For those of you still believing the Synder Cut of Justice League will be the superior version I assure you it will only be on a technical level. Zack Snyder is still very much the same person he was before and even if MatPat is right that the movie can’t fail for HBO Max that only makes things worse.
In a recent interview with Grace Randolph for Beyond The Trailer Snyder is asked about the technical aspects of making the movie and his cut. I’m bypassing that because the technicals are not the point here. If you want to see that part, go ahead and rewind the video. For our purposes it’s at the 10:38 mark, where Randolph, who spends much of the video fawning over Snyder and his version, starts off talking about how much she likes “evil Superman”…which gives you an idea already what we’re heading for.
First off, Ms. Randolph, you are wrong about everyone liking “evil Superman”…right when the movie was announced people were complaining that a darker Superman story violates the core concept of Superman…and the fact that this is how she sees him should already be sending a flag or two, which Snyder at least tries to deflate by stating this isn’t evil Superman. Guess she’ll have to go play one of the Injustice games for that or watch Brightburn for evil Superboy. Here’s the thing. Superman trying to “reconcile” his world view with the rest of the world isn’t a bad thing. Go watch Superman Vs. The Elite and you’ll see it done right. Man Of Steel didn’t do it right. The aspirational hero, which Superman is, doesn’t need a journey to become aspirational, nor is he supposed to be relatable. If you prefer relatable heroes that’s perfectly okay but turning “not your character” into “your character” is never a good thing and Superman is not supposed to be relatable or darker. He is a light in the darkness, but hope is not a concept Snyder has ever grasped well in his movies. That’s not a critique of his style or his story preference. It just means he’s wrong for Superman. There is a difference, as I’ve noted time and again with bad choices for projects. It’s like putting me on a horror story. No matter how good I get I will never be able to write a good horror story because my style clashes with horror’s themes and tropes.
As far as nobody doing the Bruce Wayne side of Batman better than Snyder, bullcrap! Maybe he focuses more on Wayne but that doesn’t make it better. Batman: The Animated Series, despite original intentions in the story bible, end up giving Bruce some decent focus as well. It’s just we came for Batman. We’re watching a superhero movie to see superheroes. The Bruce persona has a purpose in the story to be sure but it shouldn’t replace Batman. We aren’t watching John Wick.
I’m not sure why Randolph puts Aquaman and Wonder Woman in the same slot, other than someone else gave them solo movies and fans actually liked those and their portrayals (despite their own adaptation errors). She ends up, probably by accident, taking away from Patti Jenkins (director of Wonder Woman) and James Wan (director of Aquaman, which I still need to watch) and how their takes helped define the characters. Snyder is certainly tied to Gadot and Mamoa being chosen for the roles, but she seems to want to give Zach all the credit.
As far as Cyborg…I’m not really sure if they said anything different, outside of sticking current event in there because God forbid current events is ignored in favor of something classic that will last for years. I thought Cyborg was handled rather well in the movie. The problem is that they stuck him in the Justice League in the comics when he’s supposed to be one of the Teen Titans, so that’s on DC.
Look, Snyder’s version won’t be a hodgepodge of forced course corrections when Warner Brothers realized Snyder’s vision of the DC Universe was clashing with fans of these characters both mainstream and die hard. On a technical level it might be a good movie. However, Snyder doesn’t understand why these character have had fans longer than most of us have been alive, why we connect to them. They aren’t his style or his tastes. That’s fine. We all have our own preferences. It just means that however good he may be as a director he was the wrong choice to helm this take on DC, and that’s what started the backlash that WB was trying to fix, as screwed as the end results of Justice League and Suicide Squad turned out to be. (I still kind of liked Justice League but in the same way I liked The Pumaman because it was not the Avengers killer they wanted by a long shot. The concept is what worked.) A good movie doesn’t mean it’s a good Justice League movie so I’m not any more hopeful than I was when the movie was first announced.