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DC Fans Petition Warner Bros. to Release Zack Snyder Cut of ‘Justice League’

Justice League
Warner Bros.

Zack Snyder had completed several months of work on Justice League when Joss Whedon came on board to write some additional scenes for the superhero ensemble. Unfortunately, Snyder had to step away from the film due to a family tragedy, leaving Whedon to oversee post-production. By Warner Bros.’ account, about a quarter of Justice League was reshot by Whedon, but it’s been heavily rumored that the Avengers director actually reshot something like 80 percent of the film. Now, following a disappointing opening weekend, DC fans are asking WB to release the Snyder cut of Justice League via a very misguided online petition.

Over 58,000 fans of DC and Zack Snyder have signed the change.org petition, which calls for WB to release the Snyder cut of Justice League. It’s difficult to read the mission statement and not feel pity for these fans, who seem a bit oblivious as to how filmmaking actually works. As you read the extensive supporting essay, it’s like watching someone double down on the denial stage of grief. There’s an assumption that WB has a completed Snyder cut of Justice League that, combined with Junkie XL’s original score, would be a preferable version of the film.

In fact, the mission statement dedicates a lot of verbal real estate to Junkie XL’s compositions, and heavily criticizes Danny Elfman’s “generic, lazy, uninspiring and very unprofessional” score.

Though the author of the petition is clearly passionate about the DCEU and DC Comics, there’s also some really obnoxious and condescending language in the mission statement, which ends by bizarrely comparing Snyder to Darren Aronofsky and seemingly insulting people who don’t enjoy Snyder’s work:

People like you expect a film to be filled with exposition and unintelligent cheesy dialogue, but [Man of Steel], [Batman v Superman] and [Wonder Woman] made something special as described already, Zack Snyder is masterclass filmmaker, who infuses his films with thought provoking themes, amazing visuals, allegories, symbolism and metaphors, no other director does that, aside from Darren Aronofsky. if you don’t like films like that, is not the film’s or director’s fault, it’s yours.

The author calls WB’s decision to release a two-hour cut of Justice League “disrespectful” to Snyder’s vision and his original, longer cut of the film, which — according to this mission statement — was screened for WB executives who were quite pleased with what they saw.

What the petition fails to understand is that assembly cuts and rough cuts are often much, much longer than the filmmaker ultimately intends the finished product to be. That extended runtime was inevitably going to be trimmed down for the theatrical version, and though it’s possible — and, based on Batman v Superman’s Blu-ray release, entirely likely — that Snyder might’ve eventually released an extended cut, there’s no way fans were every going to see a three-hour-plus version of Justice League.

I get it — you love a franchise and you want it to do well, and you have high expectations for this film based on properties that you’ve adored for most of your life. Then the film comes out, and it’s a weird visual amalgamation of two directors with two distinctly different styles. It’s kind of a mess, and you’re looking for someone to blame, and in this case it’s easier because another director had a hand in the finished product. And though it’s typically absurd to try and pinpoint which author is responsible for which elements, it’s pretty easy to spot Whedon’s work vs. Snyder’s work in Justice League.

Had the film been the product of a single author, there’s no doubt it would’ve been a more coherent — if not necessarily better — experience. But it is what it is, and we were probably never getting a total masterpiece of a movie out of this production, whether it was entirely Snyder’s or entirely Whedon’s.

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