“It’s difficult to find a movie that feels true to itself. You feel the hand of Hollywood, the moviemaking by committee, on everything. ” Zack Snyder. Mr. Snyder certainly experienced the hard truth in his very words. On the eve of DCFandome, possibly a game changer event for Warner Brothers and DC Comics, let us take a look at the power of fans and the power of a hashtag.
In the later part of 2019, a grassroots campaign started with a single wish and a powerful hashtag. What was that wish? The release of the SnyderCut of Justice League. They wanted to see Zack’s full vision of the film. The hashtag #ReleaseTheSnyderCut was created and tweeted out for the world to see. Thus changing movie history forever.
It is no secret that fans and critics alike had very lukewarm receptions to the film that was released. Warner Brothers famously brought in Joss Whedon to finish the film after Snyder had to leave the project due to a death in his family. The studio wanted their hands in the movie as much as possible. They deemed Zack’s previous DC films as “Too Dark”. They thought that the movie needed more humor and a lighter tone, “Like a Marvel Movie”. There were major plot changes, entire sequences cut out, expensive re-shoots, and a mustache drama that resulted in a special effects debacle that still gives me nightmares. The end result was a disjointed film that was tonally all over the place.
Many people, yours truly included, did not believe that we would ever see a Snyder Cut of Justice League. “How could a Twitter Hashtag campaign convince Hollywood execs to put more money into a film that had already under performed at the box office?” The answer to that question may lie in another CGI character whose look was also the stuff of nightmares.
The entire universe collectively shuddered when we watched that first Sonic the Hedgehog trailer. The design for the title character was a deep departure from the source material that we all grew up with. I wish I could forget those teeth, shudder. However, as bad as that incident was, something amazing happened. Hollywood actually listened to all of our tweets, Reddit posts, and YouTube rants. They delayed the release of the film in order to redesign the character of a film that was already completed. We geeks were in uncharted territory. Hollywood was listening to us!
The Sonic the Hedgehog film went on to gross $306,766,470 globally at the box office. Hollywood had listened and been rewarded handsomely. This, I believe, was one of the turning points for the SnyderCut of Justice League. By, this time the #ReleasetheSynderCut hashtag had trended on Twitter a few times. Stars of the Justice League including Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher and eventually Batman himself, Ben Affleck. The momentum was growing like Henry Cavil’s muscles on the set of The Witcher.
In 2020, Warner Brothers announced the creation of HBO Max. A streaming service that they hoped would compete with Netflix. One thing remained constant through everything; Zack Snyder’s teasing the existence of his cut of Justice League. The director dropped hints via his social media and fans paid attention. Then the moment that some had waited for and others thought would never come, came in the form of a Q & A session Zack held for the Man of Steel. The internet then promptly exploded. WE made this happen. The studio, who had long trusted their own judgement, their own meddling, finally listened to the people’s voices and Zach Snyder’s Justice League will be released sometime in 2021 on HBOMax.
So, here we are fellow comic book movie geeks, on the eve of DCFandome where we will see the full length trailer for the SnyderCut of Justice League. Those voices, our voices, that have gone unheard for so long will ring through the halls of this virtual comic con. But maybe more importantly, Zack Snyder’s voice and vision will finally be heard by all of us. This gives me such hope for future film makers and their dreams and visions. Also for film makers like Zack, who had their ideas shot down or tampered with by the studio. Currently, as I am writing this, the hashtag #ReleaseTheAyerCut has trended and is gaining momentum. Perhaps we will even see David Ayer’s version of the Suicide Squad with more “Hunka Hunka” from Jared Leto’s Joker.
If you have a different version of a favorite film from a favorite director why not create a hashtag of your own. Maybe even something like #ReleaseTheTrank Cut of The Fantastic Four. Well, on second thought, that one may never trend.
This has been “Out of My Geek Mind” and I’ll #SeeYouNextWeek