Let me set the mood for you all. It is a brisk, overcast mid-November Floridian Sunday at an atypically mild magic hour. You’ve had two cups of much-needed coffee in the past hour and you are sitting on the couch in sweatpants, watching the late afternoon NFL games and playing the new Pokémon game on your Nintendo Switch. You are just a day and a half removed from watching the first two episodes of the glorious new show “The Mandalorian” on someone else’s Disney+ account and you just ordered a hefty chicken parmigiana for dinner. Things are pretty nice.
Too nice… Something is clearly afoot.
Enter Twitter, where only good, healthy topics are discussed in a civil forum. #ReleaseTheSnyderCut has seemingly caught cultural fire and is trending on social media. The hashtag is in reference to director of the 2017 critical and financial catastrophe known as “Justice League”, Zack Snyder, who supposedly has a cut of the film that has not been released to the public. As of writing this post, the hashtag has roughly 750K tweets, including one from every one of the main cast and Snyder himself, which is significant enough for me to take notice and release an audible groan followed by a rant to tell those kids to get off my lawn.
For reference, the reason that there is a 2nd version of the film is Zack Snyder is not the only credited director on “Justice League”. Snyder suffered an incredibly unfortunate tragedy when his daughter took her own life at age 20 during post-production. Understandably, he decided to walk away from the film before it was finished to be with his family. Joss Whedon, director of the first two “Avengers” films for Marvel, was hired to oversee the rest of post-production and film new scenes that he both wrote and directed. Obviously, this was a horrible situation for the Snyder family, and when I go on my rant here, I do not intent any offence with regards to the real-life trajedy.
But I mean, really guys? Do you really want to do this? Is this really a hill you want to die on? That Zack Snyder, of all people, has a cut of the film that will somehow redeem “Justice League”? I’ll give you that the bar is impossibly low right now, and the odds of whatever cut he’s sitting on being better than the dumpster fire we’ve seen are probably fairly high. But stop it. No one is legitimately buying that this unseen version is so good that it actually redeems the film. We have all seen “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”. I am quite confident the Snyder cut does not have anything remotely worth our time in it. And, if the director’s cut of that film is anything to go by, we might be in store for a 3 1/2 hour journey. Unless your name is Martin Scorsese, you have ZERO business making a film that long.
“Justice League” came out almost 2 years ago at this point, and we have had more than enough quality comic book films in the interim to fill the void. The reality is, we have all moved on. If you think it is impressive that 750,000 people were tweeting about it, just remember that our country alone has about 400,000,000 people. Not that it matters, but that is only 0.19% of the US, assuming that all of those Tweets came from the US, which isn’t the case. If we generously estimate that everyone of those people will buy a ticket at $20 a piece to see this version, that’s still only $15 million. In the world of big-budget blockbusters, that’s petty cash. To put it in perspective, the film lost the studios an estimated $60 million upon initial release WORLDWIDE. So, congratulations! The internet made me do basic math and still no one is interested in reliving this mess of a movie.
And the executives at DC Comics and Warner Bros. say there is absolutely no chance of them releasing the Snyder cut, which is an unexpectedly intelligent stance for them to take. The DCEU sucks and they know it. Other than “Wonder Woman” and “SHAZAM!”, the remaining films from the series contain such a foul, pungent odor that is nothing more than an insult to life everywhere (Don’t lie about “Aquaman”. It was ok at best). But things have started to look up for DC now that “Joker” will be the first Rated-R movie to ever gross $1 Billion, and the promise of “Birds of Prey” and “Wonder Woman 1984” offers plenty of encouragement. What possible force on Earth could compel them to want to relive one of their most embarrassing failures in recent history? Because Ben Affleck decided to take the time to tweet even though he strong-armed his way out of his contract to play Batman after THIS movie embarrassed him that much? Let me know how that one turns out.