What If the Snyder Cut Is Just Sort of OK?
The first 10-second clip of the near-mythic Zack Snyder cut of Justice League—the Snyder cut, of #ReleaseTheSnyderCut fame – started doing the rounds over the weekend, along with fighting talk from Snyder himself.
"There will be no chance on earth that I will use a shot prior or after I left the movie," Snyder said during a Zoom interview with The Nerd Queens for Justice Con, a weekend celebrating the film he's yet to release. "I would destroy the movie, I would set it on fire before I would use a single frame that I did not photograph. That is a fucking hard fact."
The whole palaver over the Snyder Cut has spilled over into recriminations about Joss Whedon, who replaced Snyder as director on the film, but basically, by the time it comes out on HBO Max it's going to be slightly longer and Henry Cavill's digital de-moustaching won't feature.
With loads of extra storylines and characters, it's going to be at least 214 minutes long, though Snyder says it's "going to end up being longer than that yet," and the colors are a bit different. And he's fixed the aspect ratio. At last.
From the outside, it's hard to see how making Justice League—which was extremely tedious to begin with—even longer is going to turn it into a masterpiece.
This isn't a dig at the fans who wanted it, even if their fervor is slightly baffling. It's far too easy to paint #ReleaseTheSnyderCut ultras as monomaniacs with too much free time. They've raised somewhere north of $150,000 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which is unequivocally A Good Thing.
But what are we meant to do with the film itself? How can it possibly measure up to what anyone wants from it? How can you review it without comparing it to its other self? For a lot of the people who campaigned for the Snyder Cut, its superiority is an article of faith. But Snyder had free rein on Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, you'll remember, and that was rubbish.
Worse still, what if it's just fine? All of that buzz, that vitriol, that defensiveness, that sheer energy, expended in the name of a three-star film. At some point it became a self-sustaining enterprise, propelling itself on because it was propelling itself on.
Then again, the fact of its release will be justice enough for many. It's just hard to know why it matters anymore.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.