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Justice League: The Snyder cut… is it real? Here’s what you need to know

November 17th, 2019 by Geralt of Australia Comments

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was originally written in October 2019 but as things have progressed we have added – and will continue to add – news and details about the #SnyderCut. So keep scrolling for all the latest news.

If there is one topic that seems to get everyone talking in the world of comic book movies, it’s the Snyder Cut of Justice League and, while we’re hoping to see it, it’s an oddly divisive thing.

I mean, personally, I don’t see what anyone would NOT want it released… may people want to see it, so why not allow them the chance? If you don’t want to see it, don’t.

But over the weekend we had a massive reveal from original director – before Joss Whedon – Zack Snyder.

Martian Manhunter… was in the movie.

Not only that, but he was in Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice as General Swanwick, played by Harry J Lennix:

Personally, I always subscribed to the idea that Swanwick might be J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, and now it shows that I, and many who also thought as much, have been vindicated.

Snyder shared the following storyboard on Vero at the weekend, with the words “This is something you probably didn’t know” attached:

In the story board Swanwick is speaking to Lois Lane (Amy Adams) before revealing himself to be the Manhunter.

Also, remember the ‘Unite The Seven’ tagline for Justice League that was never defined after Whedon’s cut was released? Well, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter make seven. Could that have been the whole point of that?

This is massive news… and just makes us here at FTN towers want this movie even more.

So what else do we know about the Snyder Cut?

So everyone knows the 2017 movie the Justice League, going back and watching it a few times, it’s a lot better than what I originally gave it credit for (same with the first Suicide Squad), but what if it was even better?

Zack Snyder was the original director and did a lot of work for the movie, unfortunately due to family reasons he was officially forced to leave the project and pass it onto Joss Whedon – although many believe he was pushed out by Warner Bros – during this so much of it was cut away that we ended up with something completely different, in some cases scenes were completely re-shot, and in time was turned into a shell of its former self.

Well, according to a lot of various sources, the Snyder cut exists, including Snyder himself who stated he HAS a finished cut of the movie:

And it has even been seen by a few various people, including Jason Momoa, who has called it ‘siiiiicccck’:

On top of this, Nerd guru Kevin Smith also believes the Snyder Cut exists, saying: “I’ve not seen it firsthand. And also to be clear, I know Zack, but it’s not like, ‘We’re f*cking tight, son!’ … That being said, I’ve spoken now to enough people at various levels in that production. There IS a Snyder cut. For sure. That’s not a mythical beast. It exists.”

He goes on: “I think the audience now, particularly the audience that would consume the Snyder Cut and discuss it at great length, can watch a workprint. They can watch a work-in-progress and fill in the blanks in their heads. They could shoot a version of that flick where, you know, they put Snyder into it explaining what would have gone here, what went there.”

So what’s going on, why hasn’t this cut ever been released and what exactly is it we’re missing?

So let’s start off with one of the most critical components: Superman.

Now as we all know, back in Batman Vs Superman, Superman died. It was all very sad, but at the same time necessary to show how much trouble the world would be in without the man of steel.

Just for the fact that this was also done by Snyder should have been a clue that something big was in the winds, until it wasn’t.

Ninety per cent of the re-shoots were all to do with Superman and his return from the grave, you can see this when you look closely at Superman’s upper lip in the majority of the movie, you can still see that they couldn’t edit away all the facial hair that Henry had grown for his next role in Mission Impossible:.


So what did they originally film?

Well as it turns out, things were about to get real dark.

The original script was meant to show Darkseid killing Lois Lane in the Batcave and, because of this, Superman was to join with Apokolips after falling for Darkseid’s Anti-Life equation, this equation basically proves that love and free will are none existent and in doing so it just breaks Superman, this would then open up to the Knightmare sequence that we saw in Batman Vs Superman where almost all the heroes had been killed, and the Earth has been taken over by Darkseids army.

When later asked about the scene, Snyder had this to say: “If someone lost someone close to them they might be susceptible to a certain Equation and might blame a certain Bat for events that a too soon Bruce would know nothing about.”

Cavill himself teased the Black Suit long before the movie was released:

And then there was this official deleted scene:

The “equation” is the Anti-Life Equation, a mathematical formula that results in total control of the minds of sentient beings. Darkseid – the villain alluded to in the Knightmare sequence who has a fondness for the Omega symbol – believes the equation lies in the subconscious of humanity… and would use it to take control of Superman himself to take over the world, much like the Injustice story from the comics.

Unfortunately all references of the Knightmare were scrubbed from the Whedon cut as it was just entirely too dark. This being said, there is a rather strong chance that we may still see the Knightmare with DC’s New Gods currently in the works, this will have Darkseid and should tie into the Justice League movies, so even without Snyder there’s a chance that his dream for the League can still be fulfilled.

When the film made its home media debut, it also came with two deleted scenes from the Snyder cut, the first of these scenes we see the man of steel himself suited up and standing in the doorway of a Kryptonian scout ship, this works in conjunction with what we saw in Man of Steel.

The second one features everyone’s favorite butler, Alfred Pennyworth. In this we get to see him in the Batcave conversing with Superman, in which he says: “He said you’d come. Now, let’s hope you’re not too late.”

You can watch them both here:

Now some of you may remember that this line – which refers to Bruce Wayne/Batman waiting on Superman’s return – was also featured in the 2017 SDCC trailer which would go to confirm that Superman was the last unknown character to be joining the League.

With all this information it’s easy to speculate that Snyder’s cut was meant to tie in more heavily with the solo Superman movie, where in the Whedon cut, the only way you can tell it’s a continuation is the fact they have to bring Superman back to life.

Oh, and remember when Ben Affleck himself teased Deathstroke for his (now cancelled) solo movie with footage taken while filming Justice League?

Storyboard artist Jay Oliva has worked on almost every DC storyboard in recent memory, including a lot of the animated works, and he’s been one of the primary people to confirm that the Snyder cut exists, and has even talked a little about the changes in the final battle between the League and Steppenwolf.

For the original storyboard, Oliva states that with Superman returned from the grave, he’s a different person and seems altogether “unhinged”. With less of a grip on his morals and doing what’s right, he takes on Steppenwolf and the Parademon army. Now even though, towards the end of the released version we did get to see a bit of Superman going toe to toe with Steppenwolf, according to sources it was meant to be a much bloodier and extensive scene that what we got with Wonder Woman finally cutting off Steppenwolf’s head before Darkseid himself showed up:

In fact, as part of the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign, actor Ray Porter, who was set to play Darkseid, even revealed how he would have sounded:

So far with everything we know about the re-shoots and what was meant to go down, it paints a very different picture of what we were meant to get with the worlds favorite Kryptonian.

Snyder has recently revealed the scene cut from the movie where Diana discovers the origins and return of Darkseid…

Which goes with the images we have seen revealed in the past of Wonder Woman discovering Darkseid:

Now that we’ve gotten through everything that’s been changed, lets take a look at the parts that did happen.

Fabian Wagner was the cinematographer for both cuts of the movie and he too has come out in support of the Snyder Cut and, if anyone knows it exists, it’s this guy: “As a fan, and the guy who worked with Zack on Justice League, and who shot it, yeah. I mean, f#@k, I would love to see Zack’s film!”

So would we, Fabian. So would we…

So, that’s a lot of the details about the cut of Justice League that we all deserve. In my – and my others’ – eyes, Man of Steel and the extended edition of Batman V Superman as masterful movies and, we know that the plan was for it originally to be five movies to complete the arc with all other DC movies spinning out from it, I think we all at least deserve a blu-ray edition of the movie.

The last thing we heard was that Snyder has assembled a fresh cut of the movie which he’s re-edited, touched up and is now trying to get into a releasable state – this means that yes, some money will need to be spent but I can’t help feeling that with Shazam! and Joker bother earning Warners plaudits, they may be more inclined to let the directors have their say.

But for now, we know that with Ben Affleck being recast as Batman and talk being that JJ Abrams wants to make a Superman movie with a new actor too, and Wonder Woman 1984 ret-coning the idea that she vanished after the first world war (a notion both star Gal Gaadot and Snyder have admitted was a bad idea sit limited storytelling possibilities), it looks that while everything post Justice League is Canon, the world Snyder created isn’t.

And that, to me, is a real shame.

Here’s Deadpool creator showing love to the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut campaign…

UPDATE: 17 November 2019

So there has been a lot of movement and hope for fans of the #SnyderCut in the last few days and with today being the second anniversary of the movie’s release, there’s many people thinking we are on the verge of an announcement.

What’s been happening?

Well, Jason Momoa himself as doubled down on the fact that is exists (here). Junkie XL, who was originally hired to score the movie before Danny Elfman stepped in has as confirmed that his score is complete and waiting to be heard (here) – here’s a little piece of it for your enjoyment:

On top of this, British actor Peter Guinness has confirmed he was cast in the role of Desaad which would have filled-out the much lacking villain slot in the Whedon cut, I mean Steppenwolf was just thrown in there with no context as to why. What we were meant to have should have been a Lord of the Rings type scenario where Steppenwolf would have played the part of Saruman and Darkseid would have been Sauron. This would have kept space for Darkseid in the shadows for now but would have still given a taste that something bigger was looming which just didn’t happen.

Desaad looks like this (continues after image):

Now in the original Justice League trailer dialog we hear “No protectors here. No Lanterns. No Kryptonians,” which was Steppenwolf reporting to Desaad. Damn, this is infuriating!

Here’s Superman punching Steppenwolf from Justice League storyboard artist Jay Olivia:

Next Cyborg himself, Ray Fisher, shared this new image of Victor Stone AKA Cyborg from the Snyder Cut:

On top of these, Jason Momoa, Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman, shared this unseen image:

And Snyder himself has ben sharing images of The Flash – with one featuring Kiersey Clemons as Iris West who didn’t appear in the final cut at all:

Cute couple, indeed.

You may recall clemons from this deleted scene from the Snyder Cut of the movie – the image above seems to take place just before this scene with Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) meeting her in the coffee shop:

The scene with The Flash is believed to be a scene where the world gets destroyed  by the Unity and he must go back in time to save it using the Speed Force, with these scenes taking place in and around the same time:

After these, Snyder then went on to share this new image of Steppenwolf seemingly facing off against Cyborg in what seems to be STAR Labs with his dad in the background – did Steppenwolf come for him personally?:

Next, Snyder posted this image of Batman dragging Superman from their battle in Batman V Superman. Fans have pointed out that it is in full IMAX ratio… it’s your guess what this could mean:

He then went on to follow it up with this image of Superman being held by Doomsday, also in Batman V Superman:

He has, again cryptically, written: “He has yet to rise.”

The Jesus metaphors in the Superman story are obvious and well known but could this be hinting at a different kind of resurrection, perhaps?

Finally – until the time of writing – he posted another image from BvS, this time of Batman handing out some serious justice:

Oh, and just before I hit publish, Junkie XL just posted this:

Is it #Snydercut related? We can but hope… but whatever it is, with all this, surely there can be little doubt this exists and needs to be released?

UPDATE: It wasn’t.

On the 17th of November – two years after the Whedon cut’s release – the stars of the movie took to Twitter to show their support for the movie being released. I my humble opinion, if the #SnyderCut didn’t exist then Snyder himself and the stars wouldn’t be calling for it!

Ben Affleck:

Gal Gadot:

Zack Snyder:

Ray Fisher:

A new rendering of the deleted scene which has Victor Stone seeing himself in seems to be nazi Germany has appeared online:

On top of this new footage has appeared online from the stunt and F/X people.

The first shows Steppenwolf taking on the Amazons in pre-visualisation:

The second is choreography for fights that ultimately never made it into the movie and looks, frankly, awesome:

Next up, and probably a BIG part of the story, we have Snyder himself revealing Wonder Woman’s first time seeing Uxas (young Darkseid) for the first time.

Couple of things to note about this are that Weta seemed to be working on Darkseid and the flashback in the movie was to take place around 2hrs 10mins in, and it likely ties into this scene of Uzas in the flashback rather than Steppenwolf as it was in the final release:

It’s presumable that this all happened after Diana saw the ancient art of Darkseid (above) as demonstrated here:

Also, on a side note, Robert Pattinson – who has been cast as a younger Batman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman – has revealed that he knew they [Warners] were looking for a new Batman two years ago… if this is true, then it seems that they were confident after Justice League that Ben Affleck as out and that Reeves’ movie was at an early stage set to bring a new guardian into Gotham:

It has been revealed that Joss Whedon’s version of Justice League has over 80 pages of reshoots, which makes this even funnier:

Now, just for the sake of impartiality, it seems that Danny Elfman, who composed the score for the movie after Joss Whedon was brought in to score the new cut.

For the first time he has been asked about the #SnyderCut and had this to say: “He [Snyder] had a tremendous tragedy, which forced him to not finish the film.

“So, it wasn’t like… I don’t quite understand this, because it wasn’t like he was fired, and that there is a Director’s Cut that is a finished movie and that the studio fired him and then hired Joss.

“When Joss came on the film, he stepped in with only a few days notice, to pick up the helm because of this terrible, terrible tragedy that happened.

“So it is kind of a unique situation. I mean, there is definitely other movies where the director was fired, and a studio radically changed the movie because they didn’t like it. And as a fan, you go ‘I wonder what the director did, before the studio changed the movie.’ But I’m not really aware of how that dynamic would really apply here.”

Seems like Elfman – who gets a lot of unnecessary hate for his work on the movie – doesn’t believe the #SnyderCut even exists.

That’s all for this update, folks…

Aaaand we’re back on November 26th.

Snyder has once more taken to Vero to post this image of the DC Universe’s trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman from the filming of Justice League:

He then posted four images of Willem Dafoe as the Atlantean Vulko (“This guy is awesome in the movie”), Momoa as Aquaman and Amber Heard as Mera… all of which is talking place inside an air bubble which the Atlaneans used to speak in Justice League but was later gotten rid off in James Wan’s Aquaman movie:.

Also, while it’s likely nothing significant, HBO Max, the streaming service that many believe could be a home for #TheSnyderCut, just did this:

And that’s it for now… until the next update, stay frosty right here on FTN

DECEMBER 3rd 2019: Woah!

Em, it looks like Zack Snyder just threw down the proverbial gauntlet to those saying it does not exist:

It exists, folks, all 214 mins of it… but will we ever see it? That is the question.

December 5th 2019: Cinematographer Fabian Wagner has confirmed that only about 10 per cent of Snyder’s movie ended up in the Whedon cut… that means there’s a heck of a lot of footage out there.

Here’s the full clip, excuse the poor audio:

Adding to this, Snyder has started to express his frustration at the idea the cut doesn’t exist and even at one point hints that leaking it isn’t out of the question:

Hmmmm… well, it worked wonders for Deadpool. Interesting that he also confirmed ATOM’s appearance in there too.

In another related bit of news, Superman star himself Henry Cavill has confirmed that, sadly, he has not seen a Snydercut and that, rather than pushing for it, he’d rather focus on the future of the character.

I’m seeing a lot of people seeing this as some sort of betrayal, but Cavill wants to continue playing Superman and keep the legacy alive, so he’s trying to stay in everyone’s good books. And let’s not forget that the whole CGI face debacle (above) saw Cavill’s Superman take the biggest hit and damage to his performance so there’s a good chance he genuinely just wants to put the whole thing behind him.

Here’s the interview:

And, while all this craziness was happening, two new images appeared online of Cyborg/Victor Stone (with his mother) in the car that, if plot points are true, would eventually crash, claiming the life of his mother and leaving his body in ruins:

Now, another fun update.

Forbes entertainment writer Scott Mendelson took to Twitter earlier today (December 5th, 2019) in reaction to the post of the film cans by Snyder, to say that it’s unlikely it was the finished movie but rather an ‘assembly cut’ which tends to be longer than the final movie.

Snyder responded and put him firmly in him place, telling him the assembly cut was actually 5 hours. Is it just me, or does it really feel like Snyder is getting ready to put the movie out there?

And finally, a YouTube DC commentator PingpongFix posted a comment on Twitter that was sent to him bu director Steve Hudson, that confirms that, if Snyder has the movie on film, then it IS complete as the movie would have been edited digitally and would not have been put of actual reels unless it was done and it would ultimately be so the movie could be stored safely as digital can still be lost.

Here’s the full response:

It just feels that the more time passes, the more there is no question that this does indeed exist. And hopefully we’re getting closer to finally seeing it for ourselves.

Another update, folks. Today is December 8th and it’s some goodies from Brazil Comic Con:

Gal Gadot gives an awkward answer when asked in an interview about Wonder Woman 1984 if she’d seen the #SnyderCut and it seems that, no, she has not… but she does hope it gets released. Note, when Patty Jenkins – Wonder Woman director – says ‘no-one has’ seen the #SnyderCut it is believed she means the cast/crew of WW84:

Although not directly related, Ryan Reynolds, while promoting his new movie, Michael Bay’s 6 Underground, refers to the movie as ‘The Snyder Cut’, much to the delight of the audience:

NEW UPDATE 12TH December 2019.

Snyder posts and image of Henry Cavill in the black suit from Justice League – which we discussed above – with the legend underneath: “My Superman”.

A fan went on to ask about the suit and when Superman would wear it, it which this exchange took place:

Now, this seems to be saying that Superman wouldn’t get the Blue and Red back until Justice League 2 or 3, which is weird because we know Snyder filmed scenes of Superman in the traditional colours before Whedon came in including in the final battle when he fought alongside Aquaman, Flash and Wonder Woman and the very last scene in the movie when we see Clark Kent walk down an alley and open his shirt to reveal the iconic suit (also in BvS in the Knightmare sequence he wears the red and blue). However, it seems Snyder had a bigger plan at least originally.

In the post below, it’s interesting to see how Snyder worded it: “He will have a black suit.”

‘Will have,’ now ‘was meant to’ or ‘should have’ but WILL. Hmmmmm….

Geralt of Australia, holder of the One Ring of Sauron, mechanic to the Millennium Falcon and council to the Avengers, has been diagnosed as a nerd since falling through the wardrobe and being crowned king in Narnia. While fighting Boggarts and watching Storm Troopers miss everything, he has made his way back into this world through the portal in 221B Baker Street just to bring you all the news and reviews of the games of this world.