Zack Snyder's Justice League Cinematographer Says He Cried Through the Theatrical Cut

Justice League cinematographer Fabian Wagner, who worked with filmmaker Zack Snyder on the film and has said he would like to see the "Snyder Cut" released, told ComicBook Debate that he can't comment on exactly how much of the final product he filmed and how much originated from the reshoots -- and for good reason: he jokes that he cried all the way through watching the film.

Before leaving the film when it wrapped principal photography (he was unable to help out on the reshoots because he had another project already lined up), Wagner said the last thing he saw was the film’s trailers, being color-graded by Snyder. Since he was not involved with the additional photography, he says Warner Bros. did not clue him in on anything and so he was as surprised as anybody else when he saw the final cut of the movie.”

“I have, unfortunately,” Wagner said when asked whether he had seen the film.

The natural next question was how much was changed between the Snyder cut and the final theatrical cut of the film, and Wagner had a similarly memorable answer for that.

“It’s really hard to say because I was watching it and I think I was crying all the way through,” Wagner said with a laugh. “So it’s hard for me to say exactly how much was changed, but a lot was changed. It looked very different, and it’s sad for me because I loved working with Zack; I had the best time of my life. There were many other things on that movie that made it so good apart from the fact that I was working with Zack and the whole gang. I met my wife on that job. There [were] a lot of other things. It was just a great shoot, and so it was a shame to see the film the way it turned out to be.”

Without providing much in the way of specific critique of the film, he noted that eagle-eyed fans have already picked up on a number of differences between the trailers he cut with Snyder based on the original footage and the way the film came out after the reshoots.

“You can just see, if you watched the first trailers you can see how the film should have looked and how the film did look when we were shooting it,” he added.

Justice League Part One and Part Two were announced at the same time, with filmmaker Zack Snyder supposedly filming them back to back. That did not last long, though. Snyder eventually, famously, either left Justice League or was forced out shortly after the death of his daughter. But even before that, a set visit during production on the film included quotes that indicated that Part Two was not guaranteed to happen, and might not happen with Snyder even if it did. Conventional wisdom says that before he exited the movie, the plan was to build a trilogy of films, but even at its most bullish, Warner Bros. only announced the two before things started to change.

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When Justice League was released in 2017, with Snyder as the sole credited director of the movie but everyone knowing that Joss Whedon had overseen significant reshoots and dramatically cut the film back from its original runtime to meet studio demands, the film was relatively well received -- as long as the bar you are using for that statement is the one set by other DC movies, which up to that point had been largely hated by critics and divisive among fans.

Its poor box office performance cemented what many fans already expected: Snyder was done with DC films for the foreseeable future, and Justice League Part Two was shelved indefinitely. It seems that the best, if not only, chance to see new, Snyder-directed DC content for the foreseeable future would be if Warners releases a the Snyder cut of Justice League -- regardless of how long a shot that might be.