The reputation of the Zack Snyder Cut of 2017’s Justice League has gained near mythological proportions. Long before studio interference and Joss Whedon’s reshuffle, it conjured imagery of a film to rival Avengers: Infinity War: an untampered with and pure version of Snyder’s original vision for the band of heroes formerly known as the Justice League of America. In short, a good movie.
The trouble is, the above version of an untampered with Justice League does not exist. There was already studio strong-arming tactics taking place long before Snyder removed himself from the project, with 30 minutes being butchered from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, leaving a lackluster theatrical cut and a far superior Ultimate Edition on home video release.
Soon afterwards, Justice League Part 1 was whittled down to simply become Justice League, resulting in a two movie arc being compressed into a single film. And all that’s even before rumors began circulating that writer Geoff Johns had been brought in to rework Zack Snyder and Chris Terrio’s original script.
By the time 2017 came around, the version of Justice League which was presented to the studio bore very little resemblance to Zack’s original vision aka the Snyder Cut. Even then, perhaps unsurprisingly, WB was unhappy with the mismatched narrative elements of the film standing out like a dodgy CGI supervillain. It was at this point that Joss Whedon was brought on board to presumably turn the patchwork parts into what the studio wanted them to be.
So, if the fabled Snyder Cut does ever see the light of day, it’ll be a far stretch from the perfect superhero ensemble film we all expect. With the amalgamation of Zack’s original story, Terrio’s screenplay and Johns’ reworkings, the Snyder Cut is really nothing more than a convenient moniker with which to refer to the period before Whedon got his hands on our heroes.
As Revenge of the Fans points out, “the film Snyder shot from April to October of 2016 was already not the film he’d originally intended.” Thus, he was “never given the opportunity to shoot the pure, unadulterated version of the movie that he had planned when it was first announced.”
So, for those still holding out hope that one day we may get to see Zack Snyder’s original cut of Justice League, it seems that now’s the time to finally let that dream die.