Zack Snyder’s Justice League is out in the world for everyone to see in all of it’s glory. It was a tumultuous journey, but a worth it one. It led to the release of Zack Snyder’s 4 hour superhero epic, affectionately known as, the “Snyder Cut!” But some may not know, even though Snyder got to bring his original vision for the Justice League to the masses- thanks to HBOMAX, there were some caveats. A big one being, no Green Lantern…
I know what you’re thinking. If Warner Bros was gonna finally allow Zack Snyder to bring his vision to life, why would they have any rules? This is the “Snyder Cut”, not the “Snyder Cut-ish.” And while I believe Zack Snyder’s Justice League is for the most part 100% Snyder, you’re right to question the nature of this decision. Because it makes no sense.
The releasing of the Snyder Cut was basically an olive branch from Warner Bros. At least it seemed like it at the time. After years of fan campaigns and the emergence of a new streaming service, WB called Snyder and asked him what it would take to indeed #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.
Though all principal photography was done, Snyder’s version of Justice League still needed heavy VFX work done. At the time, WB just wanted to release his cut as is. Snyder recalled this conversation, saying:
“I was like, ‘That’s a no, that’s a hard no,’… And they’re like, ‘But why? You can just put up the rough cut.’… I go, ‘Here’s why. Three reasons: One, you get the internet off your back, which is probably your main reason for wanting to do this. Two, you get to feel vindicated for making things right, I guess, on some level. And then three, you get a sh*tty version of the movie that you can point at and go, ‘See? It’s not that good anyway. So maybe I was right.’ I was like, No chance. I would rather just have the Snyder cut be a mythical unicorn for all time.”
Even though releasing the Snyder Cut seemed like WB was acknowledging the error of their ways, it was more so a business move to win back the faith of the fans and ultimately get them off their back. And Snyder saw this. Snyder didn’t even get paid for finishing his Justice League with the hopes of keeping negotiating powers so he could release his full unencumbered vision. This worked for the most part, but not when it came to Green Lantern.
During these meetings, Zack had already shot one side of this Green Lantern scene that he had planned. The scene that he planned plays out practically the same as movie version except it was to be John Stewart and Kilowag, not Martian Manhunter. Snyder had already shot Ben Affleck’s part of the scene in 2016, so all that he needed was the actual Green Lantern part. When he got the chance to come back and finish the Snyder Cut and was given $70 million to do so, one of his first orders of business was to shoot a couple minutes worth of additional photography. This included the ending knightmare scene as seen at the end of Justice League, along with the lake house scene. Originally Snyder had shot that lake house scene with Green Lantern actor, Wayne T. Carr(in his driveway I might add). But the studio demanded he take it out because they had future plans for the character. Snyder conceded and instead shot the scene with Martian Manhunter as a compromise.
And the thing about this that makes no sense is, Zack Snyder’s Justice League isn’t canon. From the moment it was announced Snyder made it clear that his version of Justice League is not the WB version. It is an elseworlds take that isn’t canon to the direction they were going in. And many people accepted this. But it makes you question why they wouldn’t let Snyder include everything he wanted. If his version was never gonna be canon, why would they need to worry?
Well, I would speculate that it’s ego. WB never liked Snyder’s direction and if he included Green Lantern and people liked it, that would force their hand to continue with what he’s doing. And they want to do their own thing. But their fears ended up being correct, Snyder’s version of Justice League is universally loved over the WB studio version and now everyone and their mom wants to #RestoreTheSnyderVerse.
Warner Bros knows they messed up and the last thing they wanted is for Snyder to use Green Lantern in his cut and get people excited about a version of the character they’re never gonna see again.
It’s unfortunate that Snyder never got complete control of his Justice League, but it probably puts things into perspective for him. WB is not the studio he once knew. Even in the early days of the Snyder Cut announcement, Snyder praised WB for being the “filmmakers studio” and he propped up the decision to release the Snyder Cut as proof of them going back to their roots. But in the end, they showed their cards. And this can all be summed up with an exchange Snyder had with a fan on the social media app Vero, where one commented, “Thank you sir, for everything, WB does not deserve you at all!” To which Snyder responded:
“Nor [do they] want me…”
These were harrowing comments from Snyder. It has been apparent through this whole process that WB never wanted to continue Snyder’s version of these characters. Snyder said as much. Time and time again when asked about whether there would be a Justice League 2, Snyder repeatedly said the chances of him returning to do more Justice League were slim because WB has no interest in his universe. But with his recent comments, I have a hard time believing he’ll return to the studio at all…
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