“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” has transformed from a hashtag on the internet to the largest phenomenon in media after its release on HBO Max. The movie’s extreme popularity has sent fans into a frenzy for more, and it is a beautiful sight to see after the less than loving reaction to the original 2017 release of “Justice League.” It seems as if the Detective Comics (DC) heroes were doomed after the movie’s failure, along with the unraveling of information of the abuse and antics regarding the movie.
But Zack Snyder has accomplished the impossible. This film is more than just a great movie that wildly outshines its predecessor; it is a story of a man that was beaten down to the ground by some of the most powerful people in the industry and fought back to make his dream come true through the power of love and bravery. In some ways, the story behind the film represents more heroism than the film itself.
The release of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was met with widespread criticism and loudening complaints about studio interference, and thus began the story of Snyder’s battle with Warner Bros. Entertainment. The public backlash forced the studio to release a director’s cut of the movie that received more respect from fans, and people began to see that Snyder’s claims of studio meddling was not just an excuse; it was a viable explanation, and a poor choice on the studio’s part. When production for “Justice League” began, fans hoped that the studio would let Snyder express the outlook he desired. Sadly, those wishes were not granted.
During filmmaking, rumors circulated about the creative differences between Snyder and the studio. Snyder even responded to a fan on social media about how the studio had a certain hatred for “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” that loomed over their relationship. Tension rose and was met with tragedy. Snyder’s daughter, Autumn Snyder, died by suicide mid-production. This pushed Snyder to leave production to deal with the devastation that struck his life, and that was when the creation of the “Justice League” film spiraled out of control. The studio took this as an opportunity to see out their own vision. They hired “The Avengers” director, Joss Whedon, for the job.
While Snyder confronted the death of his daughter, Warner Bros. slaughtered his creation with the help of Whedon. Over two hours of film was cut, and massive, multiple reshoots took place that left the actors dissatisfied beyond belief. The entire idea, plot and script morphed into something unrecognizable to Snyder’s vision, and it didn’t work.
The film received more than criticism — it was a punching bag and a laughingstock. It was an objectively awful film that did little to no justice for the stories that inspired it as well as Snyder’s original creation. Not only was it simply a poorly produced movie that seemed like a joke compared to Marvel movies, but in the age of social media where everybody knows everything, fans were aware of how the studio destroyed what Snyder was trying to build.
Some fans even refused to watch the movie. There was an uproar of fans fighting for the original movie to come out, but at the time, it seemed as if it was never going to happen. People’s opinions on the internet usually don’t matter to studio executives looking to rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, but this time was different.
The #ReleaseTheSnyderCut hashtag was born, and with it came a righteous movement. Millions of people across the world fought for Snyder to see his dream come to fruition, and as time passed, the plea for the movie’s release gained more steam. Eventually, allegations of abuse against Whedon by actor Ray Fisher (Cyborg), in combination with the actors standing in unison with the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement, forced the studio’s hand.
The people realized their power. They realized they are everything that makes the industry go round. Without fans, the studio would be nothing. The growing uproar became a serious stance against abuse of power, and the studio obliterating Snyder’s movie was recognized by HBO Max, so they gave Snyder a chance.
With a new $75 million budget, all of the actors agreeing to return to finish the film and an overwhelming level of support from the joyous fanbase, the snowball began to roll for “Zack Snyder’s Justice League.”
A breath of positivity illuminated the movie, and fans could feel the light as the anticipation grew, day by day. Now, the film has come to fruition, and what a great movie it is. It is widely beloved by critics and audience members alike, and it exceeds the ratings and numbers of the original “Justice League” film.
Snyder fought back against one of the most powerful studios in the industry, and with the help of the most dedicated fans in the world, he won. This movie is so much more than a good movie; it is an inspiring tale that reflects the heroes within the film.
Like Batman, Snyder displayed fearlessness and willpower. He never backed down from the fight to make his dream come true, even through more adversity than anyone should have to endure. Like Wonder Woman, Snyder fought courageously against powerful people that betrayed him and didn’t believe in him. Like Aquaman, Snyder called upon his friends for help, and they rushed at the opportunity. Like the Flash, Snyder believed in himself and his idea when nobody else seemed to. Like Cyborg, Snyder never broke, although the world tried to break him. Like Superman, Snyder rose from the ashes to see his destiny fully realized.
The story of “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is heroic in every sense of the word. The SnyderVerse, as fans have called it, seems as if it won’t continue. However, never say never, since at one point it seemed like there was a better chance of getting struck by lightning than seeing this enriched version of Snyder’s film on screen. Snyder deserves the best, and I speak for all fans when I say, #RestoreTheSnyderVerse!