Snyder was able to make three films for DC Films. Man of Steel in 2013, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, and Justice League. The first two films were released in theatres, and both were highly criticised by critics, fans and even comic book writers.
His films are remembered with either the high points of visual style Snyder has with lots of slo-mo, or they remember Superman killing Zod or the Martha moment. Some have loved it, and some have not. Unfortunately, it seemed like DC Films and Warner Bros were not willing to wait for it to grow into audiences.
As soon as Snyder had a major personal emergency, he was immediately replaced by Marvel‘s The Avengers director Joss Whedon. The studio wanted reshoots and forced actors to redo many of the scenes that were already done by Snyder. While Justice League was released in 2017, it was not how Snyder intended it to be.
Zack Snyder was given another chance to finalise his version of the film since he said that when he left the project, he had already filmed much of the film. It only needed a few pickup shots and CGI work. The film was released on HBO Max in March 2021. And fans loved it. Many even hoped that this is what the DC Universe consider as canon.
Zack Snyder Thinks DC Fans Didn’t Get His Films
Unfortunately, the damage was already done with WarnerMedia struggling financially and DC Films not seeing Snyder’s vision for the DCEU. The studio wanted to reboot the DC franchise. Warner Bros didn’t have enough faith in the DC Universe that they allowed Matt Reeves’ The Batman and Todd Phillips’ Joker to exist.
During Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Watch Party and Q&A session at Snyder’s Full Circle event from Vero True Social (via The Direct), the director was asked about his characters and how it seemed that Snyder wanted to show deeper characters. Snyder said:
I think, and maybe I’m wrong. but I feel like a lot of people went into the movies for going like, ‘Oh, it’s the superhero romp, right? Let’s have fun with it.
And we gave them this sort of hardcore deconstructivist, heavily layered, experiential modern mythological superhero movie that needs…that you really need to pay attention to. That was not cool [for them]. That’s not something anyone wanted to do. They were like, ‘What? No! That’s exhausting. How about, why do they fight at night?’ I hate that.
It’s evident that Zack Snyder wanted more. He wanted to build his own DC Universe, not the one we’ve seen before. While there are things that don’t really mesh well with fans, like the idea that the Amazons were originally Kryptonians, the director did have ambition for the franchise, which I only saw in the Batman V Superman Ultimate Edition and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
Batman V Superman had a version which was 31 minutes longer than the one released in cinemas. The film had more context and depth, more character development. More scenes of Clark being a reporter, more scenes of Clark investigating Batman, more scenes of Lex Luthor and his motivations and several more. Unfortunately, again, this is not the version many remember, and it’s a massive disappointment that this was not the version we saw in cinemas.
In Justice League, I love the character development done with Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. I also enjoyed the moment when Ezra Miller saved Iris West. I enjoyed seeing that Steppenwolf was not the main villain as it was perceived in the original cinematic release. You see and understand that there is something bigger.
Zack Snyder Wanted More Than Just A Typical Superhero Movie
Zack Snyder had a vision. He was already trying to tell it in Batman V Superman, but unfortunately, it was cut, and people generally hated the film. I think it’s a bit unfair to blame the audience for not understanding Snyder’s films. I know people who hated his films, but at the same time, I know people who loved them and enjoyed them more than the traditional superhero films.
But the cuts he was forced to make really hurt the DC Universe he was trying to build. DC Films and Warner Bros at the time were playing catch up to the well-established Marvel Cinematic Universe. And they just couldn’t wait for Snyder’s vision to settle in.
And you have to remember that it’s not only Snyder who was affected by this but even David Ayer’s version of Suicide Squad was also cut just to meet studio expectations. Now fans are hoping that we would see a similar treatment to be made for Ayer’s film like what happened with Snyder’s Justice League.
Not all movie fans will buy extended versions of DVD or BluRay just to see what Snyder wanted to convey. In general, films are judged based on what was released in the cinemas. And it’s a bit unfortunate that Snyder thinks that the audience doesn’t get what he was trying to do, because the SnyderVerse fans seem to love and understand what he was doing.
What do you think of Zack Snyder thinking that the audience didn’t get his films? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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