.e his rebirth. However, it also refers to the fact that a film which many claimed “dead” and “non-existent”, is finally reborn. The poster even shows reels of the film lying over rubble, which reflects the battle of the fans to get the Snyder Cut. The prize lies over the battlefield.
THE SNYDER CUT MOVEMENT PART 1: THE DCEU FALLOUT
Disney was playing in the billions with the MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE. WB thus realised that they too can create a universe with their own superheroes. In fact they had more iconic ones than the Marvel counterparts.
Thus came, the DC EXTENDED UNIVERSE with Zack Snyder at the creative helm. Their first venture was the Snyder directed Man Of Steel in 2013. It earned a decent $668 million in the box office and had overall positive reviews. However, a bunch of people objected to the dark and de-constructed nature of Superman shown in this, including Johns himself.
“There was not enough lightness or humour, given who the character is.”Geoff Johns (President, DC Films Division)
It still did not deter the future plans though and WB continued with their next release i.e. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. Though it grossed $874 million, it did polarise the fan base like never before. Some people loved the realistic take on iconic heroes while others detested the lack of humour and light tone once again. Additionally, the studio forced many cuts that impacted the film. The same was the fate of 2016’s Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer. These incidents forced WB to rethink their strategy.
2017’s Wonder Woman was a relief in terms of reviews and reception. Thus, the studio allowed Zack to go ahead with his Justice League movie but with major changes in his script.
“Chris Terrio and I had finished the script to Justice League before BvS came out. Some people didn’t like the movie. A vocal minority. So they said ‘there’s a lot of stuff we don’t want you to do’ so we did a rewrite from that script”Snyder
This was just the beginning of something worse……….Something darker!!!!
THE SNYDER CUT MOVEMENT PART 2: #ReleaseTheSnyderCut
The Justice League Debacle
Things were smooth as Zack finished shooting his film and was ready for post production. However one day, tragedy struck as Zack’s daughter AUTUMN SNYDER committed suicide. This forced Zack to leave production, to support his family. The worst part is yet to come though.
Unwilling to push back the release date, W.B called in Avengers director Joss Whedon to finish the shoot. However, by finishing they meant chopping Zack’s 4-hr film into 2 and re-shooting scenes to “lighten up” the tone. As expected, the film bombed and received universally negative reviews when it released on November 17, 2017. This made many people believe that this Frankenstein’s Monster wasn’t Snyder’s work and thus, they started demanding for his original version to be released. The #releasethesnydercut movement was born.
What followed next, was a united movement that went on to achieve great successes. It all started with a bunch of fans assembling in front of W.B HQ with a #RTSC banner. Fansworldwide, poured in support by tweeting the hashtag and soon it trended worldwide. Fans went on to charter air planes and billboards, displaying their demand (NYC Times Square too had them). Thus, every comic con came with the hope of Snyder announcing his cut but in vain.
The campaign got a major north when fans united in huge numbers to fund the AFSP, as Autumn had committed suicide. Soon, big names like James Wan(Aquaman Director) and other cast members joined the movement, saying that they want Zack’s movie too. Even Snyder himself started teasing us with unseen footage and pictures, further clarifying that what released in theatres was NOT his movie.
Consequently, even food joints like Subway, Wendy’s etc gave out free treats to the homeless, in support to the movement. For every tweet and share, they gave out free treats to the homeless, in partnership with FEEDING AMERICA.
Then came May 20, 2020. Zack Snyder organised a MoS watch party, after which he took up questions. Many thought it was nothing special as he’d already done 1 for BvS. But things got a whole lot interesting when Superman himself HENRY CAVILL joined the stream. As expected, one of the fan questions was regarding when he’ll release the Snyder Cut. The man did give us a heart attack though when he was stalling that it can’t be. But the fandom erupted with happiness when Snyder revealed the official green-lighting of ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE on W.B’s streaming service HBO Max in 2021.
That was that and today, we’re all here gushing over the posters and re-watching the DC Fandome trailer. The trailer released on Fandome included footage that didn’t make the theatrical cut. The trailer even confirmed black suit Superman. Secondly, we won’t have to see Cavill’s terrible C.G.I removed moustache face. These 3 posters also point to a possibly darker future for the Justice League, as Batman’s cowl and Aquaman’s Trident are lying in the rubble.
This movement taught us that Artistic vision matter the most. We fans supported Snyder so that he could tell his story properly. It’s this unity that made W.B notice. They noticed that the universe which they’re trying to kill, won’t die easily. To be honest, help arrived in the form of AT&T acquiring W.B. However, if it wasn’t for the fans, they too wouldn’t have noticed the demand for the Snyder Cut.
This movement is proof of what unending hustling and hard work can do. People called the Snyder Cut a pipe dream, a magic unicorn etc, but this did not deter the fans. It’s this determination that kept the movement alive and thus, we’re seeing this day.
So, March 18, 2021 is the date when Zack Snyder’s Justice League releases. This is the victory of artistic vision and our community. Thus, after this release, we shall continue our fight to allow Zack to fulfil his vision………..to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.