While the Snyder Cut of Justice League has been treated as somewhat of a conspiracy by some over the past 2 years, Zack Snyder’s recent confirmation means that everyone must now accept that the alternate version exists. 2017’s Justice League is roundly thought of as a disappointment, both by Warner Bros. who were expecting to make more money from the DCEU superhero team-up movie, and by fans who were expecting to be more entertained by the DCEU superhero team-up movie. Prior to release, it was reported that Warner Bros. and Joss Whedon had made drastic changes to Zack Snyder’s original version of Justice League, which was reportedly in the post-production phase when the director left the project.
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When the theatrical cut of Justice League underwhelmed fans, thoughts quickly turned to what the film might’ve looked like before Snyder’s departure, and from this idea, the campaign to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut began. Initially, many dismissed these calls as a fanciful notion cooked up by DCEU followers who didn’t like the film they were given and were putting faith in a mythical alternative. Over time, however, more evidence of the Snyder Cut’s existence began to emerge from those involved in the production. Even Zack Snyder himself began posting stills from “deleted scenes” but these shots were so diverse, frequent and far-removed from the finished film, they hinted towards a completely different edit.
In recent months, big cast names such as Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot have joined calls for the Snyder Cut which, with all due respect to the cinematographer and director of photography, has added considerable weight to the campaign. But all the while Warner Bros. refused to respond, certain sections of the mainstream could continue to dismiss the Snyder cut as conspiracy theory nonsense. Finally, that situation has been remedied, after Zack Snyder posted a picture on his Vero account of a film canister with “Z.S. JL Director’s Cut” on it, with the not-so-ambiguous accompanying slogan “Is it real? Does it exist? Of course it does.”
DCEU fans already had so much evidence pointing towards the Snyder cut’s existence that it was virtually impossible to deny an original edit was out there, and Snyder himself had already verbally stated as much. Nevertheless, more casual onlookers continued to play down the Snyder Cut as wishful geek thinking which, in turn, allowed Warner Bros. to continue ignoring the issue. With this new picture, however, the Snyder Cut is put beyond doubt. To deny its existence now would look more like an outlandish conspiracy theory than claiming everything was true.
By removing the last shred of doubt as to whether or not the Snyder Cut exists, discussion can now fully turn to when the thing is actually going to see the light of day. From the Warner Bros. perspective, it’s easier to defend against an idea that people aren’t completely certain of than something that has been irrefutably proven. Snyder Cut supporters have feverishly supported the campaign even when it was based on little more than a few rumors and a prayer, but now there’s photographic evidence, the campaign has something to rally around and wheel out whenever detractors try and claim that the Snyder Cut doesn’t exist.
And it’s this second usage that really changes the game. Even though the world has known about the Snyder Cut for the past 2 years, this is the first time that all parties have directly agreed that the director’s original version exists. Cast, crew members, the director himself, fans, mainstream media and casual movie-goers can all now see that the Snyder Cut is real, and this puts the focus squarely onto the only entity remaining silent: Warner Bros. The studio’s chief defense thus far has been to remain quiet and allow the Justice League Snyder Cut’s doubters to work in their favor. Now that photographic evidence has been brought to the table, Warner might have to come up with a more robust argument for not releasing a film that not only exists, but is demonstrably sitting in a canister just waiting to be seen by the world.
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