It has been nearly four years since Zack Snyder walked away from the production of ‘Justice League’. Personal tragedy and pressure from a studio that didn’t share his vision for a shared universe of DC Comics characters saw Joss Whedon hired to finish the film. Snyder fans were assured that Whedon was going to complete the film in a style that was faithful to Snyder but it soon became apparent that that wasn’t the case. A movement campaigning for the release of the ‘Snyder Cut’ soon sprang up. Snyder claimed to have a completed cut, others claimed it didn’t exist. Eventually HBO Max came on board and said they were going to release the film but as a four part series. Suddenly Snyder needed $70 million to finish his completed film and split it into chapters. New scenes were being shot and new characters were being added. This clearly was no longer a new cut of something that already existed. Then news came that it was back to being one massive four hour film. Now, over three years since the original film debuted we are about to witness the ‘Snyder Cut’. After watching the trailer this is what we learnt.
5. Additions to the credits.
The cast credits raise a few questions. Willem Dafoe is the first name after the League. Dafoe played Vulko, his ‘Aquaman’ character, during the original production but Whedon removed the role completely. This implies his role will be quite prominent. The same goes for Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Sidelined to a post credit appearance the first time round it looks like we will be getting more this time. Curiously absent from the credits is Joe Manganiello who has been reported to be reprising the role of Deathstroke. Will his appearance be blink and you will miss it or was his name too long to fit on the card?.
4. It’s so damned dark.
With an extra $70 million to spend, on top of what was a $200 million plus production budget, you would think they could afford some lighting. One of the main things Whedon did when he took over, but don’t take this as defending him, was to lighten and brighten everything. Snyder has always seemed embarrassed by how bright the DC heroes are and is working with colour pallette of orange and black.
The main problem here is that this film will be streamed on televisions and not projected in cinemas. A lot of TVs struggle with with blacks, especially from a streamed signal, and it might leave audiences looking at a grey mess.
One of the only new pieces of footage we see in the trailer (most of what we see was in the original trailer from before all the production problems) is the first proper look at Darkseid. For those who don’t know, Darkseid is basically DC’s version of Thanos (although he predates that character). In the comics he’s a Jack Kirby designed hulking grey skinned god who wears a blue suit of armour and shoots red lasers from his eyes. Here he looks like Xerxes from Snyder’s own ‘300’. The majority of times a simpler design is better.
The Joker is proof that this isn’t a new cut of something that already existed. There was no completed cut. The Joker wasn’t in the original script and nothing was shot during the original production. Apparently Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern have also been added. This all adds to the feeling that the original was rushed into production and everything that has been added are afterthoughts.
Joker appearance seems unnecessary. Nobody was calling out to see more of Leto’s interpretation of the character. It seems more like a wink at the ‘We live in a society’ meme than anything else and maybe the closest thing we will get to humour in a Zack Snyder film.
1. IMAX for your home viewing delight.
IMAX is the largest form of cinema presentation. It’s a square film ratio designed to be projected on to massive square screens. It seems that no one told Snyder that his film is going to to streamed to televisions, phones, and tablets, all of which are rectangular. The whole of the trailer is in the square format so it gives the impression that the whole film is. Snyder may have mastered his film for the best possible cinema experience, unfortunately it is not going to be seen that way. If you sign with a TV company you should be prepared to make your product be the best experience for how it is going to be exhibited.
What do you think about the Snyder Cut trailer? Comment below.