With most Americans in relative quarantine, DC movie fans are more convinced than ever that now is the time to release Zack Snyder's director's workprint cut of the Justice League film. The Snyder Cut, which runs 214 minutes and involved a much more complex and involved story than the cut that eventually made its way to theaters, has been something of a MacGuffin for fans upset about the way Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon recut and modified Snyder's vision, ever since the movie was released just over two years ago. Initially a fringe movement by a small number of vocal fans, the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag has trended more times than we can credibly count in the last couple of years, and attracted the support of everyone from Rob Liefeld and Kevin Smith to nearly every member of the Justice League cast.
There have been rumors -- not discouraged by Snyder himself -- that a version of his cut might eventually be released. Fans have long hoped that HBO Max, AT&T and WarnerMedia's planned streaming service, might feature it. But with millions of people unable to leave home and Hollywood being logistically and economically upended by the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, fans are hoping to see it sooner than later.
Snyder's "director's cut," were it ever to be revealed, would be probably the biggest change from one cut to another of basically any major motion picture ever released. For context, it seems like about 90% of the content in Snyder's movie never found its way to theaters, whereas even when Richard Donner did his cut of Superman II for the home video market 20 years after its original theatrical release, the difference was not huge -- in part because Donner was fired from the movie early enough in the production that he did not have all of his shots yet. Snyder, it seems, had a pretty complete movie (plus or minus a few scenes that don't seem intrinsic to the main plot).
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.
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.
You can see some of the messages from fans below.
We’re taking a mental health day today, starting at Batman Begins, TDK, TDKR, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman and then ✌🏾Justice League✌🏾🙄 #ReleaseTheSnyderCut
We will go grocery shopping and hiking in between movies.— Brie (@theTEAkup) March 20, 2020
Is now not the perfect time to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut ??— To you, 2000 Years ago (@Acuna_Matata) March 18, 2020
So far it has been 3 months since Episode 9 got released, still waiting for Chris Terrio and his statements regarding Zack Snyder’s Justice League.March 20, 2020
Can you #ReleaseTheSnyderCut while we're all quarantined?— Rick (@SealTeamRick) March 20, 2020
Imagine the world after the lockdown.... no movies... nothing fresh or new... and then BOOM you #ReleaseTheSnyderCut if there is an scenario where is easy money more than ever is then @warnerbros @hbomax— GenaroHerrera (@GEHerrera3) March 20, 2020
Make it official