Connect with us


Justice League’s Zack Snyder Cut Sets A Bad Precedent

HBO Max has signed off on releasing the Justice League Snyder Cut – but, unfortunately, it sets a very bad precedent indeed for Hollywood.

Releasing the Justice League Snyder Cut is great for fans, but it sets a bad precedent for Hollywood. After three years of campaigning, the Snyder Cut is finally becoming a reality. Zack Snyder used a recent Vero watch-party of Man of Steel to announce the Snyder Cut is coming to HBO Max next year, after the film is fully completed.

The situation is a complex one, resulting from a unique confluence of events. There's a director and actors who are willing to revisit a project that should have wrapped up three years ago, and a new streaming service eager to commission new content. It's because of this that the Justice League Snyder Cut is even happening; without the streaming service, it's unlikely Warner Bros. would've been willing to fund the project for it to release in theaters.

Related: When Justice League’s Zack Snyder Cut Could Release

For all that's the case, though, the Justice League Snyder Cut marks a subtle shift in the balance of power between studios and the fan base - and that may not be a good thing going forward.

This balance of power in Hollywood has been changing for a long time, driven in large part by the rise of social media. Every detail of a film's production is now public knowledge; casting announcements are pored over, set photos are disseminated online, scripts leak, trailers are analyzed to the nth degree, and more. Studios are increasingly taking note of the online reactions, and they are becoming a critical factor in the decision making process. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes the finished product is far better as a result; widespread criticism of poor CGI in Sonic the Hedgehog led to extensive improvements, for example. But for every Sonic there is a Suicide Squad, where Warner Bros. attempted to change the film's tone and style to fit in with the popular trailers, and as a result created a jumbled mess.

Most fan reactions are spontaneous, with little thought going into them, but the Justice League Snyder Cut campaign was an exception to that rule. The fans didn't simply fume online, creating Twitter hashtags, and retweeting juicy bits of information; they actively organized, encouraged by the director and even the cast. The Snyder Cut campaign has already inspired countless copycats. Irate Star Wars fans petitioned Lucasfilm to declare Star Wars: The Last Jedi non-canon, Game of Thrones viewers called for a rewrite to season 8, #AlitaSequel trended on Twitter, and there's even a push for a David Ayer cut of Suicide Squad. None of these campaigns have become anywhere near as well-orchestrated as the Snyder Cut, but they all saw vocal - sometimes toxic - fans attempt to follow the Snyder Cut's lead.

Related: Why Justice League’s Snyder Cut Is Releasing On Streaming, Not In Theaters

All this means HBO Max is inadvertently sending a simple message; fan pressure works. The most vocal, well-organized, and high-profile fan campaign of all time has successfully achieved its goal. Of course, the reasons are unique, and no doubt the decision-makers would insist they haven't set a precedent at all. But the most toxic fans won't see it that way. Inspired by the success of the Justice League Snyder Cut campaign, they will continue to exert their influence over other studios, networks, and streaming services. They will take the Snyder Cut as evidence power now lies with them, not with the filmmakers.

Hollywood has crossed a cultural Rubicon, and there is no going back. While fan petitions have worked in the past, specifically with regards to cancelled TV shows being picked up by other networks and spinoffs being ordered due to fan demand, it's different for film. Expect to see fan campaigns become the norm, not the exception, most likely using aspects of the Snyder Cut campaign as a model. It's an overly simplistic treatment, failing to understand the unique circumstances that led to the Justice League Snyder Cut, but it will happen regardless.

Zack Snyder may share black-and-white stills from his films, but the real world is far from black-and-white. That means it's possible to see both the best and the worst in the Snyder Cut campaign. Over the years, many people - critics, especially - were targets of online harassment and hate, with some receiving threats as well. By releasing the Snyder Cut, through one lens, it could be seen as the studio condoning or, at least, accepting that part of the fandom, which shouldn't be the case.

All this bitterness and anger has to be acknowledged and confronted, but the Snyder Cut campaign was also a tremendous force for good. Many of its proponents were deeply committed to Snyder and his work as an auteur director, and in honor of Snyder's daughter they tied their campaign to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. They raised well over $100,000 on behalf of this charity over the last couple of years, which means this campaign can safely be said to have literally saved lives. It may be best to conceive the Snyder Cut as a sort of emotional catharsis for Snyder and his family, a way to resolve a time of intense grief, and viewed through this lens, the emotional heart of the campaign is re-framed as an expression of solidarity with a family in pain.

The problem, though, is that these people - the ones who genuinely care about Zack Snyder and his work - are not the ones who will draw inspiration from the Snyder Cut campaign. Rather, it is the bullies and misogynists - the people who tore the fan base apart and who gave DC fans a bad name - who will believe themselves vindicated. They will pause for breath, celebrate their victory, and then move on to their next cause célèbre. Worse still, discounting the business reasons behind HBO Max's decision to commission the Snyder Cut, they will assume their trolling swung it. The Snyder Cut may well be cathartic, it is sure to a dramatic improvement over the Frankenstein's Monster that released in 2017, but it also sets a very bad precedent for Hollywood.

More: Justice League's Snyder Cut Will Be Better (But Will It Be Good?)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Movies4 weeks ago

The Little Mermaid is the Absolute Worst

In the wake of Frozen 2’s $1 billion haul, the debate rages on about who is the best Disney princess...

Movies2 months ago

The 30 Best Movie Trilogies of All Time

What makes a good trilogy? Well, for starters, you have to follow the same theme throughout the entire series —...

Pop Culture2 months ago

18 celebs that were on TV before becoming Movie Stars

Everyone knows that movie stars get more love than the actors on tv. Why is that? Perhaps there is truly...

Movies3 months ago

Best Female Leads in Horror Film History

From “Scream Queens” to “Final Girls” the female role has continued to evolve in the horror genre, no longer are...

Movies3 months ago

10 Overlooked Movies of the 2010s

The 2010s was a solid decade for cinema. Even with a rise of remakes, creators didn’t shy away from innovation....

TV3 months ago

10 Times Someone From Jackass Should’ve Died

As America entered the 21st Century, man reached an evolutionary peak once thought unattainable. With the invention of personal internet...

Movies3 months ago

Slow to Fast: All 9 Fast & Furious movies ranked from worst to best

Fast and furious. There are no two words that have meant so much in cinematic history. Love it, or hate...

Pop Culture3 months ago

10 Most Underrated Shows of the 2000’s

It’s a new decade in this 2020, which means we’ve said goodbye to so many shows, and we’re saying hello...

Movies3 months ago

20 Films That Will Have You Reaching For Tissues

Sincerely, how good does it feel after you weep uncontrollably? Is it wrong to find pleasure in undergoing melancholy from...

Movies3 months ago

10 worst movies with a Star-studded cast

Even the brightest stars cannot hope to lighten up the darkest nights. That goes to say that even if a...