With Justice League on Blu-ray and DVD this week, director Zack Snyder has been reflecting on his experience making the movie with a series of posts to Vero, a social media network on which he is one of the platform's power users.
Most recently, he released a still photograph from a deleted (or at least significantly reworked) sequence in the film, featuring the entire League minus Batman standing in the Kansas graveyard where Clark Kent had been buried, surrounding his exhumed coffin.
Snyder shared no real context for the image.
In the theatrical cut of the movie, which was significantly shorter than Snyder's original version and featured significant reshoots overseen by Joss Whedon, the scene in which Superman's body was exhumed was attended only by The Flash and Cyborg. From there, the film cut directly to the team gathering to revive Superman at the Kryptonian Scout Ship in Metropolis.
Snyder's extended cut of Justice League has already become fanboy legend. The story is that he submitted an "assembly cut," with unfinished visual effects, temp music, and some elements that would need to be reshot, to the studio where it was met with disapporoval. As significant reshoots were planned, Snyder bowed out, citing the then-recent death of his daughter.
Either after or just before Snyder's departure, Warner Bros. decided, among other things, that they wanted a shorter movie to maximize opening-weekend screens, and the end result was that in addition to numerous reshot elements being worked into the final cut of the movie, a significant portion of the assembly cut (including some sequences which were included in trailers and behind-the-scenes photos) were removed entirely.
Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may have been controversial, but fans of Snyder's work on DC's universe of superheroes are passionate and vocal. Following the filmmaker's departure they expressed concern that a filmmaker so different from Snyder had been called upon to finish Justice League, and when the movie was not what many of them hoped, they blamed Warner Bros. and/or Whedon and began calling for the commercial release of a Snyder-approved cut.
Snyder is listed as the sole director on Justice League, implying perhaps that the theatrical cut did in fact have his approval, but he has remained silent on matters relating to his departure and Whedon's finished product.
Snyder and Whedon are both largely missing from the hour or so of bonus content in the form of short documentaries, interviews, and featurettes that pepper the just-released home video edition of Justice League. Snyder's wife Deborah is interviewed in some of the content, and Snyder himself can be seen directing, but neither of the directors contribute to the on-camera talking-head interviews, most of which focus on the comic book history of the characters and technical aspects such as visual effects and costuming.
The theatrical cut of Justice League is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital with a couple of deleted scenes and some documentary material. The DC Extended Universe continues with Aquaman on December 21st, Shazam! on April 5, 2019, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.
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