We are officially in the week preceding the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And with the 3+ year campaign to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut, release it did. It came, it conquered, and we are now living in a post Zack Snyder’s Justice League world. And it’s glorious…
These past few days have been a whirlwind for the Snyder Cut fandom. A aura of vindication and an atmosphere of celebration has filled the air. An overwhelming amount of support for the “Snyder Cut” has been spread all across the internet, and has even captured the hearts and minds of those who denied its existence. A film that was made as a love letter to the hardcore fans that fought for it, became a film that united all corners of fandom across the world. All under the idea of artistic integrity. Whether people liked it or not, many people came forth to show their respect for Snyder’s accomplishment. And even gave appreciation for Snyder’s vision as a whole. And this collective admiration for the achievement that is Zack Snyder’s Justice League was all summed up in one hashtag that trended for days to come…
Restore The Snyder Verse is a battle cry for those who want to see the complete vision that Snyder had planned. This means completing Snyders 5-film arc centered around Superman, culminating in Justice League 2 & 3. And this also includes the spinoffs that were originally planned, such as Ben Afflecks Batman film, and yes, even releasing David Ayer’s original vision for Suicide Squad.
The hope for those things have always been slim. But in the wake of the Snyder Cut finally releasing, anything seems possible. And after this amazing performance that Zack Snyder’s Justice League had in its first weekend, going forth with those original plans seems like a no brainer.
Not only was Zack Snyder’s Justice League being praised amongst fans, but even the casual audience was falling for it. With the rotten tomatoes score for critics and audiences eclipsing the theatrical version, everyone with their head screwed on right collectively agrees Snyder’s version is the better version. And not only do people think it’s better, they want it to continue…
Cue Leslie Jones live tweeting about the Snyder Cut:
— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) March 22, 2021
BELOVED WW84, BELOVED SNYDER CUT
So come this week, many fans were expecting some news. Some were hopeful for what felt like an inevitable “green light” to Restore The Snyder Verse. And others simply wanted to see how the film did. Not just how it was received, but the numbers that it produced.
After the opening of Wonder Woman 1984, it was deemed a success and a sequel was immediately announced. And according to 3rd party sources, the Snyder Cut wasn’t that far off. Because although it trails behind Wonder Woman 1984 by about 20%, being watched in 1.8 million households on HBOMAX (WW84 was 2.2 million). It was talked about a lot more, with engagement nearly doubling that of Wonder Woman 1984 and the audience demand being 35% higher.
So it was assumed with the outpouring of support for Zack Snyder Snyder’s Justice League, a similar announcement would follow suit.
It did not.
Instead of being treated to news of Zack Snyder’s Justice League’s performance, we were treated to a collective kick in the balls. At least a metaphorical one, in the form of an article. The article from Variety transcribed an interview with Warner Bros CEO Ann Sarnoff talking about the future of DC films. And in this when asked about “Restore The Snyder Verse“, she shut it down, saying:
“…We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the “Justice League” to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy…”
This wasn’t exactly the news fans were looking for today. Especially in the wake of an excitement filled weekend on DC’s latest property. And though I had reservation on the excitement that the Snyder Cut brought, fearing my social media may have given me a biased view of things, those were washed away when confronted by actual statistics.
As I previously stated, Zack Snyder’s Justice League drew in 1.8 million views. And although that trails Wonder Woman a bit, according to Samba TV it, beats Dinsey+’s latest release, Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Which was reported to be the most watched premier on their service. Beating out the immensely popular shows, WandaVision and The Mandalorian.
So given this information, the answer Sarnoff gave in that interview had many collectively scratching their heads. Though there is a more than likely chance the interview was conducted prior to the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Her insistence on the Snyder Cut being a one and done along with neglecting to develop David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, seems very short sided.
BULLSHIT TWICE OVER
So where do we stand now? Well in that very article, Sarnoff makes a few other interesting comments. Specifically regarding DC’s future.
When asked about whether there’s an concerted effort to push diversity with these upcoming DC properties both in front and behind the camera. She referenced the recent announcements of the Ta-Nehisi Coates Superman project, Sasha Calle as Supergirl, and the Blue Beatle film being helmed by Angel Manuel Soto. And while all these are great things, it’s a bit ironic when you look at Sarnoffs statements regarding “Restore The Snyder Verse”. Because Zack Snyder was also pushing for diversity. Zack may have not been saying it explicitly, but he sure as heck was doing it. Having Ray Fisher’s Cyborg be the heart of the first ever Justice League, accompanied by Aquaman being played by Polynesian actor in Jason Mamoa, along with Ezra Miller an LGBTQ actor portraying the Flash. Snyder’s DC was inherently diverse in its nature.
So if DC wanted to move forward with more diverse filmmaking, continuing the Snyder Verse seems to make sense to me. Heck, why not even bring back Rick Famuyiwa. He was supposed to direct the Flash film, but I’m sure he’d knock the heck out of a Cyborg mini series.
I just feel that this conversation was a bit tone deaf. Especially when WB were the ones who cut down Ray Fishers role in Justice League (2017). And asked about the racism and toxic environment that Fisher endured, she was very quick to defend her fellow executives, even though Jason Kilar himself has in the past admitted to Warner Bros’ racism problem. She cited the investigation for her reasoning, but although remedial action was supposedly taken, that information hasn’t been made public. So all this diversity talk seems ingenuine unless real change happens…
OVERSATURATION AND CATERING TO THE FANS
Another topic of conversation that was brought up was the idea of oversaturating the market and catering to one fanbase. In talking about the future of DC films, Sarnoff expresses excitement over the idea of the multiverse and the potential for connective tissue, along with having a multidimensional strategy that services a large and diverse fanbase.
This all sounds nice on paper, but it makes you wonder why the “Snyder Verse” is being excluded from this strategy. A year ago at DC fandom, many creators and execs preached the idea of the multiverse and how your fandom mattered. That the possibility of two of the same characters being present such as Ezra Millers and Grant Gustin’s Flash along with Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton’s Batman would become normal. That they’d all individually get their moments without impeding on each other. This was a very ambitious mission statement, but an exciting one. At the time it meant, multiple creative perspectives on these characters. But now, given Sarnoff’s comments, it means connectivity between the properties. Which reeks of attempting to duplicate the MCU model. Which is what failed them in the first place.
And Sarnoff talks about not wanting to cater to one vision or one fanbase, seemingly calling out the Snyder fanbase. But given that Snyder only had 5 films in his arc with a few spin offs with other directors. Fans simply wanted to see what he planned. That doesn’t mean at the cost of any other creative take.
So with Sarnoffs comments, what should we make of it?
Well, nothing at this point. HBOMAX still hasn’t released their numbers as of this moment. So the performance of the Snyder Cut is still somewhat up in the air. Although we do have outside analytics that point to promising results. But as of now, we’re just gonna have to be patient and wait. And ultimately the top decision maker is Jason Kilar.
If I were them, I’d be questioning this new direction considering it’s built on faulty grounds. At least Snyder’s DC has a loyal fanbase. Which is imperative for streaming. So if there’s a route to more Justice League, the people have spoken. The only reason they wouldn’t do it is because of their egos. The DC under the Snyder era grossed more with 4 films than it did with 5 films after Snyder’s departure. And Snyder’s DC grossed more exponentially as it continued. And with the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, audiences are finally starting to get what Snyder was doing. But for some reason the execs don’t get this. Their ego’s are overshadowing their greed…
But the numbers spoke for themselves a year ago when Snyder walked in with social media analytics that convinced executives to bring his vision to life and they’ll speak again… They didn’t throw $70 million at him for nothing. HBOMAX saw an investment in the Snyder Verse. And with potential for low and high budget projects, they’re not gonna waste it.
And soon, when those numbers hit again. I have a feeling we’ll be in the same spot we were just about a year ago. Except the executives wont be asking Snyder to release the Snyder Cut. They’ll be asking him to Restore the Snyder Verse…
How do I know?
Zack Snyder’s Justice League Review (Non-Spoiler)
Why Warner Bros.; Ann Sarnoff, Doesn’t Believe In Profit-For-Business
Zack Snyder and Toxic “Journalism”
Did The Snyder Cut Outperform Wonder Woman 1984 on HBOMAX?
Restore The Snyder Verse – Their Ego’s Overcome Their Reason
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