If you’ve seen Zack Snyder’s bloated superhero team-up Justice League, you might be confused to hear that there are legions of DC fans who have long been campaigning for an even longer version of the film to be released. Back in 2017, the film received a lukewarm critical response, branded a “colossal, garish shambles” in a two-star review from Flicks‘ own Aaron Yap. But that hasn’t stopped demand for the ‘SnyderCut’, the director’s fabled original edit of the film.
Now it looks like that angsty fanboy myth is being made into reality to the tune of $20 million dollars, as HBO Max has financed the recutting and release of Justice League into Snyder’s original vision. In a glowing press statement, Snyder thanked HBO Max and Warner Brothers for “this brave gesture of supporting artists and allowing their true visions to be realised. Also a special thank you to all of those involved in the SnyderCut movement for making this a reality.”
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And that may just be the start of a bizarre new, revisionist trend: Hollywood auteurs begging to remix their already-released blockbusters. Only days later, David Ayer, the director of the maligned Suicide Squad, complained along similar lines that his original, improved cut of the film has never made it to light. That commercial flop was also plagued by rumours of last-minute reshoots, and minutes of lost footage of Jared Leto’s Joker. But would taking another crack at a movie most comic-book fans would rather forget really be worth a studio’s time and effort?
Likewise, Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig hinted on Twitter that he’d be keen to release a version of Ghostbusters that pushes the controversial comedy reboot closer to the four-hour mark than its already-long runtime of 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Whether these responses are just a spot of Snyder envy, or whether the movies in question will actually be granted a second chance at life remains to be seen. If you ask me, though, I’d say that in this period of obsessive rewatching and reassessing movies from the recent past, this level of revision is still kind of ridiculous. Why would we need even longer, less necessary version of movies that did not really work in the first place?
Zack Snyder in particular is already a huge box-office heavyweight, and the $20 million that HBO has put towards his rumoured four-episode (!!!) version of the already-interminable Justice League could’ve instead funded a handful of truly fresh and exciting mid-budget films from up-and-coming creatives. I guess you can’t beat familiarity, however, and perhaps viewers truly would rather give a necromanced version of their favourite comic book stories another shot rather than spending their time on something new.