As we near the date of the much anticipated Zack Snyder’s Justice League, talk of expanding the Snyder Verse are already in full swing(#RestoreTheSnyderVerse). With hopes of a sequel and maybe even some spin offs, it becomes apparent of what this movie needs to accomplish.
Which is to outperform “Josstice League“.
2017’s Justice League grossed $658 million. Which is less than EVERY DCEU film that came before it! Which is ironic considering it was Man Of Steel and Batman V Superman that underperformed according to WB’s expectations. The course correction of Justice League was supposed to launch a new era for the DCEU, but instead in halted it in it’s tracks.
CURRENT STATE OF DC CONTENT
This isn’t to say DC hasn’t been graced with good content post Snyder. Birds of Prey, Shazam!, and Aquaman were welcomed editions to the DCEU. But it’s interesting how talk of a Justice League (2017) sequel has been pretty much non existent. It doesn’t take a genius to read between the lines. It’s apparent that they have no current plans for one. So where do they go from here?
I suppose they can keep moving forward with their standalone film format that they’ve been doing. It’s certainly brought them some critical and monetary success. But eventually they’re gonna have to figure out what to do with their main continuity. It’s the reason they decided to change Snyder’s vision in the first place. To move into a new direction. The only thing is, they haven’t really.
Justice League is so ignored it mine as well no longer be canon. Even Patty Jenkins attested to this.
“The Justice League? … No, I think that all of us DC directors tossed that out just as much as the fans did.”
So with the studio seemingly having no immediate plans for a sequel. And most importantly, the creatives along with the fans having no love for the theatrical version. Again I ask, where do they go from here?
HE HAS YET TO RISE
Well, I know one person who might have an idea… And his name is Zack Snyder, and as I mentioned, he has a little film coming out in a few months called Zack Snyder’s Justice League. And I know many might not know a lot about it. Especially since many of the major news outlets have spread so much disinformation about it. But here’s a rundown of what it Zack Snyder’s Justice League actually is, and why it could be the future of DC films.
The runtime of the theatrical Justice League ran at about an even 2 hours. Which was the same mandate Snyder was given when he was working on his cut before he left. Except the version we saw in theaters wasn’t 2 hours of Snyder footage, but approximately 40 minutes at best. And much of this footage is used out of context from what Snyder originally planned and was tainted.
Taking out characters in certain shots isn’t an aesthetic choice. It’s a story choice, and the numerous changes like this prove that the context in which Snyder footage was used was vastly different. So not only are we getting 2+ hours of unseen footage, we are getting the true vision for the footage we have already seen. Which will amount to 4 hours of glorious Zack Snyder Justice League.
As mentioned with the runtime, we are getting a 4 hour Justice League. And with those 4 hours will come an entirely different story. Sure the vague idea of the plot will be the same. Batman will assemble a team to defeat Steppenwolf. Don’t expect that the change. But expect a different story. For example, here are some story beats that we know happen in Snyder’s version that DIDN’T happen in the theatrical version.
- Silas Stone sacrifices himself in front of Steppenwolf
- The “History Lesson” is actually about Uxas (Darkseid)
- There’s another nightmare sequence
- There’s another “First Flight” sequence with the black suit
- Superman’s resurrection plays out differently: Batman is absent and the military is involved
- Wonder Woman kills Steppenwolf (he doesn’t get swallowed up by a “boom tube”
- Darkseid appears and the end to meet the Justice League
Those are just story beats. There are entire characters that never made it into the theatrical cut, including; Desaad, Ryan Choi (Atom), Vulko, Iris West, Elinor Stone, Martian Manhunter, and of course, Darkseid. I can go on., but the point is, the story for this movie is gonna be so different it mine as well be a different film.
Along with the story being different, the characters depictions will also be different. The studio really pushed for Justice League to be lighthearted and more comedic than the previous DC films. Snyder played ball and tried to do that in his own way. But as revealed on the Comicbook Debate podcast, he also shot things the way he wanted.
“I was in a struggle with the studio, and famously we had a lot of stuff we had to do. You know, make it funny, and all this stuff. And frankly, I just kind of– in a slightly subversive way, just kept also doing my thing at the same time. So I would have at the time, what I believed would be closer to what I would want to do without any influence.”
If you’re reading in between the lines. Basically Snyder shot two versions of Justice League at the same time. The studio version, and his version. This was something ReelAnarchy’s own John Garza brought to light long before Snyder confirmed it.
I put this in my #ZackSnydersJusticeLeague Video Essay for a reason! 9/15/2020
— John Aaron Garza 🟢 Nkl-n-D1med (@Ser_Jon_Arryn) January 5, 2021
A big deviation between Snyder’s version and the studios is the way his characters were treated. Not only was Snyder placating to them. But when Joss Whedon was brought on board, he was given full permission to do a complete 180 from Snyder’s vision. This included having Batman joke about his back hurting, Superman joking about being itchy, and Cyborg joking about his feet hurting. And yes, this actually happened. Not only were the characters relegated to jokes, but important backstory and character development was cut, such as Cyborgs backstory.
Suffice to say, those characters weren’t the ones we saw in Batman V Superman, and they won’t be the ones we’ll see in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
So with all this information, what’s the significance? Well if it wasn’t obvious enough, we are getting a different movie. And with that knowledge, Zack Snyder’s Justice League should be treated as such. And on the occasion that Zack Snyder’s Justice League preforms well, I would fully expect a sequel to be greenlit. Also if Snyder’s version ends up being universally loved, especially over the theatrical cut. Which I think it will. Whoever’s in charge at DC is gonna have a lot things to answer for. Because not only would such success warrant a sequel, it could potentially become reintegrated into the main canon. And thus the so called “cul-de-sac” that supposedly will lead nowhere, could end up being the only road that Warner Bros has that could lead to more Justice League content.
Plus, with HBOMAX being the focus for Warner Media, they might start to greenlight other projects such as that Ben Affleck Batman film and maybe even an Elseworlds Wonder Woman 1854 film. The possibilities are endless. But at the end of the day, money talks. And when that happens, #RestoreTheSnyderVerse will be in full swing.
“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” will debut on HBOMAX on March 18, 2021
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