What's going on, you guys! We all heard the shot that echoed 'round the internet: The Snyder Cut of Justice League is coming to HBO Max in 2021! This should be almost an entirely new movie as it has been reported that about one quarter of the initial movie we received was Snyder's work. He supposedly turned in 3-4 hours of work and with the announcement of The Snyder cut came news that it will cost $20-30 million to finish the cut. Snyder has plans to shoot new scenes as well. So, there are big plans to make this the film that fans seemed to have wanted before Zack Snyder had to leave the project initially.
This news excites me as I was severely disappointed by the film that was initially released (even though I had a surprisingly fun time when I saw it the first time.) It raises many questions, but there is one that I really want to know more than any other... Will Justice League unite the Worlds of DC once more? Warner Brothers began their cinematic shared universe of DC properties with Man of Steel in 2013. It was Snyder's first film in what was to be, basically, his DC. He along with Geoff Johns were basically the architects and overseers of a new line of DC stories. The movie was a hit overall, even though there were some commonly mentioned issues with Snyder's vision. Man of Steel 2 was supposed to be next on the slate, but with a lot of drama behind the scenes and Warner Brothers executives pushing to match the MCU as soon as possible, a sequel did move forward, but not the sequel we needed...
Batman v. Superman was released on that fateful day (whatever day it was...) in 2016. It has basically become a cult classic now, it is widely accepted as pretty solid at this point, but it was, like, a bomb when it was released. The Worlds of DC was an absolute mess at that point. Snyder was supposedly on the outs already, we literally probably read or heard reports of about 100 different movies or stories planned for the cinematic universe, who was going to write or direct what, there were major shakeups at the top of Warner Brothers either happening or about to happen... The sky was falling. The movie itself made, like, $872 million, but it was a massive critical and fan disappointment and the studio still supposedly needed or wanted to make $1 billion at the box-office to consider it a true success. Well, I think. I do not remember where I read or heard that, so it isn't gospel. I just know that a lot of people were not happy with how the film did and how it turned out. The plans for Justice League were already set in stone by the time BvS came out, I believe. Snyder was filming Justice League during the release of BvS if I am not wrong, so he was in a storm of shit. A shit storm. BvS featured a lot of studio interference and so did Justice League. Then tragedy struck the Snyder family and he had to step away from the project. He was, basically, fired at the same time, as Warner Brothers did not want him back. They brought on Joss Whedon to finish up the film. I feel like I will never know the true extent of what he reworked, but its been said that he re-wrote about 80 or 90 pages of the script and they overhauled 3/4 of the film. So, from that moment on, the Worlds of DC was wrecked. Well, the last piece from that Snyder era was Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman. Oddly enough, it came out to positive critical and fan reception (a little overrated even) and made bank at the box-office, so weird coda to the initial Snyder era. Otherwise, Warner Brothers seemed to start from the bottom up. They scrapped a lot of possible planned movies, were clear of Snyder, and began planning the universe all over again.
James Wan's Aquaman starring Jason Mamoa again was already planned and they went ahead with that plan. Wan turned out a MASSIVE hit. The film made over $1 billion dollars at the box-office and fans loved it! It has cooled a tiny bit in terms of love, but it was a solid film. It was the first of what appeared to be a more separated approach in terms of the films and the inter connectivity of different heroes. The movie featured a few references to Justice League and other past events, but it really functioned in its own corner. Shazam! followed that up. It was a GREAT flick! David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation, Lights Out) really delivered a great origin story for one of the more underused characters at this point. Everyone who saw the film really pretty much loved or at least liked it. The problem is that not many people went to see it. Positive reviews, but the film made, like, $400 million. While I find that to be a humongous pile of money, it is kind of pitiful for a superhero film at this point. I can't for get the massive creative success that is Joker. It raked in over $1 billion on a budget of under $100 million, with opposition from some fans, Warner Brothers, and a controversial choice of director. It was one of the best and most thought-provoking movies of 2019 and one of the most important comic book movies of all time. It is designed to be a one-off adventure, really. There is literally always potential for a sequel to anything and it has already been discussed about this, but it is very much its own thing, not concerned with The Worlds of DC and how this somehow can connect to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey or The Batman.
Wonder Woman 1984 is on track to at least be on the same level as it's prequel, maybe even better if all goes well. I worry slightly about the rumors that some of its re-shoots were to change important parts later in the film that would kind of reset Worlds of DC continuity. I have no way of knowing if that really was the case, so we'll wait and see. The question there is will this new cut of Justice League interfere with that continuity, if they are even part of that same continuity? WW1984 comes out before The Snyder Cut. So, right now Warner Brothers has three and maybe four viable mini franchises in Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Joker, and possibly The Batman. Even if Joker doesn't get a sequel and Shazam! doesn't turn out to be the most profitable franchise, I think Warner Brothers is proving that they CAN make good directing and writing choices and get the story nailed down. Then they made it through most of the productions with relatively minimal problems.
All of the above pleases me. I love the interconnected movie universes and what not and would probably prefer that they connect the movies in a way not to dissimilar from Marvel. Would it be wise though? I am hesitant to say yes... Snyder getting to finally release his cut of the much maligned Justice League is unprecedented. This proves that Warner Brothers has a moderate interest in what the fans really want as well as making room for filmmakers to really be a little bit more free. and create (they also know this can make them some serious cash!) Marvel is pretty notorious for having a lot of control and not being the most director friendly studio, but Warner Brothers has seemed to let each director their own thing since the original Snyder era debacle.
I just wonder, if the Snyder Cut does well and it drives the HBO Max numbers up, it is a critical and/or fan hit; If it does everything right, then will Warner Brothers slide back into the Snyder corner? Snyder's DC all over again? Or version 2, really. Henry Cavil seems to be back on track to return as Superman, Snyder may be the one to reign in Ezra Miller, he can give Batfleck a good sendoff....
Also, say that the movie is such a hit that parts 2 and 3 are greenlit... Would Snyder's original plan be drudged up? Would Warner Brothers be willing to let this coexist alongside The Batman and Joker? If Joker has any sort of spinoffs or sequels, I'm thinking Batman (not just little kid, Bruce Wayne) is going to end up showing up. James Gunn is taking The Suicide Squad in a new direction, doing a soft reboot, although I suspect that it will still clearly connect to the first slate of movies (Man of Mustache, BvS, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman.) David Ayers is actually now clamoring for a directors cut of his Suicide Squad movie (it was destroyed by the studio for how much they interfered and Ayers was a big part of Snyder's vision for The Worlds of DC. I just wonder if Warner Brothers will resist the urge and keep everything separate, go two or more separate timelines, or smish mash everything and try to call it a continuity. The lead up to this release will be nearly as interesting as the movie itself. Until then, I'm sure this conversation will be a constant, on-going one.
What do you think of the news? Drop a comment below and let me know what you think! Thank you for reading! Check out the latest episodes of Back Row: Movie News on YouTube or anywhere you listen to your podcasts!