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As we get closer to the release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League on HBO Max, we’re likely to hear more details about what really happened behind the scenes on the theatrical cut of that movie… and how things went so wrong. We know that Snyder left the project following the death of his daughter, Autumn, who died by suicide in 2017. And we know that Snyder was replaced by Joss Whedon, who changed almost everything about Snyder’s film.
But during his panel at the fan gathering Justice Con on Saturday, July 25, Zack Snyder was asked if he and his wife Debbie Snyder approved of the selection of Whedon as his replacement, and the director clarified:
It certainly was our decision to leave the movie, in the light of what happened. And was it specifically our call on who would do it, and all that? It was before the committee. It was a thing that was … we were pretty distracted at the time.
Some of this is pretty obvious, in hindsight. Responding to the less-than-stellar reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (both financially and critically), Warner Bros. executives wanted something that was closer in tone to what Marvel Studios was delivering. So they hired the man who had directed two Avengers films, and hoped that he could weave the same magic in the DCEU.
We all know how that turned out.
It’s disappointing because the company line that was given by WB executives, at the time, was that Joss Whedon was merely putting finishing touches on the footage that Zack Snyder had already shot, and that the movie still was going to be very much a Snyder film. His name remains on the movie as the director, a fact that many Snyder fans consider to be an insult.
And now we know that it was more of a committee decision to have Whedon take over the reins for Snyder on Justice League. And it likely occurred following a screening summit that also included screenwriters Andrea Berloff (Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center, the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton) and Allan Heinberg (Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman). Shortly after the studio show off Snyder’s footage to this small panel of screenwriters, Whedon was hired to complete the film.
Soon enough, fans will be able to see what Zack Snyder’s ultimate vision for Justice League would have been when his “Snyder Cut” of the film makes it to HBO Max. We don’t yet know when the movie (or, possible television series) will stream on the cable provider. But once we know the date that it will drop, we will be the first to report on it.