At this point, it sure does seem like it’ll be a long time before discussions regarding Zack Snyder’s cut of Justice League ever die down. Really, I’m not joking when I say fans loyal to said director blow up conversation threads on social media that are in no way germane to the topic. If it’s Tom King getting ready to roll out the new Batman/Catwoman comic book series, then here comes “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut.” Or, if the next issue of Doomsday Clock gets delayed by another month – you guessed it – a spoonful of “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut” will cure what ails you!
To help put things in perspective, Justice League was released in theaters in November of 2017, so yeah, these folks are passionate. In fact, they’ve managed to pool funds hoping to sway Warner Bros. into releasing the souped-up home video they desire seeing, but nothing’s come to fruition.
If you’ve been following the situation during that timespan, then you know of how there’s been some back-and-forth concerning how much of the Snyder Cut actually exists. According to storyboard artist Jay Oliva, he was there when the final shot was filmed in December of 2016. After that, here’s what happened in his own words:
“Zack then spent the next few months editing. Now most people think that vfx start then but that’s not true. Vfx can start as early as preproduction (the storyboard stage) if a scene doesn’t require the actors ( like digital doubles) vfx can already start way before shooting.”
Then, Oliva, whom you may also know from his own directorial credits on animated flicks such as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: War and Justice League Dark, further broke down the process:
“Now in edit, the director cuts the footage down multiple times to show execs the progress. These are known as director cut x. This will go on for months. Based on the studio notes or anything new the director might need, reshoots are planned. Now during all of this time, those vfx shots don’t stop. They’ve been going on since pre production. If a vfx sequence is totally cut out and never to go back into the timeline, then they will stop vfx for that shot.”
If anything, this provides insight into how allegedly bare bones the Snyder Cut is. A major setback to its release is WB having to foot the bill for completing VFX shots. We all know how Snyder screened his version for studio execs that was then deemed “unwatchable,” but more polish would need to be added for the public at large.
Speaking of which, that ties into Oliva’s final point:
“So yes, if you want to see a version of the entire film from a story standpoint, then there exists multiple cuts of Zacks film prior to Whedon’s involvement. Everything was shot and edited into something he screened execs. So if said cut doesn’t exist, then what did Zack show?”
Before we part ways, now would be a good time to reiterate how it took Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut 25 years to see the light of day. That said, there remains hope for Snyder’s vision for Justice League. As for his planned sequel, that’s another story entirely. But who knows, maybe we could read it as a graphic novel down the line? I’d pay money for that, wouldn’t you?
Source: Jay Oliva on Twitter