By now, it’s beyond repetitive to state that this year’s Justice League was definitely not the vision that director Zack Snyder had imagined for his finished film. While he didn’t get to finish the movie entirely because of a family tragedy, producers and cast members had stated that the movie was still Snyder’s.
The movie itself essentially suggests that wasn’t true, and more and more details are coming out each week to prove that.
Warner Bros. is said to have screened a much darker cut of the movie, but that ultimately wasn’t the route they chose to go with, as they clearly wanted to make DC Films “brighter” – something that has clearly backfired. The news comes from a variety of different sources, but Kevin Smith is a very notable one, who said the following on his podcast:
“There’s a petition online with something like 250,000 signatures saying put out the Snyder cut. I think it’s ridiculous not to. Sell the version of the movie that people are familiar with theatrically, then wait six months and hit ’em with the Snyder vision. What’s the worst that can happen? Everybody goes, ‘You f—ed up’ and Warner Bros. goes, ‘Yeah, I guess’ but it’s in their rear-view, they’re working on something else. It’s just another stream of revenue for them. I think they’d be bat-shit crazy, pun intended, for them to not put out Zack’s vision, which I read an article about, thank you for bringing it up. It was a breakdown of what’s missing from the movie. ‘These scenes were done before the reshoots and were shown to WB executives.’ This piece comes from Superhero Talk Site and he says the opening was longer, it began with Bruce recruiting Aquaman. It was basically the same scene in the theatrical version, but some scenes were cut. Aquaman was originally much more shut off to Bruce here. Deleted, Barry Allen saving Iris West by breaking the glass. Apparently there’s a whole f—ing scene of him saving Iris West. Longer, history lesson, what I was most surprised by is the WB cut out dialogue of scenes with Green Lantern, Zeus and Ares. On the battlefield, when they flash back and s–t, Lantern said something and so did Zeus and so did Ares.”
This is very interesting, because it fits what a recent article from someone who claims to have seen that darker screening said – and it makes for an entirely different movie than we saw:
LONGER: Began with Bruce recruiting Aquaman. It was basically the same scene as I saw in the theatrical version this weekend. However, some lines were added by Whedon and some Zack bits were cut. Aquaman was originally more resilient and shut-off to Bruce here.
DELETED: Barry Allen visits the library because he knows that Iris West is there. He tries to talk to her but fumbles and blushes. He mentions that “he might go and see his Dad today”. Iris likes his awkwardness but doesn’t think he’s all that special. We see Barry breaking the window with his finger to kind-of impress Iris (our FIRST look at his powers). When everyone and Iris are surprised at this window breaking, Barry just says “weak glass” and walks out.
LONGER: History Lesson. But just by some bits. What I was most surprised by was that WB cut out dialogue by the Green Lantern, Zeus and even Ares (Yes, he was there too). They had a couple of lines each. As did Robin Wright and Hippolyta. They just kept the action in and clicked out all dialogue, I guess.
DELETED: After taking the Mother Box from Themiscyra, Steppenwolf actually “talks” to the Box. His mother, Heggra’s essence is alive in the Mother Boxes and bringing them all together would unleash her powers – finally giving Steppenwolf an edge over his younger brother – Darkseid. That is what his plan was originally. I thought for sure that they would keep this scene in because they used a dialogue from this scene in the trailers – “No protectors here. No Lanterns. This world will fall. You will be free, mother.”
DELETED: Cyborg’s previous life. He plays a great football match that his MOTHER (Yes, she was cast as well) attends. Afterwards, they drive home. Victor is angry that his Dad never made it while his mother tries to console him. Victor just keeps getting angry and lashing out, loses control of the car – causing a fiery crash.
LONGER: The Gordon scene had a little setup that I didn’t see in the theatrical version. Gordon dismisses a Junkie and tells him to “get better at life” before another cop comes to him with drawings of Parademons. His conversation with the League also ran longer. First, he asks Wonder Woman “if she’s the same woman he keeps seeing reports of in London”. Then, he asks Cyborg “How does he eat? Does he even need to?”.
DELETED: After the attack on Atlantis, Aquaman consults with Mera and Vulko over what he should do next. Mera wants him to stay as King because she “doesn’t trust Orm”. Vulko wants him to do what his heart says. Aquaman confesses that he feels a responsinility to help the people on Earth.
DELETED: The League visits the Batcave. Alfred has humorous reactions to the League. Bruce Wayne talks about a “nightmare” he had. He believes that Steppenwolf will try and resurrect the power of Superman and “that they must do it first unless they want to fight an Evil Kryptonian too.”
CHANGED: Superman’s resurrection was ONLY possible because Cyborg detects foreign genetic material in his DNA a.k.a the Codex. This is the final confirmation needed that Superman can be brought back to life after all. Then, the revival happens pretty much the same.
DELETED: Deathstroke breaks Lex out of prison. They part ways because the cops are hot on their trail – deciding to meet up later at “the location they discussed”.
DELETED: Kent Farm. Superman brings Lois here. however, he is still very confused and not knowing what’s happening. Bystanders are looking at him and clicking his photos. This confuses him further and he actually tries to attack the civilians with his laser-eyes before Lois manages to calm him down. Superman tells her that “the voices won’t shut up”. Later, Martha shows up here and Clark and Lois are already inside the house. Clark is calmer now but still very confused – his powers are going haywire and his senses are heightened. Martha gives the “Picture the world as an Island. Follow my voice and come back to me” speech from MoS. It seems to calm him down. Later, Clark is wearing his shirt when he sees Pa Kent (Yes, Costner was here too) out in the fields. He goes out to see him. Pa Kent talks about “embracing who you really are”. He tells Clark that “you have to make peace with who you are. You have the power to change the world and you can do that as anyone, good character or bad.” Clark finally embraces Superman as a part of him when Lois walks out. Clark confirms their engagement, Lois breaks down because she wasn’t strong enough. Then, Martha comes out too as Clark decides to help the League and flies off. That’s how it happened in my version. I may have paraphrased some dialogue but that was basically it.
DELETED: Clark heads up to meet Alfred and get his suit.
DELETED: Steppenwolf’s second conversation with Heggra. Now that he has all three Mother Boxes – her return to this world can begin.
CHANGED: Bruce’s conversation with Diana after Superman returns. Diana comes in to pop Bruce’s shoulder and tend to his injuries. Bruce reveals that he is willing to die to save the world. In fact, he says “he deserves to die because of what he’s done. He’s killed people and nothing, not even his hate for Superman can justify killing like that”. Diana tells him that “he’s changed now” but Bruce remains adamant that he can only atone himself by sacrificing his life.
CHANGED: Bruce’s Batmobile is headed to certain death during the finale when Wonder Woman and Aquaman interfere and save his life. They tell him that dying in battle won’t do anything and he must live to keep the fight going.
ALTERNATE ENDING WE WERE SHOWN: Cyborg tries to separate the Mother Boxes while Heggra keeps trying to talk him away. Furious, Steppenwolf grabs him and rips him apart – essentially killing him.
CHANGED: Superman joins the fight and teams up with the League to defeat Steppenwolf. However, at one point, Steppy tries to tempt Superman into joining his army and we see Darksied (for the first time) in Superman’s viSioN and we see flashes of the Knightmare footage. However, Superman SNAPS back from it and delivers the final blow to Steppy, defeating him.
DELETED: Steppenwolf is killed by Darkseid on Apokolips. Darkseid intends to come to Earth to “meet the Kryptonian”.
DELETED: Aquaman meets Mera off the village coast and agrees to come back. Barry steps into the library, Iris smiles at him cutely.
DELETED: Bruce and Barry place Victor’s “body” in the Batcave. Bruce comments that “his organic tissue is dead but it may be possible to reignite his mechanical parts”. Barry promises to help however he can.
DELETED: Lois introduces Perry White to “Clark Kent a.k.a Superman“.
The original after credit scene that was shot in principal photography was Bruce being woken in the night in his lake house by a green light and being visited by Tomar Re and Kilowog. It was cut fairly early on during post.
A Reddit post on a DC fans section also said:
There has been a lot of debate over the existence of a viable “Snyder cut” of Justice League. After some digging, I have come across convincing proof that the Snyder cut of Justice League exists in an unfinished but relevant form. This was not simply an assembly cut derived from principal photography, but a rough version that had a lot of finished FX and music. Details concerning the sourcing of this information will be held in total confidence.
There are a lot of emotions and opinions surrounding Justice League. This post and its contents are not meant to address any of them. I am only writing this to affirm that there is a director’s cut of the film that exists in an unfinished but notable state. Again, we are not ace scoopers or pundits. We are fans serving fans. We do not want your likes, your follows, your retweets, etc. At the end, everything we do has been a voluntary service, as is the case with this find.
For those of you who were satisfied with the theatrical cut of Justice League, we are happy for you and wish you every enjoyment of the film. There are a good number of folks who feel this way judging from the megathread responses. For others who may have felt the delivered version was not what was promised by the universe’s continuity and marketing, you are not alone, and you are supported by the available facts.
There is now a revised version of the petition (originally written by Roberto Mata) to Warner Brothers to complete and release Zack Snyder’s vision and version of Justice League. The latest draft was penned by none other than Dr. Awkward of the Man of Steel Answers podcast, an exemplary fan production that I would recommend to any fan of Man of Steel. The revised petition comes from a place of both passion and respect. Dr. Awkward has made the sobering point that any serious bid for the release of a Snyder cut of Justice League cannot be mixed with antagonistic or punitive rhetoric that would frame any concession as an admission of wrongdoing by the studio. Regardless of your position on the matter, it is a good read.
There are no guarantees that the existence of a rough director’s cut of Justice League means that anyone outside of the studio system will ever see it. The fan petition also offers no certainties, but it is a constructive and earnest outlet for those who share its sentiments. We hope that this information serves you well, wherever you may stand in these matters.
Honestly, this sounds like it would have been a much better movie. I enjoyed the theatrical version, but it definitely didn’t follow Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – the previous films Snyder made. The director has admitted that he hasn’t even seen the Justice League film currently playing in theaters:
“I will be honest, I have not seen the film since I stepped away. You know I love these characters. I wish only I could only finish it for you and the others who love MOS, BvS.”
A petition for Snyder’s Director’s Cut of Justice League has already passed 200,000 signatures, so it’s not as if there’s no interest in seeing this particular version of the movie. With the reports coming out that Warner Bros. nearly fired Snyder after Batman v Superman, it’s not certain if Warner Bros. wants to release it. If the Director’s Cut doesn’t exist – at least give us this darker movie that actually screened.
Suicide Squad was originally a much darker film, and WB opted to edit that movie for a “lighter” version and it also backfired for the most part, presenting problems with tone throughout the movie. If they didn’t learn from that, what reason do we have to believe they’ve learned now – especially after editing Justice League the same way, essentially?
Here’s hoping we do get to see that cut that apparently exists, but try not to get your hopes up.
Would you like to see the alternate cut of Justice League? Be sure to tell us all of your thoughts in the comments!