I’ve got to say, it’s been pretty fun rolling up my sleeves and getting more involved in this Snyder Cut stuff. After having some initial thoughts on the matter back in Nov/Dec of 2017, I more or less washed my hands of it. In my mind it was one of those things that’s either never going to happen, or- if it does- it’ll be a long time from now. But in recent weeks, with fans still clamoring for it and with me running a site that’s 100% dedicated to giving fans of all ilks a voice, I’ve decided to check in on any possible updates.
And my findings have been interesting.
I went on a bit of a tweet storm last week about the insights I’ve gained about the Snyder Cut, which you can see here:
I’m surprised at the lack of clarity in the way the film is discussed- both by fans and by reporters. It has to be the leading cause of why it’s such a heated, polarizing topic. At the heart of this discussion, I see this question of whether or not “it exists.” And yet, for me, I don’t see how anyone could possibly argue it doesn’t exist. THR mentioned in the very article that announced Snyder’s exit that he screened an early cut in early 2017.
That rough cut he showed the studio- the very one that led to the extensive post-production work that was done on the film- IS the “Snyder Cut.” So I don’t know how anyone could question the cut’s existence. That’s why all this time, when I’ve seen this debate, I always thought we were discussing whether a COMPLETED version of it exists (with finished effects, score, coloring, editing, etc. A film suitable for a proper release).
That, to me, is the central issue/question.
That’s why I get confused when BOTH sides of this debate make certain proclamations.
“It exists!” (Well, duh!)
“It doesn’t exist!” (You must mean a FINISHED version, cause a rough version OBVIOUSLY does).
And that’s why I think both sides should be more clear.
Because if one side is saying “We know it’s not finished, but it’s close enough and we wanna see it anyway!” And the other side is saying “A finished version doesn’t exist, so all you’d get is a rough cut!” Then both sides are really saying the same thing!
What I don’t see any sane people arguing, on either side, is that there’s proof of a completely finalized version of it OR that Snyder never completed a rough cut with all of his finished principal footage. Anyone who thinks EITHER of those unrealistically lives on the fringes.
And therefore, we must ignore them. As for the “status” of this cut, here’s what we really know: Snyder completed a rough cut that he screened early last year. The studio saw it and opted for large scale changes. His rough cut sat, unfinished.
What’s possible is if Zack, of his own volition, found a way to fund & finish the cut on his own AND win whatever legal fight he has to have with WB to have it released, then we could see it fairly soon. OR The studio itself will one day opt to release it as a Collector’s Item ala the Donner Cut.
For now, I could see him finishing it up and showing it to friends, family, and the cast. But that says nothing about the legal battle he’d have to wage to have it put on blu-ray for a home release. And that’s it. These are the things I’ve learned as I’ve explored this topic.
And it’s that last bit I’d like to expand upon today, because that wasn’t an accidental reference. It was a hint.
I was hinting at something I’ve been hearing growing murmurs of; Something I’m inclined to think is actually real.
I should preface this by saying I have no official source on this, as it’s something that more official channels still say isn’t happening. This will be based on chats I’ve had with fellow reporters, and with certain fans who are fully immersed in this Snyder Cut world.
That’s why I’d like you to take a handful salt, dump it onto a sheet of tin foil, turn the foil into a hat, and put it on your head, as we’re about to enter…
The Speculation Zone
Now, while the big, official narrative on the Snyder Cut has been that the studio refuses to invest another dollar into finishing up the aforementioned Rough Cut that he shared with people early last year, that’s not to say that the film couldn’t get finished without the studio.
And that’s where things get interesting.
It seems like, over the course of the last seven months or so, Snyder has been working on it himself. Word on the street is that he’s not only been quietly tinkering and pushing it closer to completion, but that he’s actually close to announcing it (with a trailer and all!). The big hang-up, though, are the discussions he’s having with Warner Bros.
Because the narrative is true. The studio does not see an upside in releasing it to the masses because of the confusion it would create and the Public Relations nightmare it would be for them, since it would prove exactly how shady everything was last year. Not to mention, Walter Hamada wants the emphasis to be on the future, not re-litigating the past.
So while Snyder would love to drop a mega-ton announcement about Justice League: The Snyder Cut, he can’t do that without working all of that out with the studio first- and there’s no telling if they’ll ever go for it, or at least any time soon.
That’s why, for now, the best folks who want a Snyder Cut can hope for is that it gets completed…for others to see. Because I hear he’s working on creating a special screening for friends, family, crew, and the cast, so that they can see his vision fully realized- even if the studio won’t let him release it to the public.
Then, with that version complete, it would just be a waiting game for when/if Warner Bros. decides the rest of the world gets to see it.
There’s another question in all of this, of course, since I raised a very specific concern recently…
“How Pure Will It Be?”
In a piece last week, I pointed out that- due to the production timeline- it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the original version of Justice League because Snyder was never really given a chance to film it. While that’s still true, I’ve learned that he may have wiggled his way around that in 2016, prior to Joss Whedon coming on board, by shooting alternate takes of scenes.
What that means is, since there were essentially two scripts (before there were three), he would shoot versions of both so that he could decide later which ones to use. Just in case you’re confused about the script thing, here’s a recap of the three:
- The Chris Terrio/Zack Snyder Original, Conceived during production of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- The Terrio/Snyder Original Tweaked By Geoff Johns and Others, Which was used throughout principal photography
- The Terrio/Snyder/Johns/Others Script Overhauled By Joss Whedon
Prior to that third one, I’m hearing Snyder hedged his bets by shooting alternate versions of scenes- Ones that were his vision, and ones that were the studio’s. For example, with regard to the infamous Black Suit Superman, in Version 1 of the script, Superman actually wears it as part of his return from death. But in Version 2 of the script, it was just an easter egg (which would later be released on the Justice League blu-ray).
I hear Snyder found subtle ways to do things like that while he was still in charge of the film.
So he’s got plenty of material to work with. But there’s still a caution here, because even he had additional shooting he wanted to do. As is often the case when a director puts together their Rough Cut and screens it, they get ideas for little bits of additional photography, reshoots, and pick-ups to make sure that the whole thing feel more cohesive and complete.
And Snyder never got the chance to get those extra scenes/shots. So all he has to work with is strictly what he shot during principal, since all of the stuff that was shot after the Rough Cut was Whedon’s stuff.
So despite how awesome this all sounds, there’s still that element in there to keep in mind.
What’s It All Mean?
Remember, this is all just conspiracy theorizing, so I hope you’ve still got your foil hat on. But, provided there’s any validity to this theory, the big takeaway here is that Snyder has been doing independent work that the studio refuses to do on the Snyder Cut; That he’s having discussions with the studio and would love to formally announce it; That he’ll settle for sharing it privately with cast, crew, friends, and family.
I have a feeling one of the trades is about to come out with a report saying this is all nonsense, but I just wanted to share this with you since it’s a quiet news day and my gut tells me there’s something to all of this.
Let’s see how it plays out!
Thanks for Reading,