The DC Universe? Haven’t heard that name in years. But Gal Gadot is apparently thinking about it all the time. The Wonder Woman actress randomly tweeted “#ReleasetheSnyderCut” over the weekend, prompting fans (and Ben Affleck and Ray Fisher, who play Batman and Cyborg in the film) to join in the demand. Zack Snyder — indeed the Snyder she is referring to — even chimed in with his own appreciation. But … what? What are they even talking about? Snyder’s original cut of Justice League is a near-mythical legend held on to by massive DC fans, so those who aren’t as dedicated may not even know it’s a thing. Could it actually be released as a separate movie? To be honest, we don’t know! So here are all the little things we do know about the now-infamous Snyder cut of Justice League.
What is the Snyder cut?
When Gadot, Affleck, Henry Cavill, and others signed on to make Justice League, another installment in the DC Universe, their director was Batman v. Superman’s Snyder. Batman v. Superman, you may have heard, did not do very well critically despite opening to over $150 million at the worldwide box office. Still, the DC Universe pushed on. Snyder wrapped principal production on Justice League, but in May 2017 Warner Bros. announced he’d be stepping away from the film because of a family tragedy. In an effort to salvage the movie, Joss Whedon took over as director, completing the version of Justice League we all know and some of us love. But how close is it to Snyder’s original vision? Almost immediately, rumors swirled that Snyder’s edit of the film would have been much darker. At a fundraising event earlier this year where he showed director’s cuts of three of his other films, some fans stoked the fire by recording Snyder admitting that he had his own cut of Justice League — and that it was “up to [Warner Bros.]” to release it or not. And here we are.
Wait, so Justice League came out, like, two years ago?
Lol, yes, and?
Why are people tweeting about it now?
It’s unclear! You’d think with 280 characters on Twitter, we’d get a little more explanation. One theory is that Gadot and Affleck had heard that Snyder’s cut of the movie could end up on HBO Max when it launches in 2020. Disney+ already uses behind-the-scenes footage as an incentive for their platform and HBO Max might take a similar approach. Or it could be much simpler. When Snyder stepped down, fans almost immediately began campaigning for his version of the film to be released as bonus footage. So when the director shared some slightly unfamiliar images from Justice League on the social-media platform Vero earlier this week, fans jumped to the conclusion that they were from His Cut. Gadot could’ve seen a fan post about it on her Instagram explore page this week and decided to randomly tweet her support for the director. Affleck tagged along and Snyder appreciated it, but perhaps there’s no larger plan in the works. Big Brother took a night off.
Wait, are we sure the Snyder cut exists? That recording from the director’s-cuts event is pretty muffled, and Snyder noticeably did not screen Justice League there.
It’s definitely possible! In 2017, before Warner Bros. hired a replacement director to finish the movie, the distributor screened a rough cut of Justice League for Whedon and screenwriters Andrea Berloff and Allan Heinberg, according to the New York Times. However, if that footage does still exist, it would likely need significant VFX work and audio mixing. Perhaps Snyder, Gadot, and Affleck are using the power of social media to get Warner Bros. to acknowledge the demand for a streamable Snyder cut and cover the cost of all those postproduction effects.
What’s the difference between the Whedon cut and the Snyder cut?
According to the Times, Whedon added almost 80 new script pages when he took over. On top of more jokes, he added scenes for Gadot, Diane Lane (who played Martha Kent), and Amy Adams (Lois Lane) but trimmed the story lines for Ezra Miller (Flash) and Fisher. Kiersey Clemons, who played a love interest for Miller, was cut from the film entirely. Seems like #ReleasetheSnyderCut should be #JusticeForKierseyClemons, but we digress.
Remember the Great Henry Cavill CGI Mustache Mess? That’s all from the Whedon cut. Cavill was already shooting Mission: Impossible — Fallout when Justice League reshoots began, so he couldn’t shave to become the baby-faced Superman we apparently require. The Snyder cut? No weird CGI mouth, presumably.
Oh, and fans believe the Snyder cut is exactly 214 minutes long (yes, that is three and a half hours in civilian-speak) because the poster for his event featured the number 214, and a YouTuber who was at the event said Snyder specifically pointed out the number, like some sort of real-life Easter egg.
Has anyone actually seen the Snyder cut?
Rumors that Snyder has been screening the film in Hollywood have been floating around unconfirmed. A representative for Snyder told Vulture she was confused by “the uptick” in concern over the cut, explaining that Snyder was currently in edits for another film and that she had no new information to share.
Who even wants it?
Aside from Snyder, Gadot, Affleck, and the robbed Clemons? The usual: fans on the internet. When Justice League first came out, a petition to release the Snyder cut garnered nearly 180,000 signatures. Fans also wrote letters to Warner Bros. executives, called them, and generally made a fuss all over the internet.
That’s … a lot.
Snyder fans are absolutely doing the most, yes. There’s a forum dedicated to the Snyder cut on Reddit and multiple fan accounts dedicated to it across platforms, while the recent tweets from Affleck and Gadot earned over 100,000 likes each. So people are interested, for sure. Is it enough to get Warner Bros. to hand over that sweet, sweet cash? We’ll see.