So Batman v Superman was a movie that happened. Some people liked it, some people didn’t and (unsurprisingly, I know) I loved it.
Zack Snyder recently hosted a “Director’s Cuts” panel from last Friday (March 24th) through the following Sunday. Over the three day panel he hosted screenings and Q & A’s for his director’s cut versions of Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen and Batman v Superman. After each film, Zach would field questions from the attending audience with various producers, writers and cast member of all three films shown over the weekend. He also live streamed the Q & A’s over the Vero social media site.
Ever since Sunday, there has been a lot of news about Zack Snyder’s views on modern superhero cinema and how he wanted to show heroes in a different light. He thought that it would be an obvious move in the right direction to show that sometimes Batman does kill, or show that Superman does make mistakes.
While I may applaud the backbone and conviction that Snyder had to show a honestly ruthless Batman and a Superman killing his enemies because he had no other option in the narrative that was presented to the audience (like the comics have shown before), there were others that threw a fit over “their” heroes not looking and acting how they wanted them to.
Whether we disagree on the quality of his DC films is not important, I think we can all agree that something happened on the set of Justice League after the release of BvS. While we’ll never know the real details of what actually happened, Zack Snyder has recently given us some insight into the status of the fabled “Snyder Cut” of his Justice League film. Fans have heard rumor after rumor of Zack Snyder’s dark and extreme version of the film and are wondering of his version of the superhero team-up film will ever see the light of day. Well, it seems that that day will never come to pass as movieweb.com has reported that Zack Snyder’s and writer Chris Terrio’s original script for Justice League was never shot.
“That’s a good question.” Snyder says. “When this movie came out, understand that Chris Terrio and I had finished the script to Justice League before BvS came out. Some people didn’t like the movie. A vocal minority. So they said ‘there’s a lot of stuff we don’t want you to do’ so we did a rewrite from that script. The original Justice League that Chris and I wrote, we didn’t even shoot… The actual idea, the hard, hard idea, the scary idea, we never filmed because the studio was like ‘That’s crazy.’ It’s a long story.”
It’s sad, yet somehow fitting, that Zack Snyder’s original vision of Justice League, or the theatrical DC Universe as a whole, never hit the right chord with audiences. Perhaps his extreme versions of some of the greatest heroes ever created was just too much for us. Not that they were too smart or classy for us to understand, but just too different. Seeing Batman resort to killing after the death of Robin is something that may have hit fans the wrong way even though Batman has killed someone in every live action Batman film ever made. Perhaps Superman causing massive destruction because he was only “Superman” for a day before a murderous military figure with the same power set came for him and our planet was too extreme for us. Perhaps Wonder Woman turning her back on humanity after losing the man she loved or Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and new versions of the Flash and Cyborg were just too outside of the box for us comic book and movie fans. Who knows?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter anymore what was going to happen. The DC film universe is going stronger than ever with Aquaman raking in over a billion at the worldwide box office, Wonder Woman getting a sequel in 2020 and Shazam getting overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. I guess we should just look back at Batman v Superman as bit of a warning of small, if not loud, fan bases and producers and investors refusing to think of the bigger picture when it comes to cinematic universes and the looming threat they can pose. If you’re not going to invest in a multi-film story arc, then don’t demand one from every franchise out there.
If you’re interested, here is the full live broadcast from Vero of the Director’s Cuts pane