Warner Bros. had great faith in Zack Snyder. But, the reception of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice absolutely frightened them. By that time, Snyder and Chris Terrio were ready with the story of Justice League and the film was about to begin production. Snyder had shot the whole film and was ready with his cut in early 2017. But because Warners felt cold feet after BvS, they added all these mandates over Justice League. The film had to be lighter in tone and funnier. Superman couldn’t have a black suit in the first Justice League film itself. Steppenwolf’s design should be different. The movie should not be any more than two hours long. And the list of these mandates could go on and on.
While Snyder was dealing with all this studio meddling, his family was struck with the tragic demise of his daughter, Autumn in March 2017. The loss of a young daughter could really break a father. And we just can’t imagine how painful the news of suicide would have been for Zack and Deborah Snyder. And on top of that, Snyder was supposed to adhere to all these studio mandates. His cut was two hundred and fourteen minutes long, and the WB executives wanted to trim it down to less than 120 minutes. How crazy is that? I mean, it was next to impossible. Any attempt to do so would have only resulted in a trashy movie like the JOSSTICE LEAGUE.
In the situation that Snyder was in, he had no energy left to fight for his cut. So, he just thought that it would be best for him to grieve, and spend time with his family. Hence, he stepped down as the director of Justice League in May 2017. In a recent interview with Cinemablend, he was asked whether there was a scenario where WB offered him a delay in Justice League’s November 17, 2017 release date. The delay could have given him the time to be with his family, and then return to finish the film in the right way, even with all the studio mandates. But apparently, such a situation was not possible.
Here’s what Snyder told Cinemablend:
“I just was kind of done with it. I was in this place of [knowing] my family needs me more than this bullshit, and I just need to honor them and do the best I can to heal that world. I had no energy to fight [the studio], and fight for [the movie]. Literally, zero energy for that. I really think that’s the main thing. I think there’s a different world where I stayed and kind of tried. And I’m sure I could have . . . because every movie is a fight, right? I was used to that. But I just did not have the [energy]. There was no fight in me. I had been beaten by what was going on in my life and I just didn’t want to, I didn’t care to . . . that was kind of where I was.”
Whether you support or hate his take on the DCEU, you’ve just got to feel for the man. No wonder there were millions of fans who raised their voices and demanded the Snyder Cut from Warner Bros. for more than two years. And let me tell you a piece of news that will leave you baffled. The execs at Warners did not want to delay Justice League as its timely release would have ensured their bonuses at the end of the year.
So, just to keep that extra cash, they hired Joss Whedon. It’s obvious that Warners wanted to do repeat the success that Disney and Marvel attained with The Avengers. So, they brought the man who made that success possible. Whedon did a bunch of rewrites along with Geoff Johns. Then, the entire process of reshoots was muddled. Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, and none of the other cast members were happy about what happened regularly on set. The drama got so intense that Ben Affleck turned into an alcoholic, and could not finish his Batman movie. Henry Cavill’s future as Superman was destroyed with that weird fake baby mouth. And WB’s execs were happy to release that unfinished version of Justice League.
In hopes to gain individual bonuses, these execs cost Warner Bros. a lot of money with the reshoots, marketing campaign, and the ultimate commercial failure of Justice League. And we as fans lost the entire future of the DCEU, which might not be restored even with the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max. But hey, at least we’re getting the Snyder cut. Luckily for us, Snyder had shot whatever he wanted along with what the studio constantly asked of him. Now all that is coming in handy. And, if there’s anything that the Snyder Cut movement has taught us, it’s that we shouldn’t lose hope. Snyder didn’t think that he’d get to finish his version of Justice League. And look where we are. So, I’d say that anything is possible!