I have no horse in this race. In fact, personally, I would love to see Snyder's version of Justice League released on blu ray. As a cinephile, I think it would be fascinating to see it, compare it to the theatrical cut, and figure out exactly where he and the studio butted heads.
I'd love it. So none of what I'm about to say comes from a place of "Screw Snyder! Screw you!" All I'm really doing is trying to be helpful. As a lifelong Superman who has spent literal decades in Kryptonian Limbo waiting for WB to get their acts together, I know what it's like to be in limbo. The gap between Superman IV and Superman Returns was 19 years (with SEVERAL stops and starts on various Superman projects in the interim). The gap between SR and MOS was seven years. And don't even get me started on the Richard Donner Cut of Superman II.
So I know what it's like to wait and wait and wait for Warner Bros. to quit dragging its heels and just give me what I've been obsessing over. It's like being in the Phantom Zone!
But ok, let's get to this:
The internet's hearts are currently aflutter with discussions about whether or not a "Snyder Cut" of Justice League exists. I know there are plenty of people who'd like to see it if it, in fact, exists. And there are certain sites that are fueling that fire by promising their readers that such a thing exists and that it's possible Warner Bros will release it if we all make enough noise.
The problem is: That's not true.
Now, I'm not going to call these people liars. In recent days I have, perhaps, been too harsh when speaking about these folks so I'm going to walk back some of my recent comments. No, they're not lying. What they're doing is misrepresenting. Big distinction.
Last week, I posted a pair of tweets that actually got picked up and turned into stories by a few sites, and I wasn't going to say any more on the matter, but here they are and now I am going to elaborate on them since this is still- apparently- a thing:
- Initial Assembly: The selected shots are moved from the order they are filmed in into the approximate order they will appear in the final cut.
- Rough cut: More shot selection, approximate trimming. The sound is untreated, unfinished, and will require sound editing. Often dialogue and sound effects will be incomplete. Titles, graphics, special effects, and composites are usually represented only by crude placemarkers. Colors are untreated, unmatched, and generally unpleasant.
- Final cut: The final sequence of images and sound are selected and put in order.
Back in February, nine months prior to the release of the film, Snyder showed an early version of Justice League to the studio. It definitely wasn't the third option (the Final cut) because the film hadn't completed post-production, and was still nine months from its November release date. Upon seeing the rough cut, it's been widely reported that the studio took major steps to change the film; Steps that included bringing on Joss Whedon to write- and eventually direct- a load of new material.
This means that Snyder's version stayed in whatever form it was left in back in February.
Now, technically, that second cut (the Rough cut) counts as a movie. The scenes are all in the right order; It has a beginning, middle, and end; It has some effects and music; So, if you felt so inclined, you could sit down and watch it. But that doesn't mean it's done.
Anything short of a Final Cut would require resources.
The fact of the matter is, Snyder's Cut would require:
- More editing
- More filming (pickups and additional scenes to round out the edges)
- Junkie XL to finish the score
- More FX work to complete the crude, placeholder effects used in the rough cut
Simply put: Warner Bros won't foot the bill for any of that, and good luck trying to get the actors back for more filming.
Whether it would cost $5 Million, or $70 Million (as has been reported), the studio simply refuses to throw another dollar at this film. They haven't even broken even on the version that's in theaters, so why would they want to get further in the hole completing a version that's going straight to blu ray?
Please keep all of this in mind when you read rumors that "a workable cut exists." They're not lying! They're misrepresenting. The Rough Cut is, technically, a viable cut for all of the reasons I cited earlier, but it's nowhere near a finalized film and WB is not going to invest any of what it takes to turn it into one. Especially since the studio is at peace with all of the changes, as I outlined in yesterday's video.
Something startlingly similar to all of this happened back in 1978 when the Salkinds took Superman II away from Richard Donner. He had already shot a ton of it, as part of a massive shoot that was meant to include Superman I & II as a two-part epic, but then he clashed with the suits and another director was brought in to finish the sequel. It's deja vu, I tell ya!
I waited around 25 years for The Donner Cut of Superman II. Ultimately, I got a cute, bizarre patchwork of a movie on DVD- One that combined Donner's footage, Richard Lester's footage, alternate takes, and some reconstituted footage from Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder's SCREEN TEST (Audition!!!).
Are you ready to spend 25 years waiting for a gimped version of it?