JUSTICE LEAGUE Director Zack Snyder Says Warner Bros. Didn't See The Snyder Cut Until 2019
Justice League director Zack Snyder has revealed that Warner Bros. executives didn't actually watch his version of the DC Comics movie until two years after Joss Whedon's version bombed in theaters...
We don't know how much of Zack Snyder's cut of Justice League Warner Bros. had seen when the decision was made to bring in Joss Whedon for extensive rewrites, but the studio was clearly unhappy enough to feel such sweeping changes to the movie were warranted.
That obviously proved to be a major blunder because what Whedon put into theaters was a complete and utter disaster. Now, we've seen the Snyder Cut, and whole it didn't exactly change the minds of anyone who don't like the filmmaker's work, it was still a drastic improvement.
Talking in the video below, Snyder reveals that no one at Warner Bros. had actually seen his version of Justice League until they came to his house to watch a rough cut in late 2019.
"I said, ‘Well, can I at least come in and tell you what I think the best version of this would be?’ And so I went in and just kind of pitched them on finishing the movie correctly and ‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ and how we could market it and what it would mean to the fans and all that," he explained. "And then they came over to my house and watched it—no one had ever seen this version of the movie. They were like, ‘Okay, we’re inclined to do it.’"
It's crazy that executives seemingly hadn't even watched the Snyder Cut of Justice League back in 2017, but speaks volumes when it comes to how poorly the studio was being run at the time. Ultimately, hiring Whedon proved to be a costly mistake and one that was undone (to some extent) when Zack Snyder's Justice League was released on HBO Max back in March.
Check out the full interview with Snyder below:
Click on the "Next" button below to see the 10 worst changes
Joss Whedon made to Zack Snyder's Justice League!
10. The Flash's Faceplant
We didn't know this at the time, but this throwaway gag in Justice League was one of the most controversial additions to the film back in 2017. Gal Gadot refused to shoot this scene, as did her stunt double, and that led to Whedon locking the latter in her dressing room and threatening her career.
As you might expect, neither woman wanted to be part of a sequence that ended with the Flash's face planted in Diana Prince's chest, but for Whedon, this was an essential addition.
Even without knowing the backstory, everything about this scene sucked.
It's creepy, weird, and a moment Whedon actually rehashed after having Bruce Banner fall into Black Widow's heaving bosom in the exact same way in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
9. Taunting Diana Prince
Wonder Woman talking to Bruce Wayne after their battle with Superman was a strange addition to the film and seemed to be there only to tease a possible romance between the two heroes.
Snyder did the same thing when they were researching the League together, albeit in a much more subtle fashion (which is surprising considering who we're talking about). Regardless, Whedon's version wasn't too offensive.
A bigger issue in the 2017 cut of Justice League was the way Batman taunted Diana over the death of Steve Trevor decades earlier. This just seemed unnecessary in a film that had a two-hour runtime.
There was no need for Bruce to take that shot or for Diana to emasculate him; it feels like this was Whedon's way of criticising how Wonder Woman had been portrayed in previous DC films.
8. Injustice League
Jesse Eisenberg once denied being involved in Justice League's reshoots, but the Snyder Cut confirmed those theories that he had, in fact, reshot his half of Lex Luthor's conversation with Deathstroke.
Whereas that scene was once meant to set the stage for The Batman, Warner Bros. - on the outs with Ben Affleck at this stage - clearly realised they should probably change it to something else. As a result, Whedon came up with an idea that was meant to tee up a Justice League sequel (talk about optimism).
It's unclear how much thought Whedon and studio execs gave to that follow-up, but rather than focusing on Darkseid, it was clearly meant to pit the Justice League against Luthor's Injustice League.
Lex creating a "League of our own" is all sorts of dumb, and would have felt very random had that sequel happened.
7. Steppenwolf's Defeat
By now, you don't need us to tell you that Whedon decided to completely change Steppenwolf's appearance in his cut of Justice League, likely because that design was considerably cheaper to animate than the intricate version Snyder dreamed up.
Ultimately, the biggest change was how the villain was beaten by the League.
In the Snyder Cut, the team came together to overpower Steppenwolf and didn't hesitate to kill him (Aquaman skewered him with his trident, and Wonder Woman proceeded to chop his head off). Perhaps that was too dark for a studio looking for a Marvel Studios-style take on the League, but the way Whedon's defeat was handled...to call it dumb would be an understatement.
Overcome with fear after facing the team, he's carried back to Apokolips and that's the end of that. It was lame, and clearly meant as a way to move on from Darkseid as a villain.
6. Danny Elfman's Score
We love Danny Elfman's work, particularly in the world of superheroes. Unfortunately, the composer didn't have much time to come up with a unique spin on these characters, and his score very much faded into the background.
There was nothing particularly impressive about it, and the decision to reuse Batman and Superman's classic scores felt clunky and wholly inappropriate when those pieces of music were designed for very different iterations of these characters.
Junkie XL's Justice League score was pretty much finished when Whedon took over, so why the director didn't use that and work with the musician is impossible to say.
It's possible Warner Bros. thought that Elfman would bring the lighter tone to proceedings that they so desperately wanted but more likely that Whedon again wanted to make this movie his own (he worked with Elfman on Avengers: Age of Ultron).
5. Superman's Hideous Face
In some respects, this was out of Whedon's control, particularly as Paramount Pictures was unwilling to allow Henry Cavill to shave off his facial hair for Justice League's reshoots.
How the director or Warner Bros. could be on board with those finished effects is anyone's guess, but even more confusing is why Whedon found it necessary to reshoot so many of Superman's scenes. Almost nothing that Snyder filmed with Superman made it into the 2017 film, a crazy decision when Whedon chose to add lines about how Clark smelled and make him a total goofball.
Nearly everything we saw from Superman in the final battle was superfluous, and simple ADR could have lightened up the Man of Steel for the theatrical cut.
Whedon, and Geoff Johns, likely felt a need to reinvent the character in their own image, which just so happened to involve some horrendous visual effects. And yes, you can count that weird cell phone footage in this entry.
4. Goofy News Report
We'll never know whether Snyder really did plan to always reveal that it was Martian Manhunter disguised as Martha Kent in his take on this scene. However, even if that weird reveal was only included to validate online fan theories, the non-Martian Mahunter version of this conversation can't have been as bad as this.
Snyder chose to make light of Steppenwolf's invasion by having that S.T.A.R. Labs janitor's wife let loose a foul-mouthed tirade on the news about her missing husband being "f***ing probed."
This dumb, juvenile humor added nothing to Justice League, and only served as a distraction in a scene that completely eliminated Lois Lane's pregnancy and her decision to leave The Daily Planet.
Full of heavy-handed, clunky dialogue, this whole thing was just plain rotten.
3. "Tell Me, Do You Bleed?"
Whedon brought a lot of humor into the MCU with his Avengers films, but that was completely absent in his cut of Justice League. Perhaps this team doesn't suit jokes as well as Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but the director sure did deliver a lot of clangers in the 2017 film.
Superman dropped a bunch of crappy one-liners in the final act, while a bruised and bloodied Batman limping away from that fight with the Man of Steel was maximum cringe.
The worst offender, however, was Superman asking the Dark Knight, "Tell me, do you bleed?" Well, he's a regular human man being throttled by an alien powerhouse who has just been resurrected, so something tells us he probably does bleed.
To be fair, this was a throwback to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but we'd happily place money on Whedon including it as a meta-joke at Snyder's expense.
2. The Russian Family
For some reason, a bunch of people still live near the abandoned town Steppenwolf sets up shop in, and Superman and the Flash end up spending most of the final act rescuing them.
The Man of Steel belittles the Scarlet Speedster's effort by carrying an entire building to safety (which was goofy), but this was blatantly included as a heavy-handed way of showing that the Justice League is, in fact, a team of superheroes.
Because, you know, saving the world just isn't enough.
Whedon may have written these scenes, but it feels like studio execs got involved here and decided that these characters needed to be portrayed in a certain way...a way that had nothing to do with Snyder's vision for the DCEU. It's just petty, and one of the worst parts of a very bad film.
1. Superman's Race With The Flash
As post-credits scenes go, this isn't terrible.
Superman racing the Flash is one of those iconic moments from the comics...that's now been done to death. Seriously, it's more lame than epic at this stage, and felt wholly tacked on in Whedon's cut of Justice League. After all, we didn't even get to see who won, so what the heck was the point?
Clark Kent has returned from the dead, and his first priority is to race Barry Allen? There was nothing that laid the groundwork for this moment, and it instead felt like another way for Whedon to take a shot of the Flash (a character it seems he really doesn't like).
We're sure some fans were excited to see this on screen, but they're surely in the minority, right?