Imagine you're back in March of 2018, you and your friends are pumped to see the new "Justice League" movie featuring all of your favorite heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. You get tickets for opening night, buy the special popcorn bucket and cup shaped like batman, and enter the theater. A few hours later you leave the theater having witnessed one of the weakest superhero storylines since "Howard the Duck".
2018’s "Justice League" was a catastrophic failure with critics and viewers rating in the 40% to 70% range. What is essentially DC’s version of the "Avengers", should have been the coolest movie we spoke about for years, but contained many flaws from throwing in characters that hadn’t been introduced in a solo movie such as the Flash and Cyborg, as well as working with the terrible and relatively boring villain that was Steppenwolf. However I am not writing today just to trash on all the movie's flaws (although it is fun) but rather to talk about the long awaited Snyder cut of the movie that will be coming to HBO Max on March 18.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term “Snyder Cut” director Zack Snyder was the original director of the Justice League movie when a family tragedy had required him to step down as director. With his absence director Joss Whedon took over and changed much of the movie so many fans blame the movie's failure on Whedon. After the movie was released and lost Warner Bros an estimated $60 million dollars, fans have begged to see what Snyder had recorded during his time as director. This plea surprisingly worked with Snyder combining old clips as well as bringing back all of the actors and crew to film new scenes for his cut of the movie. On top of returning for the fans, Snyder is even doing it for free and told Warner he wanted no pay or cut of the movie's earnings.
While Snyder's motivations in doing it for the fans is admirable it brings into question if his cut of the movie really has what it takes to save the movie. I feel that the answer to this question is that it can’t get any worse. Although the movie has not yet been released Snyder has been very vocal on social media about changes he's made to the movie already.
One large section of the changes is adding in many characters that weren’t even in the movie before including Deathstroke, Joker, and the equivalent of DC’s Thanos, Darkseid. Personally I’m excited to see Deathstroke as you can’t really go wrong with a mercenary with cool weapons and armor. I'm also interested to see Snyders take on Jared Leto’s Joker after the "Suicide Squad" movie did his character so dirty. Darkseid is where I am cautiously optimistic as his lack who was the central villain of the movie had terrible CGI and looked rather rough so I hope they can do a better job with his boss. What really jumped out to me is that Snyder is spending much more of the movie in the ”Knightmare” which in the original cut is a segment of Batman dreaming of a post apocalyptic future where the heroes didn’t save the day. In the Knightmare it seems Batman may be working with Deathstroke and Joker which would make for an interesting concept.
Overall, I feel that Snyder's dedication and appreciation to the fans makes a recut of "Justice League" stand a real chance of redeeming itself. The biggest problem of the first movie to me was they used characters without any introduction and rushed the plot to get them to the cool fight scene but it seems Snyder has no problem taking his time as the movie sits at a current 4 hour run time. If Snyder does fail on this new "Justice League" I feel that DC should maybe just take a break and focus on single hero stories and really set up an immersive world much like Marvel did before running headfirst into the big cash out superhero team up of the century.