The conversation surrounding Zack Snyder’s original vision for Justice League has returned in a big way, with the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement gaining real traction over the last several months as both fans and filmmakers have voiced their opinions on what Warner Bros. should do with the unreleased footage from before Joss Whedon was brought on to finish the movie.
Despite Snyder moving onto other things, Whedon returning to TV with upcoming HBO fantasy series The Nevers and the entire DC Extended Universe putting Justice League in the rearview mirror thanks to a couple of critically acclaimed hits and some exciting-sounding new projects, the fascination surrounding the troubled production of the divisive superhero epic has never really went away.
Some people have claimed that the Snyder Cut definitely exists, others have said it would be too expensive to finish to any kind of standard suitable for release, and Jason Momoa says he’s seen the entire thing. One person heavily involved in the production who’s advocated for the release of a director’s cut though is cinematographer Fabian Wagner, who was unable to return to the Whedon-directed reshoots due to other commitments.
Wagner, who’s also shot episodes of Sherlock and Game of Thrones, was asked in a recent interview if he’d seen the theatrically-released version of the movie. The 41 year-old met his wife during filming, so the project is obviously very close to his heart, and he revealed that watching Justice League actually brought him to tears. However, it wasn’t in the way that you’d think.
“I have, unfortunately… I was watching it and I think I was crying all the way through. So it’s hard for me to say exactly how much was changed, but a lot was changed. It looked very different. It’s sad for me because I loved working with Zack; I had the time of my life. There were many other things on that movie that made it so good apart from the fact that I was working with Zack and the whole gang… It was just a great shoot, and so it was a shame to see the film the way it turned out to be. You can just see, if you watched the first trailers you can see how the film should have looked, and how the film did look when we were shooting it.”
It’s clear that Wagner is still bothered by the fact that he wasn’t able to be involved in the reshoots, with much of his work being left on the cutting room floor as Joss Whedon overhauled a massive amount of the movie. Some of the visual differences between the Snyder footage and the reshoots are also so obvious as to be jarring, so it’s little wonder that the original cinematographer would be upset that the version of Justice League that eventually got released differed so drastically from the aesthetic he wanted to bring to the project.