What is the Snyder Cut, you may wonder, which indicates that you have less than a passing interest in superhero movies. For about three years, #ReleasetheSnyderCut has been a popular hashtag of movie fans who want to see director Zack Snyder’s pure, undiluted vision of the unsuccessful 2017 film Justice League, which Snyder was forced to exit before he could deliver his final vision.
The hashtag is back in a big way today because Snyder announced that he will finally release his version of Justice League next year on the new streaming service HBO Max. So if you haven’t cared to see Justice League until now, you can watch the version that was released — with Joss Whedon credited as the director — or wait until next year.
Or choose neither. It’s fine.
Also Read: The Snyder Cut Is Happening
Justice League was supposed to be a momentous event film that would unite Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman alongside Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash. It would have served as DC’s answer to Marvel’s The Avengers. (If you’re a true non-comic book fan, here’s a quick aside: DC’s characters include everyone in Justice League — see above — as well as the characters in Suicide Squad and everyone connected to Batman. Marvel’s characters include Spider-Man, the X-Men, and all the Avengers, including Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. Because of rights issues — Disney owns Marvel and DC falls under Warner Media — you will likely never see, for example, Spider-Man fight Superman. At least not in a legally sanctioned movie.)
Justice League proved a disappointment, however, in terms of box office and reviews. That led to a lot of finger-pointing by fans. It could have been great, they argued: Gal Gadot got raves for Wonder Woman, Ben Affleck was a solid Batman in Snyder’s Batman v. Superman, and Henry Cavill got good marks for playing Superman in that film and in Snyder’s first Superman film, Man of Steel.
But Justice League had lots of weird problems, as detailed in this story I co-wrote for TheWrap. Among them: Cavill was called in to shoot scenes for Justice League at the same time he was working on the terrific Mission: Impossible — Fallout, in which he had a mustache. Rather than delay his scenes until he could shave the mustache, Justice League had to CGI the mustache off his face.
Why wasn’t the Snyder cut released in the first place? Here our story turns from silly to tragic.
Snyder and his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder, were working on the film when their daughter died. Snyder exited, and DC replaced him with Whedon, who had a proven track record as the director of the first two Avengers films.
Both Snyder and Whedon incorporate both fun and drama into their films, but Whedon steers more toward fun and Snyder more toward drama. Whedon’s films tend to have good, wry one-liners. Snyder’s tend to have intense, bulky dudes crashing into each other on dark and stormy nights.
What will the Snyder Cut look like? No one knows. But you can watch it next year, if you like.
And if you have a fanboy or fangirl in your life (these are sometimes mocking but mostly affectionate nicknames for those of us who like comic-related stuff), you may notice a little more pep in their step today, because, in their minds, this feels like one of those sometimes when sometimes they good guys win.
Anyway, thanks for Googling “What is the Snyder cut” which I assume is how you found us? And have a great day going back to caring about sports or opera or whatever it is you like a lot more than you like superhero movies. If you have any questions feel free to leave them anonymously in the comments and I’ll do my best.