Yesterday, I watched something that I didn’t think I would ever see. Zack Snyder’s Justice League. His version, the complete version, the way that he intended the movie to be experienced. There were many great moments in that movie, which maybe I can discuss another time. However, I want to really express how this is a victory of many kinds and the one that deserves the most mention is the Snyder Fans and DCEU fans that fought for this cut of the movie after the diabolical theatrical version that was released in 2017.
Zack Snyder is behind the Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman movies. With Batman Vs Superman, when the theatrical was released, the Studio interfered and wanted to cut the movie by 30 minutes. So this led to this movie being critically panned. Later, Snyder released the Ultimate Edition of that same movie, and this elevated the movie to another height. It was much, much better, the 30 minutes added so much context.
During the filming of the Justice League, the studio interfered to a greater extent. They would ask to make things lighter and the director that Snyder is obviously resisted most of the time. He was building a universe for these Superheroes and he understood what was needed. The Studio wanted something lighter and more kid-friendly like the Marvel Universe and not the more mythical, grittier, darker and more grounded Universe that Snyder was created.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck and the Snyders lost their daughter Autumn to suicide. Emotionally this is tough to deal with and the Studio wasn’t compassionate to this situation and kept interfering to the point that Snyder had to leave the Justice League. Which is understandable when a father has just lost his daughter. So the Studio then hired the man that created the first two Avengers movies and the rest can be seen in the critically-panned and rejected by the audience 2017 theatrical version of the Justice League. To be honest, it’s Whedon’s Justice League and that is how it should be referred to. Not to forget, cast members had to reshoot a lot of scenes say corny lines and jokes and face a hostile work environment. This is all well documented by Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg and he made an official complaint.
The Fans Movement
The moment the theatrical was released, as far as I can remember there was whispers on the net that there was another version of the Justice League that Snyder had originally visioned. Then then snowballed into a massive movement of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut and as we know, this was finally released.
Now, this campaign kept growing and growing. The one noteworthy thing that I want to discuss especially is that it wasn’t just the Snyder Cut that they were campaigning for, they also found another cause and they supported that with just as much passion. This was the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and this is because Snyder directed them to follow this cause too. This meant fans raised thousands for this charity and what a beautiful cause. Mental health is such an important topic that can never be discussed enough and suicide is a feeling that anyone can feel one day. What people need is support and unity and the fans united behind this cause.
Eventually, the Studios could not ignore the fans commitment to seeing the Snyder Cut and they did everything to make it happen, from making trends on Twitter to having billboards asking to release the Snyder Cut. Thankfully HBO Max began conversations with Snyder and today, we can enjoy that movie. The fans won this long battle of almost 4 years.
The greater message of this whole thing is that when we are united around a cause, and this was a noble cause indeed, we can achieve great things. This is felt throughout the whole 4 hour superhero epic. This underlying theme of unity and that division only brings greater evil into society. But when we unite, when we go beyond culture, beyond language, beyond borders, beyond color then we become a force for good, we can tackle any human-made problem.
The unity that the Snyder fans created around Suicide Prevention is so important during this time of the pandemic when aspects of life have been reduced somewhat. When we listen and support each other compassionately, when we understand each other, when we respect each other, when we understand how to communicate better with each other then we can get rid of a lot of problems, even our internal struggles. The fact is we face our struggles alone and I feel that society can do a lot better in not letting people feel they are lonely. But mental health is different and diverse for each person and this must be respected and understood from a place of compassion.
I do wonder whether Zack Snyder’s Justice League was ahead of it’s time even for 2017. As a globe, we have gone through so much and specifically in America, we have had to deal with growing domestic terrorism, violence and death due to racism, an incompetent President and administration between Jan 2017 – Jan 2021 and then a global pandemic that has only seen wealth inequality grow. I wonder if Snyder’s film makes more sense today because of our shared experiences as a society.
I end with this one request to Warner Bros – restore the SnyderVerse in its entirety. Give him complete freedom to create this DC Universe on the cinematic screen with the other directors. Stay out of their vision because when you let creative people do what they need to, they can create something you can never imagine.
There is a lot in my head that I am currently processing still and maybe they will result in some more blogging. Anyway, I hope you are all well and thank you for always supporting my blog.
You Are Not Alone
If you are struggling with mental health or are having suicidal thoughts, here is more information on the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention https://afsp.org/. If you feel you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.