zack snyder's justice league details

It was a campaign that dominated the internet (and occasionally, Times Square billboards) for the better part of three years: #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Fans spent years demanding that Warner Bros. release the original cut of Justice League from director Zack Snyder, who left the production partway through, with writer/director Joss Whedon stepping in to complete the film. But did this mythic cut actually exist? Well, yes and no, according to a lengthy profile on the coming release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

The outlet goes in-depth on the behind-the-scenes problems that plagued the production of Justice League, and the details that got left out as HBO Max prepares to premiere the four-hour cut, now titled Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Here are some of the latest Zack Snyder’s Justice League details, and a new images of Jared Leto’s Joker dressed up like Jesus for some reason.

What the Original “Snyder Cut” Looked Like

First the big question: Was there actually a “Snyder Cut?” Yes and no. The version that will be released next month on HBO Max required extensive post-production work to complete – a finished cut wasn’t just sitting around for three years. The newly completed VFX and music cost Warner Bros. a hefty $70 million, though Snyder said he won’t be taking a paycheck for his work on the new version. Per the Vanity Fair report:

When Snyder left Warner Bros., he took his laptop, which was emblazoned with a Justice League sticker. On the hard drive was his original, nearly four-hour version. It was devoid of visual effects, music, and all the fine-tuning that make a movie a movie. It was also in black and white. To him, it was a memento. He thought, ‘We would just show it to random people who stopped by, like our friends or whatever.’

The version coming to HBO Max won’t be exactly like that version. New characters have been added, like Jared Leto’s Joker, while elements that were initially nixed by the studio won’t be making it back in, like a scrapped romance between Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and Amy Adams’ Lois Lane.

“The intention was that Bruce fell in love with Lois and then realized that the only way to save the world was to bring Superman back to life,” Snyder said to Vanity Fair. “So he had this insane conflict, because Lois, of course, was still in love with Superman. We had this beautiful speech where [Bruce] said to Alfred: ‘I never had a life outside the cave. I never imagined a world for me beyond this. But this woman makes me think that if I can get this group of gods together, then my job is done. I can quit. I can stop.’ And of course that doesn’t work out for him.”

Joker Goes Biblical

One of the new images shared by the Vanity Fair article is an image of Jared Leto’s Joker donning a crown of thorns and a Jesus Christ-like pose. It comes from the now extended “Knightmare” sequence, which will see Leto reprising his role from Suicide Squad, albeit with a completely different look and a newly familiar catchphrase. And because we live in a society, we can’t have a Snyder film without abundant Jude0-Christian imagery.

The Reshot Ending Has a Hero Cameo That “Blow Fans’ Minds”

Speaking of added elements, Snyder is going as “deep and dark as he likes,” Vanity Fair’s Anthony Breznican writes. But most intriguingly, Snyder’s new Justice League version comes with a reshot ending that features a mind-blowing “hero cameo,” per Breznican:

He can say to hell with DC’s official time line for the characters and let this alt version of the Justice League story wind up wherever he pleases. He has put Superman in a sleek black suit instead of the iconic blue and red. He’s added the Joker (Jared Leto). He has reshot the ending with a hero cameo that will blow hard-core fans’ minds.

What could this cameo be? The first character that would come to mind would be Martian Manhunter, played by Harry Lennix, though that would be unlikely as most fans are already aware of this character’s casting. Green Lantern? Michael Keaton’s Batman? Who knows.

Zack Snyder Still Hasn’t Seen Joss Whedon’s Cut

Vanity Fair also goes deep into what went down as Snyder departed the production of Justice League and Whedon boarded. Snyder and his wife and producing partner Deborah Snyder left the project to deal with family tragedy, as was previously reported, but Whedon was not handpicked to continue Snyder’s work as had been earlier claimed. Snyder had been assigned “watchdogs” on set in the form of DC Entertainment creative chief Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. co-production head Jon Berg (“You could say babysit,” Snyder said), the former of which was collaborating with Whedon on a Batgirl movie.

“Soon it became clear that Warner Bros. was giving Whedon more and more power,” Vanity Fair reports. “He would not just advise during reshoots, but also do some directing himself. Snyder says he only had one conversation with Whedon, about the studio’s notes.”

After Whedon’s cut was privately screened for Deborah Snyder and executive producer Christopher Nolan (oh to be a fly in that room), Deborah advised Zack Snyder to never watch that version. “They came and they just said, ‘You can never see that movie,'” Snyder said.

But despite all the studio interference, even executives weren’t happy with Whedon’s cut. “When we got to see what Joss actually did, it was stupefying,” an anonymous studio executive told Vanity Fair. “The robber on the rooftop—so goofy and awful. The Russian family—so useless and pointless. Everyone knew it. It was so awkward because nobody wanted to admit what a piece of shit it was.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League hits HBO Max on March 18, 2021.

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