One of the internet’s most organized, hyper-specific, extremely-online fanbases is that of Zack Snyder and Warner Brothers’ critically reviled DC Extended Universe. While most people have reacted to the recent run of Batman and Superman movies with something between indifference and strong dislike, some very vocal people really, really, really like them. Any less-than-glowing comment, Twitter post, or (ahem) article about Snyder’s dark and dour attempt to match Marvel’s lineup of world-beating interconnected film franchises is met with the kind of veering-into-harassment defensiveness usually reserved online for the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos or the Paul brothers. As such, with AT&T now owning Warner Brothers as part of their acquisition of Time Warner, it is not entirely unexpected that DCEU fans are now hectoring the media conglomerate to release the elusive, possibly nonexistent “Zack Snyder Cut” of Justice League:
Not surprisingly, however, fans asking AT&T to give them the one true Justice League they believe they are owed have been met with the response one might expect when you ask the cable company for help with, well, anything:
Snyder, you’ll recall, was fairly far into the production of Justice League when he was replaced by Joss Whedon, who oversaw an extensive process of rewrites and reshoots. The company line at the time was that Snyder was stepping down due to personal issues following the death of his daughter, but since then rumors have mounted that the studio likely forced him out due to concerns over the tone of the film and the poor reception of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The resulting film is a mess of contrasting styles, with Whedon clearly attempting to shoehorn some of the trademark levity he brought to The Avengers into a film that just wasn’t built for it. Since then, Snyder’s fans have demanded the release of his original cut of the film, in all its assumed grim and gritty and joke-free glory.
One issue holding back the release of such a cut is that no one seems to be sure if it actually exists. Previous reports have said there is no such cut, but recently, per a report from CBR.com, D.C. storyboard artist Jay Oliva confirmed via Twitter that Snyder did indeed shoot everything that was storyboarded for his vision of the film. So, there’s at least some reason to believe that there is indeed a different, fully realized (by Zack Snyder standards, at least) Justice League narrative in the can somewhere.
However, as that CBR.com report puts it, “Oliva says that 99% of Snyder’s movie was done, meaning that it was likely only lacking VFX and other post-production effects.” This being a Zack Snyder movie, that’s a little like saying a house is almost built except for the walls, the floors, and the roof. For a company that just dropped $85 billion on a massive acquisition, AT&T is probably not interested in spending the absurd amount of money it would take to create VFX to complete an unfinished cut of a movie no one except militant Snyder-heads wants to see.
On the other hand, a Zack Snyder cut may restore the one thing everyone does want to see: Henry Cavill’s mustache. Do the right thing, AT&T.