Zack Snyder has a very distinctive filmmaking style, for better or worse. His output tends to be somewhat divisive among critics and audiences, but you can generally spot his signature visual flourishes from a mile away. There’s no denying that the director has a knack for building a mythology and delivering movies that are often a feast for the eyes, but humor has never exactly been his strong suit.
Most big budget blockbusters tend to feature plenty of levity, with hefty dramatic moments often instantly offset by a one-liner or snappy quip, but that’s just not Snyder’s way of doing things. It would admittedly be a bit of a stretch to call his filmography dour, but his characters do tend to take themselves and the situations they find themselves in very seriously.
Indeed, when Justice League arrived in theaters, you could almost spot the joints between Snyder’s footage and the massive overhaul handled by Joss Whedon, under the watchful supervision of the Warner Bros. hierarchy. The latter has always been known to pepper his dialogue with plenty of levity, but it stood out like a sore thumb against the original visual and thematic aesthetic.
In a new interview, Snyder admitted that the studio had tried to pressure him into making Justice League more light-hearted and comedic, so his approach was to shoot certain scenes both his and the boardroom’s way, in the hopes that he’d gain the upper hand during the editing process.
“The original plan was absolutely being twisted during production, but you know, I was there to fight them. Even though there was pressure on me to make it funnier and lighten it, I would persist as much as I could to keep the tone as much as I could. I added a bunch of things for them, and I was always careful to make sure I covered things both ways, so that it didn’t affect the movie story-wise. It was my hope that, in post-production, I’d be able to force my will upon them.”
David Ayer previously revealed that he had the same troubles on Suicide Squad, and no matter how Zack Snyder’s Justice League turns out when it lands on HBO Max in two weeks, it’s definitely not going to contain much in the way of side-splitting hilarity.