Zack Snyder’s Justice League finally emerged on HBO and NowTV after four fandom-fevered years to a much better reception than the original film.
The story of the release of Zack Snyder’s self-titled passion project is one of the stranger cinematic fairy tales in recent film history.
The reboot from the iconic DC director is unabashedly long and, while rare for a superhero film, personal.
In the production and release of this behemoth of a film, Snyder reclaimed a passion project he was forced to walk away from. Snyder’s step away from the original Justice League film had partly to do with the death of his daughter, to whom this new version of the film is dedicated.
It is fitting then that in parallel to Snyder’s struggle to resurrect his original vision, Zack Snyder’s Justice League concerns its own resurrection: Superman is dead and needs to be brought back. A sense of loss hangs heavy over Snyder’s four-hour film, making for a viewing experience that manages to be both exhausting and strangely poignant.
The film roughly follows the same story as the original Justice League released in 2017. Bruce Wayne, with his faith in humanity restored by Superman’s sacrifice, enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to help him face a global threat from Darkseid’s invading force. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman recruit a team to stand against his extra-terrestrial army.
While much of the story remains the same, Snyder’s longer cut of the film means that underdeveloped characters can feature prominently, and unresolved plot points are addressed. The special effects have also been widely improved throughout the film.
Overall, Snyder’s newer version of the film, affectionately referred to as “The Snyder Cut” by the DC film fanbase, has been received much better than the original Justice League by critics and fans.
Recent reports of director Joss Whedon being abusive on the set of the original Justice League have also tarnished any reputation the original film had.
The campaign to release The Snyder Cut is framed by many of the diehard DC fans as David versus Goliath, with a victory for the little guy. The fringe fandom managed to exert an oversized influence on a multi-billion-dollar company’s decision-making, but some fans did so with some controversial methods.
Online harassment of Warner film executives was frequent in the campaign, particularly female employees such as Warner’s CEO Ann Sarnoff, who were blamed for supposedly tarnishing the Justice League film in 2017.
While trolling and online harassment were frequent, with the release of the film many are hoping the fanbase’s more extreme members can finally be satisfied.
Despite the many controversies surrounding Zack Snyder’s Justice League including allegations against Joss Whedon, toxic fans and online harassment, the Snyder Cut has managed to satisfy critics and fans alike.
With the fan campaign of #releasethesnydercut achieving their goal, Warner Bros. and DC have achieved massive success with the superhero film in a difficult year for cinema.
Image credit: DCComics