HBO has finally entered the streaming arena with HBO Max, and the reception has been lukewarm, to say the least. The WarnerMedia owned service boasts of being the exclusive streaming home to big names like Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, DC, and Crunchyroll. However, those selections have been criticized by some as lacking. This goes especially for the DC content, with Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy missing at the time of writing. But fear not, because HBO Max’s service seller is on the way in the form of the Snyder cut of the Justice League.
What is the Snyder Cut?
For the uninitiated, this means the long-rumored “Snyder Cut” of 2017’s Justice League will finally be released. This announcement was years in the making. There has been an almost cult-like following around Snyder trying to catalyze WB into releasing his version of the film. For the uninitiated, let’s explain what the Snyder Cut is, and why it’s caused this much conversation.
With the release of Man Of Steel, Snyder was given the responsibility of ushering DC into the new age of comic films. For better or worse, Snyder went all in, giving darker overtones to some of the comic’s most iconic characters. This was especially present in his follow up to Man Of Steel, 2016’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. Despite lukewarm reactions to both films, DC doubled down on their trust in Snyder’s vision. They announced him as the director of Justice League.
The public at large may not have resonated with Snyder’s films. However, there still existed a portion of moviegoers who appreciated his dark, gritty style. That portion was mobilized when Snyder was forced to leave the project due to a family tragedy. In his place The Avengers director, Joss Whedon took over. This should go without saying, but Whedon and Snyder are two very different filmmakers. And when Whedon took over the project, there was a lot that he felt needed to be changed. This sparked ire with those who were fans of Snyder’s dark and gritty characters. Upon seeing the film at its release, they saw Whedon giving a lighter tone to Justice League as an erasure of Snyder’s vision.
Does it Exist?
Cue #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. For the past 3 years, allusions have been made to a rough cut of Justice League that was shown to Warner execs while Snyder was still heading the project. This rough cut is of course vastly different than what we saw in Whedon’s final product in 2017. In those 3 years since the film released, cast members and Zack Snyder teased the public with this cut of Justice League. Perhaps looking to incite them to the point where Warner’s hand is forced in releasing it to the public. Earlier this year, those calls were answered. With news breaking that Warner Bros. would be fully releasing Snyder’s original cut of Justice League and giving him a $20+ million budget in order to finish the film.
The announcement caused skeptics around the world, myself included, who doubted the existence of a Snyder Cut, to all simultaneously eat crow in a moment of victory for this segment of fans who had been clamoring for years to see this version of the film. There are rumors of the cut being released as a multi-part miniseries instead of a feature-length film, but it will release in 2021, likely driving thousands of new subscribers to HBO Max when it does.
Snyder is in the Past
As far as my own personal feelings on this news, I don’t really care to see any more from Zack Snyder’s DC universe. I feel that he has displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the characters he has been tasked with responsibility for. Additionally, DC’s greatest successes have since been found outside of Snyder’s style with Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, and David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! So it may just be best to let sleeping dogs lie with Snyder’s DCEU, and move on trying to create the best possible movies regardless of a greater cinematic universe.
Are you excited about the Snyder Cut? Do you think this will have any long-term implications in the film industry? We’d love to hear what you think! Check out the last episode
Check out the latest episode of CheckpointXP’s comic book podcast The Other Identity Episode 18 The Synder Cut. Robbie Landis and Ben Morse talk about their own feelings on the Snyder Cut and are joined by Kevin Kelly.