HBO Max’s announcement that they’re going to complete and release the “Snyder Cut” of Justice League met with applause from the fans and scorn from the anti-fans, the ones who consider themselves the tastemakers and anything that goes against the favored directors or the studio suits that get them all the exclusives and interviews are to be shut down. They complain that Sonic The Hedgehog changed the main character’s character model for the movie because fans raged against it. How dare the plebeians not take what they get and learn to praise it as the second coming. It’s why people rallied to HBO Max’s defense and praised the original director’s vision finally being seen. (I guess when it comes to director versus studio the studio will win unless the director is particularly beloved, and while Snyder has his fan base I guess he isn’t James Gunn.)
Myself, I tried to give the fans what they wanted. While I still maintained I don’t want to see the Snyder version and didn’t readily hate the version that came out why not stand up against the aggressive stance the creators and performers are making against the fans. Of course, it’s not like Synder cared what the Superman fans wanted when he made Man Of Steel, which I still say is a good superhero movie but a terrible Superman movie. I still can’t bring myself to watch Batman V. Superman because I already know what happens in the movie and that everything got screwed up royally with the lore, and the famed “director’s cut” of that movie didn’t change anyone’s opinion of the film.
Well, leave it to a professor who has studied modern mythology and how it affects our culture the same way ancient myths affected and was shaped by the culture of their time. Professor Geek put out a video over the weekend pushing back against the Snyder cut because people forget just WHY the Snyder vision was so disliked by DC universe fans. It sparked a few thoughts in me as well, so read that when you’re done watching the video.
Catch more Professor Geek on his YouTube channel
One thing I wish Prof had mentioned was that it wasn’t just the Snyder fans that wanted this cut…at least once it was announced. There were people who didn’t like the clashing tones of Snyder’s footage and Joss Whedon’s footage but it wasn’t until certain big name (and Hollywood studio-run) websites started calling out HBO Max’s moves as catering to “toxic” fans, the same fans that wanted Sonic redesigned. The director and producers did so and the movie was a big hit. The anti-fans were upset that the feminist re-imagining of Harley Quinn and other Gotham heroines bombed while that movie soared. Because in their minds it had nothing to do with ruining beloved characters, especially the butcher job they did on Cassandra Cain. You’d think her backstory would have fit the theme they were going for but it wouldn’t link up with the other reason Harley Quinn: Birds Of Prey And The Emancipation (which sounds like a retro concert card) was made–for Margot Robbie to play her version of Harley from Suicide Squad and make everyone else fit into that character’s concept. This plus the praise Alita: Battle Angel got over the more critic-loved Captain Marvel (still haven’t seen either but Alita is on the DVR awaiting a Finally Watched article) really burns their biscuits and they pushed back against the movie.
And yet when something more in line with their artsy vision, like Todd Philips “King Of Comedy” re-imagining of the Joker got hate because certain other militants were sure it would cause so-called “incels” to go on a riot, even convincing the military that they needed to be ready. (Insert topical comment here that won’t matter to someone reading this article years down the road.) That also had people racing to the movie’s defense, even though literally by design Philips ignored the comics and created an original character with the Joker’s name. Philips hates superhero movies and probably comic books and wanted to prove his tastes and preferences were superior. Joker exists because Philips thought he could win comic book and superhero movie fans away with the clearly better movies he prefers. Maybe we SHOULD be careful of what we defend here.
Look, I’m all for pushing back against the anti-fan tastemakers who swear you should kneel at the altar of their more refined and enlightened tastes. It’s the mindset that caused Fredrick Wertham (some days I AM sorry I read and dissected his book because now he haunts this site) to strike out against comic books in the first place, and why comics have been so low on the media totem pole even today. Warner Brothers themselves pointed and laughed at the “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut” movement online, even making fun of them and the people who didn’t like Star Wars: The Last Jedi in an episode of their Harley Quinn cartoon on the DC Universe streaming site. Midnight’s Edge, another YouTube channel I use for reference, has discussed this when the news was released. The elites also want to decide to the most minor degree possible just HOW we view their movies in the theater and even at home on our televisions, though they’d rather you just saw it in the theater. Maybe we need an “Occupy Hollywood” to remind them that we’re the final clients of their work, though I can also point to a legion of fans who themselves are insistent that their vision is superior to the creator’s. That’s how George Lucas was badgered into handing Star Wars to Disney and Kathleen Kennedy.
However, remember when the Snyder fans insisted the full cut of Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice was supposed to show us how great the movie was, but all it really did was create all new complaints on top of the old ones? Remember how Snyder told us that if Batman were real he would kill and to say otherwise would be “living in a fantasy world”? (You know, despite this being a WORK OF FICTION!) Remember how Cavhill kept trying to tell us his darker version of Superman was the best version ever? Do you really think the Snyder Cut is going to get any of these characters in Justice League? Zack Snyder was a good choice for Watchmen but that’s because he shares Alan Moore’s cynical view of a superhero world, which in turn makes him wrong for the regular DC Universe heroes and villains. And now David Ayer is taking the opportunity to push for his original version of Suicide Squad before Warner Brothers interfered with his vision as well. Do you really think that will be better? No, but it did give the anti-fans more ground to attack fan movements for a proper translation of these characters.
Will the Snyder Cut be more consistent than the joint Snyder/Wheadon Cut? Probably. Will it be good? Depends on your tastes. Will it be an accurate representation of who Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Kirby’s Fourth World are, what they mean to the DC mythology, or be the versions the fans who made these characters popular want? I very much doubt it, and since WarnerMedia still isn’t showing that they’re trying to learn that (this is about catering to a movement they hope will boost subscriptions to HBO Max) we may never get those versions again. Bendis is off of Superman, Tom King is off Batman, and DiDio is no longer a negative influence on the DC Universe but unless these characters get in the hands of people who love these characters or at least understand what they mean to fans and the culture as a whole–and are good at telling those kinds of stories, that’s very important–then the downfall of these characters will continue.